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FEATHERS by Jacqueline Woodson


by Jacqueline Woodson

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-399-23989-8
Publisher: Putnam

One wintry day, a white boy with long curly hair enters Frannie’s sixth-grade classroom. “Jesus Boy” is told he’s on the “wrong side of the highway,” and becomes a catalyst for a shift among friends and enemies in the classroom, all observed from Frannie’s point of view. She’s also got her eye on things at home: Suddenly her mother is strangely weary, while her older brother, who is deaf, seems impossibly quick to recover when girls attracted to his good looks are turned off by his silence. Frannie’s questions about faith, friendship and bridging differences are expressed in a vibrant and accessible narrative set in the early 70s. The theme of “hope” recurs in the description of the Black Power movement, and in Frannie’s musings on the Emily Dickinson poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Developing this metaphor, Woodson captures perfectly the questions and yearnings of a girl perched on the edge of adolescence, a girl who readers will take into their hearts and be glad to call their friend. (Fiction. 9-13)