FRIDAY BOOK SHARING!
Almost impossible to believe, but this book is now twenty years old. Published in 1998, If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson has been popping up 0n young adult must read lists year after year. I just reread this book, thinking of those twenty years as I read. Is this book just as powerful as the first read in 1999? A resounding yes! Miah and Ellie’s story is relevant, moving, and powerful. This is the story of two teenagers who are forbidden to be together. In that sense, the story is simple. And yet it is so much more than that because of the depth and clarity that Woodson creates in her exploration of racism in this novel. Miah and Ellie have to navigate the world around them, the world that reacts to their relationship even as they cannot understand the people around them see race before they see the person inside. The language is both quiet and vivid. Miah and Ellie’s story will definitely stay with the reader. Years later, all of this story came back to me as I read, along with all of the emotions I remembered when I read it for the first time. Still powerful. Still heartbreaking. And still relevant.