Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline Woodson, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Miracle's Boys (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Miracle's Boys (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.1 48
by Jacqueline Woodson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Lafayette would do anything to have things back the way they used to be—back before their parents died and back before his brother Charlie changed so much. But things have changed and all he can do now is ask why.... Why did Mama have to die? Why does Charlie hate him so much? And how are the three brothers—Miracle’s boys—supposed to survive when so much seems to be

Overview

Lafayette would do anything to have things back the way they used to be—back before their parents died and back before his brother Charlie changed so much. But things have changed and all he can do now is ask why.... Why did Mama have to die? Why does Charlie hate him so much? And how are the three brothers—Miracle’s boys—supposed to survive when so much seems to be stacked against them?

Author Biography: Jacqueline Woodson lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Editorial Reviews

barnesandnoble.com
Jacqueline Woodson snagged the 2001 Coretta Scott King Author Award for Miracle's Boys, a moving tale of one family's struggle to make a better life for themselves despite overwhelming odds and terrible tragedy. Woodson is no stranger to award-winning fiction. Among the many awards she has received for her novels are two prior Coretta Scott King Honors.

The story of Miracle's Boys is told by 12-year-old Lafayette Bailey, the youngest of three brothers living in New York City. They are orphans, living under the care of the oldest brother, Ty'ree, 22, a whiz kid who was forced to give up on his dream of attending MIT so he could work full time and keep his family together. The boys' diabetic mother, Milagro (Miracle), died of insulin shock two years ago, and their father died before Lafayette was born, succumbing to hypothermia after his heroic rescue of a woman and a dog from a frozen lake. The middle brother, Charlie, 15, has been away at the Rahway Home for Boys for the past two years, serving a sentence for armed robbery. But now that Charlie's back home, it's all too clear to Lafayette that things will never be the same.

Charlie isn't the same tenderhearted and caring boy he used to be. Newcharlie, as Lafayette now calls him, is changed: bitter, angry, and mean. It's bad enough that the boys are struggling to survive against crushing poverty, oppressive grief, and the ever-present threat of gang violence. Newcharlie's penchant for finding trouble may prove to be a fatal chink in their already rusted armor, leading to a breakup that would send Lafayette and Charlie off to foster homes. In addition, each of the boys is toting a ton of emotional baggage: a collection of guilty secrets, private demons, and mind-numbing fears. Their journey out of the darkness is a step-by-step process toward an uncertain future, and the only thing helping them along is their hope, their dreams, and their love for one another -- "brother to brother to brother."

Woodson's talent for peeling away emotional layers and exposing the raw, unadulterated truth is both riveting and refreshing. Young readers should delight in the moving but funny voice of Lafayette as he deals with his grief, anger, and sense of alienation. And the story's gritty prose and complex characters provide a level of clarity and commonality that should speak well to readers from age nine on up.

