June 9, 2021
We’re excited to announce the release of this year’s Young Authors’ Book Project, I Closed My Eyes and Imagined: Visions for a Better Boston.
In this publication, twelfth-graders at the Margarita Muñiz Academy and eighth-graders at the Rafael Hernández School paint a powerful, quirky, and authentic vision of what students want to see in their future and in the future of their city. The Muñiz seniors crafted op-eds on a social issue of their choosing, from climate change and internet access to raising the minimum wage and ending the school-to-prison pipeline. The Hernández eighth-graders wrote pieces about what life in Boston could be like if some of our city’s biggest challenges had been solved—from racism and gender equality to difficulties with remote learning and the antics of mischievous younger siblings. Jennifer De Leon, writer, professor, and author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, wrote the book’s foreword.
As Laura Gersch, the English Humanities teacher at Margarita Muñiz Academy describes in her introduction, “This partnership was no accident. Many of this year’s 12th graders are graduates of the Hernández, and a number of them were already published 5th-grade authors in I Am A Flame You Can’t Put Out, an anthology of bilingual poetry published by 826 Boston in 2014. So not only did this project provide us with an opportunity to imagine the future, but it also connected my students to their past. How far they had come! And how far they would go!”
As the Student Editorial Board writes, “In the future, we hope that Boston will focus on bettering itself for the next generation. We believe that we need to come together as one community instead of being so divided. It would be so much easier if Boston became a place where we are all able to speak our truths and see them brought into action.”
Pre-order your copy of I Closed My Eyes and Imagined: Visions for a Better Boston here!