Tag Archives: Jason Reynolds

Create & Connect at Planet Word’s FREE Enchanted Pages Community Day, November 18!

Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy of Planet Word


Planet Word’s Schwarzman Family Library is growing, and that’s something to celebrate! In honor of 25 new interactive books being inducted into the magical, interactive Library, Planet Word presents Enchanted Pages Community Day, a free, all-day event featuring book-inspired activities for people of all ages.

On Saturday, November 18, drop in for a bit or stay all day. Explore all three floors of the interactive museum, connect with some of the authors featured in Planet Word’s magical library, and much more!


Photo courtesy of Planet Word


Book-themed activities include DIY bookmaking, a performance by award-winning teaching artist and children’s entertainer Culture Queen, and live art by Chalk R!ot.


Meet some of the children’s and young adult authors whose titles are newly featured in the Planet Word’s Library, including:
* Derrick Barnes, Crown, An Ode to the Fresh Cut
* Michelle Coles, Black was the Ink
* Erin Entrada Kelly, Hello, World
* Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Your Name is a Song

All authors will be available for book signings (see the full schedule HERE).


Photo courtesy of Planet Word


Afternoon events include Between the Lines with Jason Reynolds and Tony Keith, Jr., a discussion about the art of storytelling, featuring the acclaimed author in conversation with award-winning spoken word artist and educator Dr. Tony Keith, Jr. Reynolds’ award-winning young adult novel Long Way Down is among the original titles featured in the Library. Due to space limitations, free registration is required for this event. 

The day ends with a screening of the documentary film Judy Blume Forever.  Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is among the 25 titles being added to Planet Word’s collection. Due to space limitations, free registration is required for this event. 


Watch how Planet Word’s magical library brings stories to life.


Located on the second floor of Planet Word, the Schwarzman Family Library is a one-of-a-kind interactive experience that brings beloved books to life. Each of the Library’s books is equipped with a radio-frequency identification chip (RFID) that, when placed on the Library’s Story Table, triggers illustrations, narration, and insights into the book and its author.


Enchanted Pages Community Day
Where: Planet Word | 925 13th Street, NW
When: Saturday, November 18, 2023, 10am – 6pm
Admission: FREE

* Advanced registration is encouraged, and due to space limitations, registration is required for events after 4pm. Visit www.planetwordmuseum.org for more information.
* Nearest Metro stations: McPherson Square (Orange/Silver/Blue) & Metro Center (Red/Blue/Silver/Orange).


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This post is sponsored by Planet Word, however, I only promote events, places, and programs that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Museums, Weekend

T(w)een Scene: “Long Way Down” at the Kennedy Center

A pre-show photo op with Long Way Down author Jason Reynolds

This past weekend, Owen and I caught a performance of Long Way Down at the Kennedy Center. Based on the award winning novel by Jason Reynolds, the show presents the story of Will, a 15-year-old boy who is about to seek revenge for his older brother’s murder. Riding down the eight floors of his apartment building, his brother’s gun tucked in his waistband, Will at first is just thinking about The Rules: 1) No Crying 2) No Snitching 3) Get Revenge. That is, until he encounters a few people from his past on the way down.

The characters who join Will in the elevator have died, each of them killed by gun violence at some point during Will’s life. But they return as the people they would be now — the age they would be and with a perspective of what happened to them. There is Uncle Buck, childhood friend Dani, Uncle Mark, his father, Buck’s killer Frick, and, finally, his brother, Shawn.

One of the most amazing things about the show is that all of the characters are played by just one actor. Justin Weaks does a superb job bringing them all to life (literally, in a way). For over an hour, it was just him on stage, and he had us all mesmerized the entire time.

As Will interacts with every person, and we learn more about each of their lives and deaths, we also get a peek inside Will’s mind — his grief, anger, frustration, heartache — as he contemplates all that has happened and what he is about to do. He begins to question his intent to follow The Rules. And as the elevator doors finally open, and Shawn asks, “You coming?” it’s almost as if there’s a collective gasp as everyone in the audience holds their breath.

Needless to say, this production is immensely powerful and riveting. I highly recommend it for about ages 12+ and have to note that this is just as much for adults as it is the YA audience for whom it was written. (Owen had read and really enjoyed the book already. While I hadn’t read it yet, he told me what it was about, so I knew what to expect going in. Either way, and even without knowledge of the book, it’s a very compelling show.)

Long Way Down is running at the Kennedy Center, with several shows remaining from Thursday 11/1 – Sunday, 11/4, and there are still some tickets available for just about all of them.

And as shown in the photo above, Jason Reynolds was there for that first performance to sign books and take photos before the show. He also spoke afterward and noted that the story isn’t just about gun violence, but about “humanizing the people that feel this kind of pain.”

His book and this production convey that brilliantly.

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Filed under 2018, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Teens, Theatre, Tweens, Weekend