Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Newbery
Date Finished: 8 April 2008
My Rating: 2 Stars
Newbery Honor Book 2008
Frannie is intrigued by the Emily Dickinson poem that her teacher reads at school.
"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul"
As she is trying to figure out what this poem means, a new boy shows up in her class that the other kids start calling Jesus Boy. She is also dealing with her mother's latest pregnancy, her brother's deafness, and her best friends increasing religious feelings.
I didn't like this book. The story just did not hook me. For such a short book there was good character development and Woodson writes in a very beautiful prose, but I just did not care for the story. It almost felt like I was reading several issue stories like race relations, religion, family, bullies, and death but none of them really tied together. The book moved along slowly and was a little too preachy for me.
Like The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, I was left really wondering how much an elementary age child would enjoy this book. I think if I had read this as a child it would have bored me. I am also left wondering how the Newbery Committee picks the books they bestow medals and honors on. I wonder who the winner would be if the kids picked and not the adults.