Feature Book of the Week
Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Nothing is like it used to be. If it were, Mama would still be alive. Papa wouldn't have died. Thirteen-year-old Lafayette's older brother, Charlie wouldn't have done time at a correctional facility. And oldest brother Ty'ree would have gone to college instead of having to work full time to support the three of them. If things were the same, Lafayette wouldn't be so full of questions, like why Mama had to die, why Charlie hates him so much now, and how they're all supposed to survive these times together when so much seems to be set against them.

This is the story of three remarkable young men; brothers who have only each other to rely on and who must decide whether they'll work with that or let it tear them apart.
(Publisher's summary from Goodreads)

Although she was born in Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in South Carolina and in Brooklyn, New York, where she still lives. When she was a child, her Brooklyn neighbors were mostly Hispanic and African American. "Everything from the food I grew up eating to the music I learned to dance to had the flavors of both the South and Puerto Rico," she remembers. This background has served her well as a writer because the characters in her fiction are from a variety of ethnic groups and social classes.

Woodson often writes about difficult issues that young people face and characters who feel out of place. "I think, growing up, I felt like I was on the outside a lot; and I think, as a grownup, I've… realized that it's okay to be on the outside," she says. If she has a single message to share with readers, it's that "no matter who you are in the world, it's okay to be who you are."

Jacqueline Woodson's advice to young writers is this: "Write every single day, at least for thirty minutes — just sit down and write in your diary or write a letter to a friend or write a poem or anything, but just try to practice writing every day." She also recommends reading books by writers you admire. (Retrieved from Houghton Mifflin Reading)

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