Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

First line: There was always the Hocking River running a red mud trail through Chauncy, Ohio.

Why you should read this book: In a hard, sad, coming-of-age piece, Marie, a well-off, popular girl in a predominantly black suburb, is drawn to Lena, a poor white girl who lives by the dump. The girls share the common sorrows of absent mothers (Lena's dead and Marie's on permanent "walkabout") and secret disappointment in their fathers (Marie's father hasn't touched her since the night her mother left; Lena's father touches her in ways she can't discuss). In the face of racial and class discrimination, Marie tries to ease Lena's pain and understand a world larger than her insulated middle-class community.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You believe father always knows best.

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