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.


February 13, 2008

My response to Feathers

Filed under: "Feathers" — kariredmond @ 11:22 pm

I was honestly disapointed in this novel for some reason. Perhaps it was because I was coming right off of finishing Tyrell and I really enjoyed that read, but I had a hard time finding the narrative credible.  Although it was a work of fiction, I had a hard time with a lot of the description used in the novel.  If the narrator is supposed to be in 6th grade, are we really expected to relate to the imagery and almost poetic description that she carries on throughout the story? I felt like some of it was over the top and really took away from the story itself, which was good. I did like the plot and storyline but felt distracted by some of the “outside” stimulus presented. 

That being said, it was an easy read and did have a solid moral to the story about differences and the way that we treat others.  Also, the aspect of hope was well played with the impending birth of a new baby brother or sister as well as the hope that Sean had to enter into the world of the hearing.  I could see it’s place in a classroom, but I have definately read better (this week!).

Tear factor

Filed under: "Feathers" — scrollman @ 7:25 pm

After I finished reading Feathers I thought of a great way to measure the value of a book: “the tear factor”.  Multiply the times you cry in a book, by the intensity on a scale of one to ten, and then divide by the number of pages to get your final value.  There was something so tender about this book.  It made me want to wake up my two year old son and give him the longest and deepest hug imaginable.  This book really moved me and I sincerely relate to its message.  People are good at heart.  We might be mixed up, hurt, ignorant, selfish, greedy, cruel, and everything else you can think of, but there is good somewhere in all of us.  Woodson so eloquently makes this point without being overly sentimental; I’m such a sucker for stories where children act with such kindness and courage.  It really does give me hope (sigh).


February 10, 2008

Jacqueline Woodson and FEATHERS

Filed under: "Feathers" — sunyprof @ 9:51 am

I am happy to be introducing many of you who may not know her work to Jacqueline Woodson this semester. Enjoy the video clip, a short reading of FEATHERS, posted on Woodson’s website. Jacqueline Woodson was named the Margaret A. Edwards American Library Association recipient for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults in 2006. FEATHERS is a Newbery Honor Book this year. You can see videos of her reading her work, including FEATHERS, at her website. KES

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