There really are amazing people in this world who use their platform for the greater good. And Newbery Award-winning children’s author and poet Kwame Alexander is one of those people. He deserves a slow clap for surprising a young fan — Luc Perez of Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago.
When Luc was in fifth grade, he showed his love for Alexander’s free-verse novel Booked which tells the story of an eighth-grade student who loves soccer, who upon getting an injury that prevents him from playing his favorite sport while reeling from the news of his parents’ separation, turns to reading books to deal with his feelings.
Luc loved the book so much, he made a YouTube video about it. That video was sent along to Alexander, via Nancy Brown, the media center director of Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary School, where Luc is a student.
Alexander was flattered and impressed with Luc’s work, and within 10 minutes of seeing the video, he wrote back to Brown saying he would like to come and pay Luc and some of his friends a visit.
Alexander showed up on Luc’s front lawn with his wife, daughter, and close friend who plays the guitar. When Luc saw him, he recognized him straight away and was in complete shock.
Luc told Scary Mommy, “The whole experience was surreal. How crazy is it that this famous author decided to come to my house to meet me. I’m just a 10-year-old kid.”
Alexander, who was equally impressed by this young boy, told the Chicago Tribune, “I’ve written a lot of letters to young readers, but this is the first time I’ve made a surprise visit to someone’s home, and it’s pretty cool.”
Luc says he is drawn to Alexander’s work because the characters have overcome so many challenges, something we can all agree is healthy and necessary for children to be exposed to as we try to raise them to be kind and caring adults.
But even more inspiring is the fact that this famous author took the time out of his busy schedule to meet some of his young fans.
Clearly this man knows the importance of having connecting with his readers. He certainly loves what he does and has made a lasting impression on Luc.
“It was so cool to have some of my friends be there to share the experience with me,” Luc says. What could be better than to share such a big moment with some close friends? These kids are sure to never forget spending time with Alexander, but even more meaningful, they witnessed someone going above and beyond to make a difference in people’s lives. The world needs more people like author Kwame Alexander, that’s for sure.