Jarrett Krosoczka taught us about the power of resilience, the generosity that comes from forgiveness, and the success that follows nurturing a passion. The day - and his message of hope - will long be remembered by our students.
Jarrett played a significant role in what turned out to be a record-setting fundraiser. He talked about his life and his book as expected, but he also learned enough about our organization in advance that he was able talk about our work and tie it to his. He is an entertaining speaker, a delightful person, and attune to his audience. Don’t hesitate to include him.
I feel incredibly fortunate that we were able to have a nationally renowned author like Jarrett Krosoczka share his inspiring story to all of our students and staff. His story is one our middle school students need to hear- how grit and determination helped him succeed, in spite of a complex childhood.
As we expected, Jarrett’s presentations were just what our community, both library and school communities, needed to hear. I knew that Jarrett was the “real deal” and exposing himself and his life through HEY, KIDDO expressed not only his vulnerability but the importance of seeing beyond one’s situation and understanding the whole person.
We were beyond thrilled in hosting Jarrett Krosoczka in our community! He was so easy to work with and such a joy to host. His community presentation was awesome and entertaining and perfect for all ages! At our middle school he focused his presentations on “Hey Kiddo” which were incredibly powerful. The feedback we’ve received from staff at the middle school and from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. He is such an amazing artist and storyteller, and we are so thankful he shared his story with Wisconsin Rapids!
Several teachers put in a lot of effort to incorporate either Lunch Ladies or Hey Kiddo, depending on the age, into their curriculum. Every single one was so gratified to see the result of their work — which was kids who now have the ability see themselves as authors and / or kids who felt they were being “seen” for the first time / being given an opportunity to validate and express the impact of trauma on their own lives for the first time, etc. At WAMS, families, young adults, teachers — all sorts of people showed up to meet him and ask him to sign their books. The District Attorney came personally to thank Jarrett for his work and for his impact on helping kids access literacy, imagination and in some cases, difficult truth.
I’ve heard many wonderful commencement addresses over the years, but none was better than the one given by Jarrett Krosoczka in Beverly, MA, earlier today. Inspiring, straightforward , authentic to the core. A wonderful send-off for our 2019 graduating class. Congrats to all!
Jarrett was courteous, gracious, attentive, kind, funny, generous…my goodness…from the moment we walked into the building he was the perfect guest. During the talk, we were all engaged. He was at the same time honest and careful during his talk about Hey Kiddo, reassuring the parents and grandparents present that while the topic in the book was most likely geared toward older readers, the way he would talk about it at the moment would still be geared toward these younger fans. I thought it was wonderful how he was so direct with the kids, and ultimately his experience and accomplishments since his childhood are absolutely inspiring. I loved the book when I read it and that’s why I was so eager to have him share it with our community. I think parents who weren’t as familiar with his work probably fell in love that night. His presentation about his work process was fascinating. I was impressed with how he presented using his iPad, and the videos themselves. They were clear and depicted the work process. And I liked how he was just a very efficient, self-contained presenter. He walked in, plugged in and essentially was ready to go. This is always great for the host. Jarrett signed everything – patiently, connecting with his readers – each exchange with each person clearly was special and unique. Allowing fans to bring their own personal books to have autographed, I think was a particular treat. Jarrett signed our stack of library copies, checking the publication date of each one and seemed delighted when he found that these were first editions. He also signed a Lunch Lady poster that I had purchased from American Library Association, that I have laminated and hanging on my office door (it faces the Teen area in our library). And then he stayed for pictures! The ultimate librarian fangirling happening with the staff standing with Jarrett and our arms around him.
Jarrett is so good at creating this joyous feel. There’s a really accessible sense of humor and earnestness, and a lot of action. But there’s an intelligence to [his books], too. He never writes down to kids. He takes real situations and plays with them brilliantly. Why shouldn’t the school lunch lady be fighting crime and saving the world with fishstick nunchucks in her spare time?
St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas was very fortunate to have Jarrett J. Krosoczka visit us this past spring. In anticipation of his visit, I dressed up as the Lunch Lady during our “Celebrate Reading Week” in March and had the 4th graders create their own Lunch Lady graphic novelettes, made book trailers with our 3rd graders for several of Jarrett’s picture books, made bagheads with our PreK and K students, and bought blow up instruments so our 1st and 2nd graders could rock out in Punk Farm style.
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