My life changed dramatically, and started to change dramatically, when I read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I was 4 or 5 on the reservation, and it was the first book I ever read with a brown-skinned character — this, you know, inner-city black kid wandering the snow-blanketed city all by himself. And the book spoke to me in a way few books have ever spoken to me throughout my life. But in that instance, I had this recognition of another human being in the world, fictional as he was, but that there was another person in the world who was like me. … This person was a total stranger to me — a black kid living in the city. You know, I didn’t know any black kids living in the city, but I reached across the fictional and the real barriers and boundaries to connect my heart to him.