Kwame Alexander didn’t just go the extra mile for one of his young fans. He went several.
The author of books for young readers like The Undefeated and The Crossover walked two hours to deliver autographed copies of his books to Mossy, a 13-year-old London boy who plans to read a passage by Alexander at his bar mitzvah.
In a video posted to Facebook, Alexander said, “I am surprising a kid today.…I’m showing up at his house to drop off some signed copies of the books. I can’t go in, because Covid, lockdown. But it was a long walk, up mountains, through narrow footpaths, underground tunnels, cemeteries, but I made it.”
Alexander donned an “I ❤ BOOKS” face mask, and surprised the father of the boy, who had tweeted about his son’s love of the author’s work. “You’re such a mensch,” the dad said. “This is unbelievable.”
When Mossy came to the door, he was visibly shocked.
“I heard you like a lot of books,” Alexander told the teen. “That’s me, Kwame Alexander. I live in St. John’s Wood. Mazel tov! I just walked two hours to come see you, my friend!”
“I read your books just the other day!” Mossy said, telling Alexander that he had enjoyed The Crossover and Rebound.
Alexander told the family that he’d like to hang out with them once the world opens up again. Then he started to go back home, laughing, “I’m not walking back. I’m taking a taxi. It’s too long.”
Walking away from the house, Alexander said, “I think I did that more for me than for him. Because I just want to remind myself that I’m still connected to the world. Books still matter during this time. We still matter to each other. I’m sure he was happy, but I think I’m happier just to be reminded of that.”
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.