Feathers

( 62 )

Overview

Frannie doesn't know what to make of the poem she's reading in school. She hasn’t thought much about hope. There are so many other things to think about. Each day, her friend Samantha seems a bit more “holy.” There is a new boy in class everyone is calling the Jesus Boy. And although the new boy looks like a white kid, he says he’s not white. Who is he?

During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light - her brother Sean’s ...

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Feathers

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Overview

Frannie doesn't know what to make of the poem she's reading in school. She hasn’t thought much about hope. There are so many other things to think about. Each day, her friend Samantha seems a bit more “holy.” There is a new boy in class everyone is calling the Jesus Boy. And although the new boy looks like a white kid, he says he’s not white. Who is he?

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 desire for “the thing with feathers.”

Newbery Honor-winning author Jacqueline Woodson once again takes listeners on a journey into a young girl’s heart and reveals the pain and the joy of learning to look beneath the surface.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Hope is the thing with feathers / that perches in the soul." Frannie, this novel's 16-year-old narrator, lives with a sweet sense of expectation, a feeling nurtured in her loving home. But even the purest hope does not always materialize. When a white boy nicknamed Jesus Boy joins her previously all-black class, Frannie and one of her friends start to believe that he might indeed be special. An unexpected occurrence snaps them back to reality. Carefully nuanced portrayals and a sensitive look racial segregation, prejudice, and religious faith by a Coretta Scott King Award-winning author.
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)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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

  • ISBN-13: 9781455839186
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/12/2011
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2009

    Feathers by: Jacqueline Woodson (2007)

    Frannie, the protagonist in the story, is searching for the meaning of poem she has heard in school. The poem is by Emily Dickinson and says "hope is the thing with feathers." Frannie doesn't know what that means, but she likes it.

    Frannie is so occupied with other events in her life that she doesn't have much time to think about hope. Her mother has a constant fear of losing another child, her brother is deaf, there is a bully at her school, a strange boy suddenly appears at the new school who people refer to as the Jesus boy, and her friend Samantha, seems a little more holy than usual.

    Frannie comes to see and experience things in a new light during the book. She begins to accept and understand things with a new outlook. Maybe she is learning the meaning to that thing with feathers.

    Personally, I felt the book was okay but not terrific. I had trouble staying focused while I was reading. I feel like it is a slow read. There was not a lot of action and really no plot. I don't understand what the "point" of the book was. There were good messages conveyed in the book like accepting people for who they are, family values, overcoming fear, and standing up to bullies.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Feather lovr

    I lpve feathers best book ever

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Worst. Book. Ever. Piece. Of. Shit.

    YOU SHOULD BE ASHAED!!!! IVE HAD BOWEL MOVEMENTS BETTER THAN THIS CRAP! WANT A REAL BOOK? READ JAMES PATTERSON, ELIZABETH CHANDLER, AND MIKE LUPICA!!!..... stupid cum cookies

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    WITATB

    This book is amazing. It is touching and really explainded a lot about racism. I felt sorry for Jesus Boy. He was descriminated against because of the color of his skin. Just like some of us lighter skinned people do to darker skinned people sometimes. It is very very wrong. Boooo racism!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Hi

    I like this book even if i am only on chapter 7 i really like it i will tell u people if i still like it when i am done.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    Woodson writes another great novel

    Read this book for a graduate level master's class. Woodson is a remarkable, thoughtful, and extremely talented writer and this book certainly shows it. Told from a young girl's persepctive. Her brother is deaf and a new white boy comes to their school (they live in the black neighborhood - set in the late 1960s, early 1970s). The story focuses on seeing beyond people's differences to see how we are all the same while weaving in a message of hope. Quick and easy read but will certainly make you think about it for a long time after reading it. Children in 5th or 6th grade could read it and I recommend it for all ages, even adults.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

    Life's Lessons on Feathers

    This book, about sixth grader Frannie, who leads a normal life, brought me to realize so many important things. This story portrays how difference (her brother's deafness, "Jesus-Boy"'s skin color) can be celebrated, and can bring good. It also shows that life is a gift and hope is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. I learned a lot from this book, it has really implanted some important things in my heart and mind. Thank you, Jacqueline Woodson for turning everything that seems important in life into a heart-warming story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008

    Feathers of Hope

    Frannie a spunky sixth grader frequently reminds herself of the poem Ms. Johnson read in class. Hope is a thing that should have feathers becomes the characters strong hold throughout the entire story. Living on that side of the highway she faces reality issues such as dealing with segregation, poverty, friendship, a hearing impaired brother, sickness of her mother, and she is beginning to question religion in her own life. The character reflects deeply on the simple everyday occurrences that she encounters which all begins when the new kid named ¿Jesus¿ arrives. Like Frannie herself the mysterious ¿Jesus¿ finds himself against insurmountable odds. Can this be the real ¿Jesus¿? The students in Ms. Johnson¿s class including the bully Trevor and his side kick Rayray intend on finding out. In the process the characters begin to examine themselves and their circumstances looking for hope.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

    Frannie, the main character, comes from what seems like a typical 1970's African American family, two parents and a brother. Very middle class if it weren¿t for the segregation she faced. She seems like a fairly average sixth grader. However, she has come to the point in her life where she is examining things more closely, her brother, her long time best friend, her mother¿s pregnancy, and the new 'Jesus' kid in class. This book's central conflict is not a major crisis it shows how to deal with every day situations that kids Frannie's age are still dealing with today. This ¿normalcy¿ is what makes this book so magical, there is no one that comes to save the day. It¿s how they (all of the characters) handle the situations life throws at them. I realize Frannie was living in a very segregated situation, but the issues she faces are very timely. Most students will be able to relate to the moral dilemma of how to handle a disagreement with a friend or the threat of a bully. The Dickenson poem is brought up throughout the story, reminding readers to keep hope alive. Sometimes perception is everything, it clearly shows how to look for hope in the midst of 6th grade. I really enjoyed this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Nero

    Ill leave if your want me to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Feathertail

    ( shes shy and nervies and its called forcemateing for a reson nuthead ) looks around

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Luna

    Maybe when young, they cannot control their powers. So they might turn into thr Wereanimal they are if angry or something. Though as they get older, they will be able to turn at will instead of according to emotions. That explains my condition, since im 12

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    &starf Alec &starf

    YOU WILL REGRET THAT LATER ALSO A WEREBLOOD IS A HUMAN WHEN IN THEIR FIRST TWO MONTHS ON A FULL MOON HAD ANIMAL BLOOD MIXED WITH THEIRS WHICH HAPPENED TO ME!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    &star Feather &star

    Hises everyone out of her den. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Dampaw

    Builds a dam

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    A wis cat ammerged

    "You need NO PUNISHMENTS?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    F

    Foxfeather padded therem

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Tmi

    To much information ravenstreak

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    Blackstripe

    Looked at willowleaf. "No, but that one is an imposter."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    To Rosestar

    Please look at the post on third result for "feathers"i would really like to join your clan if i can my name is stormheart my description os on the other page. Thanks for reading my post :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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