Feathers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Feathers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.3 51
by Jacqueline Woodson

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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light--her brother Sean's deafness, her mother's fear, the class bully's anger, her best friend's faith, and her own des  See more details below


FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light--her brother Sean's deafness, her mother's fear, the class bully's anger, her best friend's faith, and her own des

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The narrator of Woodson's 2008 Newbery Honor title is fascinated with Emily Dickinson's famous couplet "Hope is the thing with feathers/ that perches in the soul." Frannie grapples with its meaning, especially after a white student joins her all-black sixth-grade classroom. Trevor, the classroom bully, nicknames him "Jesus Boy," because he is "pale and his hair [is] long." Frannie's best friend, a preacher's daughter, suggests that the new boy truly could be Jesus ("If there was a world for Jesus to need to walk back into, wouldn't this one be it?"). Set in 1971, the book raises important questions about religion and racial segregation, as well as issues surrounding the hearing-impaired (Frannie's brother is deaf). Johnson, who also voiced Woodson's Hush, sensitively renders Frannie's narration, and her slow delivery affords listeners the opportunity to fully experience Frannie's keen perceptions. Subtle changes in inflections distinguish the many characters' voices in a skillful performance that enlarges the book's already wide appeal. Ages 9-up. A Putnam hardcover. (June)

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Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Frannie is still trying to figure out exactly what Emily Dickinson meant in the poem her sixth grade teacher read to the class, "Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul�" Even though she didn't understand it, she wrote it down because she liked the way it sounded, and then she talked to her mama about it and her older brother, Sean, who is deaf and talks in sign language. Her best friend, Samantha, reads the Bible daily and comes to believe that the new boy in class, whom everyone calls Jesus Boy because of his long hair, really is Jesus come back to earth. Frannie doesn't think so, but she is still puzzled about why this white boy would come to a school on this side of the highway, and how he came to know sign language. Once again Jacqueline Woodson brings the reader convincingly into the worldview of a young person who often has to deal with very grown-up issues like death and prejudice and violence and finding your place. Fortunately, as in other Woodson stories, the protagonist has the support of loving family members as she negotiates the shoals of growing up and dealing with an often harsh world. Although Frannie is in many ways a very ordinary girl, with whom girl readers will easily connect, her life circumstances propel her to greater introspection and growth. She is a wonderful role model for coming of age in a thoughtful way, and the book offers to teach us all about holding on to hope.
VOYA - Robbie Flowers
Frannie is discovering that change does not always come with a bang. Sometimes it can be as simple as a new student showing up at school. The Jesus Boy, as the class calls him, is faced with being the lone white youth in a black school. He hails from across the highway that unofficially segregates the black and white neighborhoods. The students start grappling with what it means to be different. Should they give the Jesus Boy a chance to settle into the class? Or will they continue relentlessly teasing him? When speculation begins that he really is Jesus, things quietly begin to shift. Hope seems to spread through the cracks of the students' lives. They become a bit gentler with one another. Maybe the Jesus Boy is capable of the type of miracle they need to make it through their urban existence. Frannie sees the humanity in the seams of her family-from her deaf brother's struggle to fit in to her mother's preparation for a new baby. The Jesus Boy also forces the youth to examine the wavering lines defining race. Is he really white, and if he is, why did he not simply stay across the highway? Maybe there is something magical about the Jesus Boy or perhaps the magic lies within the young people whom he encounters. Either way, this book is dynamic as it speaks to real issues that teens face. It is a wonderful and necessary purchase for public and school libraries alike.

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Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, is the author of Feathers, Newbery Honor winner Show Way, Miracle’s Boys (recipient of a Coretta Scott King Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Locomotion and Hush (both National Book Award finalists), among many others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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