--Beth Amos

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Seventh-grader Lafayette fears that he will become separated from his two brothers after the death of their mother. "Viewing household tensions through Lafayette's eyes, readers will come to realize each character's internal conflicts and recognize their desperate need to cling together as a family," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Dec.) n Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Jacqueline Woodson's Miracle's Boys is the story of three boys left alone after their mother's death. Lafayette, present when his mother, Miracle, died, feels like a snake with shed skin "but I hadn't grown new skin underneath...I was just blood and bones spreading all over the place." Laf's older brother Charlie has been sent to a juvenile correction center after breaking into a store and Laf thinks somebody "scooped out his heart and sent the empty bitter rind of him home." Oldest brother Ty'ree, nicknamed St. Ty'ree, has given up MIT to be their guardian, but if Charlie messes up, they'll be sent to an aunt. There is a lot of pain in this book, but Woodson delivers it like an ode, strung together from lyrical images that reach inside readers as if to remind them that there is a beauty in grief. Miracle is dead, but she's left pictures "chiseled into" her boys and won't be forgotten because "she's too deep inside of us." And in the end when they hang on to each other, the love she's created pulls them together. 2000, Putnam, Ages 11 up, $15.99. Reviewer: Susie Wilde
Children's Literature
Jacqueline Woodson's novels beautifully depict sensitive, topical issues. In her newest book, she introduces readers to three troubled brothers, struggling to cope with their mother's tragic death. Lafayette, the thirteen-year-old narrator, feels responsible for his mother's death and the impact it has had on his older brothers. His oldest brother, Ty'ree, turned down a college scholarship to work full-time to support the brothers so that social services will not separate the family. Charlie, once a loving, caring boy, has turned into a cold, hostile stranger, recently returned from a juvenile correctional facility. Lafayette struggles to handle his guilt and his increasing anger over Charlie's unpredictable behavior. The book lyrically relays Lafayette's evolving feelings, leading the reader to the surprising end. Once again, Woodson demonstrates her unique mixture of extraordinary writing and story. 2000, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Ages 11 up, $15.99. Reviewer: Rebecca Joseph
Author Jacqueline Woodson's poignant novel I'd Hadn't Meant to Tell You This and its sequel Lena address child abuse; From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun tells the story of a teenage boy who must deal with his mother's coming out as lesbian; If You Come Softly addresses interracial romance. Each successive book, while issue-inspired, draws from the same lyrical, honest pool of her heart; none of these books seems clinical or forced. Woodson's most recent novel Miracle's Boys tells a contemporary urban tale of three brothers, the thirteen year old protagonist Lafayette, and his two older brothers Ty'ree and Charlie. Their father died rescuing a woman and her dog in Central Park; their mother has recently died from diabetes. The three boys are left to fend for themselves in the big city. Ty'ree the oldest and the most responsible works full time to pay the rent and take care of the entire family. Charlie, who has a knack for getting into trouble, has just gotten home from three years in a halfway house for boys, after being implicated in a robbery. Lafayette simply tries to live a normal life by going to school and hanging with this friends, but he still desperately misses his parents and the brother Charlie, whom he now calls Newcharlie, since he seems so changed from his semi-incarceration. In a novel that seems strongly cinematic (movie scouts, take notice), readers are shown the dynamic which makes this family of brothers hang together. Instead of saying the word love out loud, Lafayette and Ty'ree have a code, saying, "Brother to brother," for the unconditional love they feel for each other. Much of the novel is focused on Lafayette's sensations being the youngest child and hisruminations on why his parents had to die, why his brother Charlie has to be "bad" sometimes, why he and his brothers have to be poor. At the end of the novel, Lafayette helps turn Charlie around because he alone realizes that Charlie is carrying around, like "a monkey on his back," bad feelings of guilt and inadequacy. His simple words open the older brother's hardened heart, and in the end, readers know that while the way will be tough, this family won't crumble but will somehow endure. Unusual because it explores the feelings that boys, and specifically brothers, have for one another, Miracle's Boys has a lot of emotional resonance. Woodson's portrait of an inner-city family in a tough, contemporary world shows how much of a miracle it truly is when human beings are able to cobble together an existence with pride and all the love they can muster together, even when all the odds seem against them. 2000, Putnam, $15.99. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Stephen Fraser — The Five Owls, May/June 2000 (Vol. 14 No. 5)
KLIATT
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2000: This is a brief novel about three brothers, orphans, who are trying to get along without their parents. The narrator is the youngest brother, Lafayette, 12, who is furious with his next oldest brother, Charlie, who has returned from two years at a reform school bitter and angry. The two are looked after heroically by their older brother Ty'ree, who gave up a dream to go to college when their mother Milagro died. The boys are still recovering from the horror of their parents' deaths. Ty'ree eventually reveals to Lafayette how he feels responsible for the death of their father, who died of hypothermia after jumping in a freezing lake to save a lady and her dog from drowning. (Ty'ree, a small boy, had urged his father to save them.) Ty'ree is trying to comfort Laf for his guilt in not being able to keep their mother from dying when her diabetes put her in a coma. Laf was just a 9-year-old boy when this happened; he found her unconscious and he did the best he could in the emergency, but their mother died anyway. These life dramas are told well by Woodson, a fine writer, who makes the brothers quite real for her readers. In some ways, the main character is the middle brother, Charlie, who is close to being lost in a life of crime—it is his "return" emotionally to his brothers that signals the beginning of his healing and that becomes the spine of this story. The portrait of their mother that emerges from the boys' memories is one of a truly strong, loving woman, determined that her boys will be intelligent and whole. They are trying to fulfill her dreams. The cover art on the paperback is excellent. (Winner of the CorettaScott King Award.) Category: Paperback Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2000, Penguin, Puffin, 131p., $5.