One of the reasons I adore owning books is so I can dogear them. As I read, I tends to dogear pages with sentences, passages, paragraphs, and descriptions that resonate with me in some way. Sometimes there are places where I laugh out loud; other places might be interesting turns of phrases. I just like to revisit some pages and words and sentences.
If I were to have begun dogearing the newest Jacqueline Woodson novel, though, I fear each page would have some mark or fold. Here is a WORDSMITH, someone so skilled with how language can convey shivers and shrugs, and other tiny reactions. This truly is a "lovely" work, one that educators should read and then use with students. Read it aloud, give them copies of a paragraph to study as a model. Enjoy the taste of the words and the sharpness of the images.
When Frannie's teacher shares the Emily Dickinson poem with the class, Frannie is not sure what to make of it at first. How can hope be a thing with feathers? However, as readers follow Frannie and her friends and family over the course of a brief period of time, the meaning of the poem becomes clear to Frannie and to us all. There is the glimmer of hope that brightens Frannie's brother's eyes when hearing girls approach him, drawn by his physical beauty. When they learn Sean is deaf and leave, Frannie watches some of that hope drain from her brother. Then, there is the hope about Mama and her pregnancy. the hope Frannie's friend has that maybe the new boy is someone special.
This is not a book easily booktalked (no duh, huh?). It is a short book but one nest savored and not read too quickly. Most of all, it is a book to share with someone else, to dogear to death, and ultimately to revisit.