Module 5: Post 1: Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

Book Title: Miracle’s Boys

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Published Date: 2000

Summary:

Lafayette, Ty’ree and Charlie are brothers trying to make it in the world without their mother. It’s a hard life with gangs running around promising the world. Ty’ree has given up his chance for college and wealth to take care of his two younger brothers. Their mother died a year earlier from cancer and now it is up to them to learn how to grieve and move on.

APA Reference:
Woodson, J. (2000). Miracle’s boys. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Impressions:

I enjoyed this real life fiction. It’s not something I would typically read, but I’m glad that I did.

Professional Review:

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.

Sullivan, E. (2000). Miracle’s boys. School Library Journal, 46(5), 178.

Library Uses:

This would be good to use to teach the strength of family. Also, that everyone grieves in their own way.

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Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

Title: Show Way

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrator: Hudson Talbott

Publisher: G.P. Putnams Sons

Published Date: 2005

This is the story of Woodson’s family line on her mother’s side. It starts out with her great-grandmother Soonie’s great-grandmother. The women were sold as children to slave owner’s and learned how to sew quilts. These quilts were picture maps on how other slaves could get from the South to the North and be free. Each woman learned the craft and it was taught generation to generation up until Ms. Woodson teaches her daughter. It also follows history of slavery to civil war to civil rights to today.

Awesome story about the history of slavery and tradition. Although the quilts are no longer needed to get slaves to freedom, the tradition of the quilts are still passed on and make a living. Each woman learning to become stronger and wiser as the generations go on. No words can describe how great of a story this is. The illustrations are amazing as well. The images tell a story all of their own, yet complete the story that is told. Remarkable.

Happy Reading!

R