Before the Ever After

Jacqueline Woodson. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-399-54543-6
National Book Award winner Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) provides a beautiful and heart-wrenching story in her latest middle grade novel. Twelve-year-old Zachariah "ZJ" Johnson Jr.'s pro-football player father has always been hailed as an American hero and a loving husband and father. Slowly, though, he begins to become forgetful and even shout "at people when/ you were never the kind of guy/ to yell before." Starting in 1999, ZJ leads readers on a journey through memories of a time before his father's persistent headaches kept him from playing football, when he still loved music and wrote songs with ZJ, and into the "ever after," when he sometimes forgets even ZJ's name. Eloquent prose poetry creates a moving narrative that reveals the grief of a child trying to understand why his father has changed and why nothing can be done. An ardent account of the multitudes of losses experienced by those who suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy and its effects on their families, ZJ's doleful tale unveils the intense nostalgia and hope one can feel despite realizing that sometimes what is lost can never be regained. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/30/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-0-593-34123-0
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X
X