The Other Side

The Other Side

4.3 13
by Jacqueline Woodson, E. B. Lewis
     
 

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Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of

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Overview

Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of this classic book. As always, Woodson moves readers with her lyrical narrative, and E. B. Lewis's amazing talent shines in his gorgeous watercolor illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Manages to plumb great depths with understated simplicity+Text and art work together beautifully." -School Library Journal, starred review

"Pictures and words make strong partners here, convincingly communicating a timeless lesson." -Publishers Weekly

"Even young children will understand the fence metaphor and they will enjoy the quiet friendship drama." -Booklist

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Woodson (If You Come Softly; I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This) lays out her resonant story like a poem, its central metaphor a fence that divides blacks from whites. Lewis's (My Rows and Piles of Coins) evocative watercolors lay bare the personalities and emotions of her two young heroines, one African-American and one white. As the girls, both instructed by their mothers not to climb over the fence, watch each other from a distance, their body language and facial expressions provide clues to their ambivalence about their mothers' directives. Intrigued by her free-spirited white neighbor, narrator Clover watches enviously from her window as "that girl" plays outdoors in the rain. And after footloose Annie introduces herself, she points out to Clover that "a fence like this was made for sitting on"; what was a barrier between the new friends' worlds becomes a peaceful perch where the two spend time together throughout the summer. By season's end, they join Clover's other pals jumping rope and, when they stop to rest, "We sat up on the fence, all of us in a long line." Lewis depicts bygone days with the girls in dresses and white sneakers and socks, and Woodson hints at a bright future with her closing lines: "Someday somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down," says Annie, and Clover agrees. Pictures and words make strong partners here, convincingly communicating a timeless lesson. Ages 5-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Jacqueline Woodson usually writes provocative young adult novels. Now, younger children can revel in her special storytelling abilities. In this moving picture book, Clover, a young African American girl, notices a new neighbor has moved next door. A fence separates the two yards. This neighbor turns out to be a young white girl, Annie. Despite her mother's warning to stay away from her new neighbor, Clover goes closer and closer to the fence, as does Annie. She and Annie gradually become friends and enjoy each other's company by sitting on the fence. Soon Clover's friends accept Annie, and race issues disappear. While the fence still remains, Woodson demonstrates how children can help tear these fences down. This message, along with Lewis' beautiful pictures, creates a book that belongs on all bookshelves. 2001, G. P. Putnam's Sons, $16.99. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: Rebecca Joseph
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A story of friendship across a racial divide. Clover, the young African-American narrator, lives beside a fence that segregates her town. Her mother instructs her never to climb over to the other side because it isn't safe. But one summer morning, Clover notices a girl on the other side. Both children are curious about one another, and as the summer stretches on, Clover and Annie work up the nerve to introduce themselves. They dodge the injunction against crossing the fence by sitting on top of it together, and Clover pretends not to care when her friends react strangely at the sight of her sitting side by side with a white girl. Eventually, it's the fence that's out of place, not the friendship. Woodson's spare text is easy and unencumbered. In her deft care, a story that might have suffered from heavy-handed didacticism manages to plumb great depths with understated simplicity. In Lewis's accompanying watercolor illustrations, Clover and her friends pass their summer beneath a blinding sun that casts dark but shallow shadows. Text and art work together beautifully.-Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

Two young girls -- one African American, one Caucasian -- have been told not to cross the barrier that separates their backyards, but they find their way to friendship nevertheless. This story will also resonate with older kids, who can appreciate the deeper themes and strong visual metaphor of the fence.

Kirkus Reviews
Race relations, a complex issue, is addressed in a simple manner through the eyes of two young girls, one black and one white, on either side of a fence that divides their yards and, in fact, the town. Both girls have been instructed not to go on the other side of the fence because it's not safe. Each stares at the other, yearning to know more, but they don't communicate. When Annie, the white girl, climbs on the fence and asks to jump rope, she is told no by the leader of the black group. The narrator, Clover, has mixed feelings and is unsure whether she would have said yes or no. Later, the girls, with their mothers, meet on the sidewalk in town, looking very much the same, except for the color of their skin. When asked why the mothers don't talk, the explanation is,"because that's the way things have always been." During the heavy summer rains, Annie is outside in her raincoat and boots, having fun splashing in puddles—but Clover must stay inside. When the rains stop, Clover is set free, emerging as a brave soul and approaching Annie in the spirit of her freedom. Eventually, the story finds both girls and all of Clover's friends sitting on the fence together, kindred spirits in the end."Someday somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down," Annie says. What a great metaphor Woodson has created for knocking down old beliefs and barriers that keep people apart. Children learn that change can happen little by little, one child at a time. Award-winning Lewis's lovely realistic watercolor paintings allow readers to be quiet observers viewing the issue from both sides. (Picture book. 5+)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399231162
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
45,383
Product dimensions:
11.69(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.31(d)
Lexile:
AD300L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Manages to plumb great depths with understated simplicity+Text and art work together beautifully." -School Library Journal, starred review

"Pictures and words make strong partners here, convincingly communicating a timeless lesson." -Publishers Weekly

"Even young children will understand the fence metaphor and they will enjoy the quiet friendship drama." -Booklist

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir BROWN GIRL DREAMING, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Born on February 12th in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books  include THE OTHER SIDE, EACH KINDNESS, Caldecott Honor Book COMING ON HOME SOON; Newbery Honor winners FEATHERS, SHOW WAY, and AFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER, and MIRACLE'S BOYS—which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award and was adapted into a miniseries directed by Spike Lee. Jacqueline is also the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature, the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and was the 2013 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Earl Bradley Lewis was born on December 16, 1956, in Philadelphia, PA. As early as the third grade he displayed artistic promise. Inspired by two uncles, who where artists, Lewis decided he wanted to follow in their footsteps.

After finishing the sixth grade, he attended the Saturday morning Temple University School Art League run by his uncle. Under the tutelage of Clarence Wood, a noted painter in Philadelphia, Lewis began his formal art training. He remained in the program until his enrollment in the Temple University Tyler School of Art in 1975.

During his four years at Temple, Lewis majored in Graphic Design and Illustration, along with Art Education. There he discovered his medium of preference, watercolor.

Upon graduation in 1979, Lewis went directly into teaching, along with freelancing in Graphic Design. Between 1985 and 1986 he had completed a body of work which was exhibited in a downtown Philadelphia gallery. The show sold out and bought him public recognition and critical acclaim. Within two years his work was exhibited at the prestigious Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia, where his shows continue to sell out.

Lewis' work is now part of major private collections and is displayed in galleries throughout the United States. Honoring Lewis, Barbara Bader's History on American Picture books will be including a description of Earl and his achievements as an artist. Currently, Earl Lewis is teaching illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and is a member of The Society of Illustrators in New York City.

E. B. Lewis is the illustrator of two Coretta Scott King Honor Books, Rows and Piles of Coins and Bat Boy and his Violin. He lives in New Jersey.

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