Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of If You Come Softly audiobook

If You Come Softly
by Jacqueline Woodson; read by Jorjeana Marie, Guy Lockard, and Jacqueline Woodson
High School    Listening Library
3 CDs    3.72 hrs    978-0-525-63790-5    $45.00

The twentieth anniversary audiobook of Woodson’s novel opens with her heartfelt introduction about the persistent relevance of this tragic story about an interracial teen couple, Jeremiah (Miah) and Ellie. He’s black, she’s white, and when they meet at school they feel an immediate connection. That connection persists and deepens despite others’ objections and the racism they encounter. Readers Marie and Lockard’s alternating narrations live up to Woodson’s deft characterizations, and their sensitive evocation of young love will send listeners’ hearts aflutter. Although Woodson was inspired by Romeo and Juliet, the tragic conclusion here arrives not with suicides but with a police shooting. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t appear in the two-decade-old text, but the ending reverberates with its sentiment long after the final word is read.

From the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Megan Dowd Lambert About Megan Dowd Lambert

Megan Dowd Lambert is an instructor at Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. For nearly ten years she also worked in the education department of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*