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[[ Free eBook ]] FeathersAuthor Jacqueline Woodson –

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson is a realistic fiction book that is set in the 1970s In the book the character, Frannie, goes through a lot of self discovery The story begins when a new boy comes to school, and he doesn t really fit in since he is white and the schools is predominantly black The new kid is referred to as Jesus Boy and throughout the story Frannie learnsabout him and his family During this, Frannie is also navigating life with her brother who is deaf and her mother who is pregnant There are a lot of themes running throughout this book that aremature, so I think that this book would be appropriate for 4th and 5th grade Since this book is realistic fiction and is about a young student, I think that a lot of 4th and 5th graders would be able to relate to her Quick writes would be a great way for students to both demonstrate their understanding of the book and also connect to it All of the characters in the story are also very complex Due to this, character maps or character analysis activities would be very applicable This book was a WOW book for me because it presents a lot of themes in a way that is appropriate and relatable for children I also think that Jaqueline Woodson really took the reader along Frannie s journey with her This made the book engaging andmeaningful. I remember the first time I went white water rafting From the shoreline, at the place where the boats were being put in, the river didn t amount to much The water was smooth and the current was slow I had no idea what I was getting myself in to, nor did I know of the ferocity of the rapids further down the river The river would surprise me.At one point on our trip down the river, our guide mentioned the water s depths A river can deceive you with it s dark water the murky, dark water makes it difficult to judge how deep it really is I was surprised by how deep our river was in places, and equally surprised to learn how deep some rivers are in general There is so much beneath the surface.I equate my experience with reading Feathers, to what I discovered on my river rafting experience I knew nothing about the river I knew nothing about Jaqueline Woodson Initially, the river didn t look like much neither did this small, 115 page book I was surprised to learn how deep the water was I was surprised and thrilled to discover the emotional depth in such a simple story Some of the passages were extremely beautiful It was exquisitely written It s humanity resonated with me It felt real and authentic There was so much beneath the surface.You just never know about books and rivers. This is written like water, falling It seems so perfectly effortless, and so beautiful Frannie, at 11 and a half in 1971, is caught by the Emily Dickinson line, Hope is the thing with feathers There s a new boy in Frannie s class Her mother, who has lost a few babies, is pregnant again Her adored older brother is handsome and smart and deaf Her best friend wants her to believe in Jesus and be saved Frannie s clear sweet voice takes this all in, and lets it out for us, a feather on the breath of god. This read is cool A really delightful little book that showed a lot of truths but in a very understated way Each character was drawn to show a different side of human nature apparently For, by the end, most characters were revealed to be other than what they at first seemed And, while I first thought it was going to be a Christian parable and yes, it was, in its way it wasthan that and showed things of the spirit, not of religion That is, the faith full are sustained by somethingthan what they are taught to believeand that what they are taught to believe can fail if the spirit informing it isn t ablaze.So, it s a children s book that is for big people too And I haven t categorised it as YA it is a children s book that could be.should by anyone older Certainly one of my favourite books of this year. Hope is the thing with feathersFrannie s class is studying this poem and it s really gotten her thinking She has a lot to hope for She hopes that her mama won t lose the new baby growing inside her She hopes that the hearing girls will stop making moves on her deaf brother only to turn away when they find out he can t hear.Set in the winter of 1971 there s still a lot of segregation All the white people live on one side of the highway and the black people live on the other side, Frannie s side That s why it s so confusing when Jesus Boy shows up in class and says that he s not white, that his family moved from the other side of the highway because they didn t fit in there Frannie s got a lot of thinking to do about building bridges and why you might want to experience someone else s world, to connect with someone totally different than you Because really, when it comes down to it, we re all people.A quiet, contemplative novel that fits perfectly in its snowbound setting, I m thinking this book is a contender for some Newbery action It has quite a message, but it doesn t bash you over the head with it Frannie is a likeable, imperfect protagonist and Woodson paints peaceful pictures of warm family life, which juxtapose the tension felt by many of the characters. Jesus Boy I thought he was really Jesus I did not like it when at the end of the book Samantha said that JB showed his true colors I didn t like it at all because JB is one of my favorite characters Sean He is deaf but he can dance to music I like how it showed that people who have disabilities are not as helpless as we may imagine them to be. I went into this book with very low expectations, perhaps because of my dislike of Emily Dickinson Of all her poems, I hate Hope the most But this is not a review of Dickinson It s a review of Feathers, and let me just say this book is BEAUTIFUL The writing is crisp and pithy The scenarios are realistic and make sense Within a few sentences I already cared deeply about Frannie and wanted to find out what happens to her throughout the remainder of the book Unlike many modern protagonists, Frannie s problems don t take over her life She worries about the things that are wrong and goes through a normal range of emotions, but she doesn t ignore her life Too many main characters get so wrapped up in their problems that the rest of their life just stops for the reader, and that can get really boring There are so many wise lines snuck in here, especially for a middle grade book Another important factor of this book that caught my attention is religion in my experience, young adult books can go one of two ways Either the protagonist is ultra religious and that s their whole life, or,commonly, religion isn t mentioned at all I don t like religious messages shoved in my face, but it s an important part of many people s lives, so it makes sense it would show up in characters lives Feathers did a nice job of finding a believable balance I suppose I ve raved long enough, but I really, really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a fast but delicious read. I had high hopes for this book, so my two stars may bereflective of my disappointment than of the book s overall quality It s 1971 and Frannie lives with her Deaf brother, her often absent but loving father, and her pregnant mom on the black side of the tracks She worries a lot about her mom, who has already lost babies to miscarriages, about her handsome brother, who s scorned by hearing girls, about her best friend, who s becoming increasingly religious, and about the new kid in her class, a white maybe kid that all the other students call Jesus Boy because of his long hair and pale skin He s mysterious he knows sign language, cries in class, and stirs up all sorts of strange emotions in his classmates Frannie s best friend thinks that he may well be the Messiah redux, but at the end of the book she s convinced otherwise and it s up to Frannie to didactically ruminate that perhaps Jesus is in all of us This is a short book, and perhaps it s the length that made it feel choppy and unfinished, with loose ends that turn outbaffling than poetic Surprisingly, for a storyteller of Ms Woodson s caliber, this book felt like a cautionary tale about showing, not telling I felt like it was a series of lessons, but without much real substance Also, I couldn t help being irked by some of older brother Sean s passages in addition to his saintlike personality, his conversations with Frannie have awfully grammatical English syntax that just didn t seem to flow in the way that ASL does I know that this was a stylistic choice, as I ve read that Ms Woodson studied ASL for many years and knows whereof she writes But along those same lines, one weird moment in the book was when Frannie is in the car with her dad and reflects that it s strange to hear him speak because it s so quiet in the house, what with all the signing and all I paraphrase here It might be just my experience, but every time that I ve been in Deaf spaces, silence is rarer than it is golden all sorts of sounds are around Even though it felt a little idealized, I did love that Sean was attractive, smart, funny, cool, independent, and Deaf, with a foot in both Deaf and hearing cultures and I don t know of any other African American Deaf characters in fiction for young people Even though the hearing girls are rude to him, it s clear to Frannie and to any reader that they re ignorant and just plain wrong I wish we sawcharacters with those qualities, but evenfleshed out. Hope Is The Thing With Feathers, Starts The Poem Frannie Is Reading In School Frannie Hasn T Thought Much About Hope There Are So Many Other Things To Think About Each Day, Her Friend Samantha Seems A Bit 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 Is 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 Jacqueline Woodson Once Again Takes Readers On A Journey Into A Young Girl S Heart And Reveals The Pain And The Joy Of Learning To Look Beneath The Surface