IF YOU COME SOFTLY by Jacqueline Woodson

IF YOU COME SOFTLY

Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a meditative interracial love story with a wrenching climactic twist, Woodson (The House You Pass on the Way, 1997, etc.) offers an appealing pair of teenagers and plenty of intellectual grist, before ending her story with a senseless act of violence. Jeremiah and Elisha bond from the moment they collide in the hall of their Manhattan prep school: He’s the only child of celebrity parents; she’s the youngest by ten years in a large family. Not only sharply sensitive to the reactions of those around them, Ellie and Miah also discover depths and complexities in their own intense feelings that connect clearly to their experiences, their social environment, and their own characters. In quiet conversations and encounters, Woodson perceptively explores varieties of love, trust, and friendship, as she develops well-articulated histories for both families. Suddenly Miah, forgetting his father’s warning never to be seen running in a white neighborhood, exuberantly dashes into a park and is shot down by police. The parting thought that, willy-nilly, time moves on will be a colder comfort for stunned readers than it evidently is for Ellie. Miah’s melodramatic death overshadows a tale as rich in social and personal insight as any of Woodson’s previous books. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-399-23112-9
Page count: 181pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1998




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