Book Review: Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Before the Ever After: Woodson, Jacqueline: 9780399545436: Books

Title: Before the Ever After

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Genre: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction/Books in Verse

Number of Pages: 175

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

This was probably my favorite book I’ve read so far by Jacqueline Woodson, besides Locomotion and Peace, Locomotion. It’s a sad but beautifully written story about a little boy named Z.J. whose dad is a famous football player. Z.J.’s life with his loving parents and his close-knit group of friends seems idyllic, but then his dad’s behavior becomes erratic and his family has to cope with the realization that his dad has sustained long-lasting brain injuries from his years in football.

Sometimes I thought Z.J. was too sophisticated and ‘wise beyond his years’ for a twelve-year-old, but for the most part I liked his narrative voice. I really liked his relationship with his friends and how they were always there for him. I wish all pre-teen friendships were this strong and all boys were this comfortable with talking about feelings. Overall, this is an important book about a timely subject that manages to avoid being didactic or preachy.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

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