Jacqueline Woodson If You Come Softly
181 pp. Puffin Books. 1998 ISBN: 978-0-14-241522-1 $7.99
“Jeremiah is confident about who he is — that is, when he’s in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But when he starts attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, he realizes that black teenage boys don’t exactly fit in there. So it’s a surprise when, during his first week of school, he feels an immediate connection with a white girl named Ellie. In one frozen moment their eyes lock, and after that they know they belong together — despite the fact that she’s Jewish and he’s black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that’s not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world feels differently” (Taken from Barnes and Noble).
If You Come Softly has been on my TBR list since the summer I took Young Adult Lit at CMU. A couple people in my class read it and raved about how much they loved it; even a couple of the guys! I was fortunate to hear Jacqueline Woodson speak as the keynote speaker at this past fall’s MCTE conference. Listening to her recite portions of her novels is like listening to beautiful music. She’s so poetic in the way she reads, and her writing style is the same.
I fell in love with the characters Jeremiah (Miah) and Ellie. They’re love is so pure and true despite the stares and snide comments as they walk hand in hand or kiss in public. This is a wonderful love story with an unexpected turn of events at the end. I plan on reading the sequel, Behind You, before the summer is over.
Have you read any good love stories this summer?