Every time I read a middle grade novel, I think to myself, “I need to read more middle grade!” This book was no different for me. It’s also my first read by Jacqueline Woodson, and I will absolutely be picking up more by her in the future. I have a copy of If You Come Softly on my shelf and I will be bumping it up on my priority list.
Here are four things that I loved about this book:
- The main character’s voice is incredibly strong. I felt like I was in ZJ’s head and feeling his emotions.
- The friends that ZJ has. I thought it was a beautiful portrayal of good friendship in young kids, something that a lot of YA books lack – another reason that I love middle grade!
- The pacing of the book – while it’s definitely slower paced, it has great buildup and rising action.
- This book contains heavy subject matter written in a way that is digestible and understandable for kids. I think this book will open up conversations and allow parents to educate kids on the dangers of sports related head injuries.
One thing I didn’t love about this book:
- The ending. Can’t spoil it, but if you’ve read it and want to discuss, let me know!