Free pizza for all. A crystal clear lake. Expansive parks and gardens. Shelter for everyone in need. Stricter gun control laws. Jetpacks. In How to Dream a City, the students of George Washington High School answer the question "What would Chicago look like if young people were in charge?" The poems and stories within tackle real-world problems with inventive solutions. Some ideas are practical (stricter gun control laws), some are fantastical (free pizza for all), but all represent a vision for a new, youth-centered, youth-powered, and youth-led Chicago.
How to Dream a City, the 2019 Young Authors Book Project (YABP), features a foreword by poet José Olivarez (Citizen Illegal). "This book is a beautiful contribution to the legacy of Chicago writers," Olivarez writes. "Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Margaret Burroughs, Kevin Coval, Nate Marshall, Eve L. Ewing, Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Jamila Woods, Erika L Sánchez, Jacob Saenz, H. Melt, and yes, Esmeralda G. & Isabella P. & all of their classmates. We are lucky to read their work. We are lucky to belong to Chicago because Chicago’s next chapter will be written by these writers."