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Children's LiteratureMiah and Ellie share the tender, innocent love of the young and uninitiated. They have not yet been fully exposed to the prejudices faced by most bi-racial couples. Born into homes of influence as well as affluence, they first meet as students at the exclusive Percy Academy in New York City. What ought to be the tale of a growing friendship full of promise will never be realized in the expected way, though. An opening monologue by "Jeremiah" alerts the reader that this is a different kind of story. "You do not die. Your soul steps out of your body, shakes itself hard...looks down on the blood running onto concrete, your eyes snapped open like the pages in some kid's forgotten picture book." A fifteen-year-old is dead at the hands of a policeman simply because he is the wrong color in the wrong place. This might be considered a cautionary tale, but not in the usual sense. Death may not be what it seems. "Everything in the world's just a little bit deeper than you seeing it." Award-winning Jacqueline Woodson uses the vehicle of language to take the reader on a surprising journey of hope. As she calls on individual players to narrate each chapter, she creates a masterful conversation with the soul. Fortunate is the reader who continues turning pages, letting the reflective beauty of Miah and his loved ones filter through. Books with painful subject matter rarely leave the reader longing for more. This one does. 2004, GP Putnam's Sons, Ages 14 up.