Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

How I Heard About It:  After reading Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson hit my reading radar.  While browsing at the local library for some new audio books, I saw this title on the shelf.  I added it to my pile of books and just finished listening to it today after listening to the story for the past three days.  

What It Is About:  "Hope is the thing with feathers."  This beautiful line is what the story centers on.  Frannie is the main character dealing with her life as it surrounds here during the 1970's.  One person she is most intrigued by is a new boy in school that they call "Jesus Boy".  He is a white boy attending a mostly all-black school.  Frannie slowly gets to know this boy and learns about his "story."  While at home, she grows in her love for her deaf brother and worries about her mother and the "sadness" and/or "illness" that seems to surround her.  Of course she also has to navigate her way with her best girlfriend and the changes that are occurring with her.  Throw in a class bully and life is full of both positive and negative situations for Frannie, her classmates, and her family.  

What I Thought Of It:  After reading two Woodson novels, I'm learning she is quite the talented writer that has a way with words and creating beautiful stories.  This was a quick listen and I enjoyed the story.  In some ways I wish I had actually read the book because there were several times when I wish I could have reread some lines from the novel.  Frannie was a deep and thoughtful character and came to life through the words of the author.  There were quite a few deep themes and messages woven throughout the story which made me wonder what audience would be best for this story.  

Who Should Read It:  This is a slow moving, yet beautiful, story.  As an adult reader I truly enjoyed the plot and know other adult readers will as well.  I do question what young reader would be best suited for the story.  It could make for an excellent read aloud in grades six and/or middle school.  For individual readers to truly grasp the deep meaning and theme of the story, I believe they should be in middle-school and/or high school.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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