It’s been an exciting day for MARTÍ’S SONG FOR FREEDOM, which today was named to the Kirkus Best Books of 2017 list and the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2017 list, in addition to School Library Journal’s Best Books list last week. And it’s been a frenetic day for me, crammed in between the National Council of Teachers of English and holiday travel.
But here is the beautiful thing that MARTÍ’S SONG FOR FREEDOM has brought me: the words I wrote in my book about how “Wherever he went, José was inspired/to find people who also believed/in equality and liberty” have come true for me. I still often feel horrible and sick about the current administration and the future of a society marked by such harsh inequalities, but I no longer feel like I’m the last living person that cares about poetry and history. I know that I’m not the only person who believes that the humanities challenge cruelty of spirit and expand the soul. I’ve spent the last several months surrounded by librarians and English teachers who believe the same things as me, who respect books and poems and the facts of the past and know without my having to convince them that these are vital.
I couldn’t have gotten through this year without books and teachers and librarians. I’ve been relying on them since I can remember, and I’m just so, so, so, happy that Martí has brought me closer to all of them.