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-A compelling novel about three streetwise New York City brothers trying to help one another confront their personal demons. Thirteen-year-old Lafayette still grieves for his mother, who died of diabetes two years earlier. He blames himself for not being able to save her. Older brother Ty'ree is more mature and responsible but he, too, is tormented by the past. He witnessed his father rescue a drowning woman and later die of hypothermia before Lafayette was born, and he continues to feel guilty for not being able to help him. Lafayette and Ty'ree take comfort in school, work, and other routines of daily life to keep their lives focused and their minds off the past. All of this changes, however, when a middle brother named Charlie returns from a juvenile-detention facility where he served a three-year sentence for an armed robbery. Having this angry, sometimes hostile presence in their lives forces Lafayette and Ty'ree to depend upon one another even more to work through their grief and figure out how to help Charlie survive. As usual, Woodson's characterizations and dialogue are right on. The dynamics among the brothers are beautifully rendered. The narrative is told through dialogue and Lafayette's introspections so there is not a lot of action, but readers should find this story of tough, self-sufficient young men to be powerful and engaging.-Edward Sullivan, New York Public Library Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781417734894
Publisher:
Demco Media
Publication date:
01/28/2010
Edition description:
THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages:
133
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Critics have hailed Jacqueline Woodson as an exceptional author who writes with wrenchingly honest full of hope and inspiration. She has garnered numerous awards for her novels, including two Coretta Scott King Honors.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Miracle's Boys 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Miracle¿s Boys is the powerful story of three brothers attempting to deal with the death of their parents. The story begins after the middle brother, Charlie, has returned from Rahway, a juvenile detention center. He has changed so much in the time he was there, that his younger brother, Lafayette, refers to him as Newcharlie. The oldest brother, Ty¿ree, struggles to take the place of both parents and provide for his family. As the story unfolds, we discover that Lafayette was the first to find his mother on the morning she passed away and blames himself for her death, because he froze and could only scream. We also discover that Ty¿ree blames himself for their father¿s death, because he told his dad to save the woman and her dog. Newcharlie has difficulty dealing with their mother¿s death, simply because he was not there when she died and attempts to comfort himself by believing that he could have saved her had he been there. As the story progresses, we watch the brothers grow closer together and begin to deal with their grief in their own separate ways, Ty¿ree and Lafayette holding to the hope that one day Newcharlie will become Charlie once more. This story is very well written and draws the reader in so that we feel the emotions of the readers as if they were our own. The author expertly uses flashbacks to help the reader ¿get to know¿ the characters and understand them on a personal level. This novel grabs the reader and draws them and we find ourselves living the struggles these boys face along with them ¿ their hopes, their dreams, and their pain. As the book closes, we realize that only two days have passed, but we feel as if we have known the boys for a lifetime. This book deals with the pain of loss, raw grief, and some teenage violence each of these issues adds to the power of the book and the relationships described. I would definitely recommend this book, though not to someone who¿s grief is new.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Yamil and his big butt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bob
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ffffj
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book so much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TIS BOOK IS GREAT AND WHOEVER DO NOT LIKE IT IS A STUPID HOE BECAUSE THIS BOOK TELLS HOW THREE BROTHERS HAVE TO HAVE EACHOTHER BACK CAUSE THEIR PARENTS DIED VUT THE CAN NOT GET ALONG BUT LEARN HOW TO LOVE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oso73011 More than 1 year ago
3Boys That Mother And Father Died so They Are Left With Each Other But Just Cant Seem To Get Along With Each Other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Miracle's Boys is written by Jacqueline Woodson the story is about three brothers that lost their parents. The story begins when the middle brother named Charlie comes back from Rahway a juvenile detention center. He has changed show much when he was there, that his younger brother Lafayette calls him Newcharlie. The oldest brother Ty;ree struggles to take the place of both parents and provide for his family. This story is very well written and draws the reader in so that we feel the emotions that they feel. This book deals with pain and loss, raw grief and some teenage violence each of these issues adds to the power of the book and the relationships described.
Conectionz More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent amd the author does a great job of connecting the reader into the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago