What if Jesus joined your 6th grade classroom and knew sign language?
This is one of the puzzles Frannie, the 11 year old narrator In Jacqueline Woodson's book, Feathers, is trying to figure out. The mystery of the new boy in her class and what it means for her family, her friends and how she views hope is completely captivating.
Hope is a central theme but also family, community and love. Frannie is a 6th grader in the early 1970's on the black side of a community separated by a highway. When a boy, eventually named Jesus, joins her class, Frannie and her friends question their prejudices, assumptions, their religious convictions and what their "hope" looks like. The relationship between Frannie and her family members, including her deaf older brother, Sean, her father, mother and her grandmother, are beautifully written and described using sign language, written words and emotions which make it such a layered and poignant story. This is a story about change, transition and loss but also about new beginnings and hope.
Recommended by Tina Andrews