December 8, 2014

My Thoughts: I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson

3 soft snickerdoodles.

Cover Love:  No, but I saw there were several editions of this book and many other great covers.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
My library has a bunch of Jacqueline Woodson books and I keep meaning to read some of them.  I saw mention of this one in an article so I went to my shelves right then and checked it out. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Marie, the only black girl in the eighth grade willing to befriend her white classmate Lena, discovers that Lena's father is doing horrible things to her in private.


Romance?: No

My Thoughts:
You know, when I, as an adult, hear a story about a kid keeping a monumental secret  I can't help but wonder "why didn't they say anything?"  But I am older and have more experience with life so it would seem natural to me to tell or to get help.  It's not natural to kids and when they have a friend telling them something that they absolutely cannot tell anyone else, then they don't.

This book was written in the 90's but Marie's father remembers too well segregation and blacks struggling to be considered equal, so he is suspicious of all whites, including Lena.  Mostly he is worried that Marie will end up hurt by  Lena somehow.  But as the cover says "friendship is more than skin deep" and that's really true in this book.  Not only are they girls different colors, but different socio-economic classes as well.  That was also worrisome for Marie's father.  Really they have two hurdles to overcome.

The ending was interesting because sometimes people come in and out of your life quickly.  The sad part is that while you, as a reader, hope that Lena and Dion (her sister) make it to a better life, the reality is that they probably ended up somewhere worse.  If only a grown up had known what was going on...

To Sum Up:  This is one of the types of books that kids in my library enjoy because it gives them a glimpse of a life that most of them don't experience.  Now that I have read it I can book talk it effectively and I know that I will have several interested readers.  And that this can spark some great conversations!

Book from my school library.

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