Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 15, 2008

Reaction to Feathers

Filed under: "Feathers" — traverse02 @ 4:42 pm

“…All that was left was me and my pen and my paper and the whole wide world spinning around me.” p112

Jacqueline Woodson’s Feathers is very big for such a small novel. I, for one, couldn’t help but pay attention to the deep religious themes running throughout. Why would Jesus bother appearing at the school on the other side of the tracks? After all, Jesus was a human boy at one point wasn’t he? Coming from a strict Catholic background, I was amazed at how eloquently Woodson managed to capture the types of questions that religious faith brings to young minds. Frannie is a very thoughtful, introspective character and she doesn’t buy into much, which is why I wanted to see her deny Jesus like I did long ago when my 5th grade teacher–a decrepit old nun–told me my dog didn’t have a soul (this was the moment I started questioning my faith). But I think she has a purer vision of religion than I do, and most devoutly religious people do. She doesn’t allow it to weigh down on her like a burden. Instead, it’s like a feather, and it gives her hope instead of dread, and it inspires her to tell a very touching story.

Great book for a classroom, touching on everything from inter-racial relations and segregation to stereotypes and questions of faith, all of which are ripe for discussion. I am happy to have it in my library.

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1 Comment »

  1. Raph, I’m glad you could appreciate FEATHERS. I agree with you — it’s a small book that has a big heart/theme(s). Jacqueline Woodson is worth reading. I brought her new title “After Tupac and D Foster” to class last night but no one bit. Maybe you’d like to read it. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 15, 2008 @ 5:08 pm


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