One of my newer Readathon traditions, besides reading a Roald Dahl book has been to add a Jacqueline Woodson book to my stack. I own much of her backlist and so, because she writes short contemporary books that dance on the edge of middle grade and young adult, she becomes a readathon priority. I read Miracle’s Boys about a year ago, I kept procrastinating on writing a review – it wasn’t because I didn’t like the book, but because I am a super lazy reviewer. Alas, I greatly enjoyed Miracle’s Boys and recommend it as a readathon book or one for the middle school library.
Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson is about 13 year old Lafayette and his two older brothers Ty’Ree and Charlie who are trying to lead normal lives despite the loss of both parents. Their dad died when they were quite young, their mother died more recently. This is not their only trouble. Ty’Ree, the oldest is largely absent because he is working hard to pay the bills and keep a roof over the boys’ heads. Charlie is newly returned from a stint in prison – it’s not what you think it is, FYI. And well, Lafayette is in middle school and middle school is hard. This short book is all about family, grief, and moving forward.
It’s been a really long time since I read Miracle’s Boys, like I said above, so I can’t be totally specific. Here’s what I remember – I did not dislike Lafayette, the main character. I thought he seemed like a good kid, but honestly you guys I don’t remember specifics. What I do remember is that I really liked his two brothers, especially Charlie because he’s unexpected and he’s actually making the best of a bad situation.
As for the writing, I thought Woodson does a great job plotting and pacing the story. She makes characters who might not have the best background compelling and sympathetic. I really loved reading the interactions between the three brothers, even when maybe the interactions weren’t the most positive. From what I do remember, Miracle’s Boys took about an hour and fifteen minutes to read. It’s well-written and you know, looking back, a warm sort of story once all is said and done. I enjoyed this book even though I totally do not remember much.
PS I think this cover is a travesty, the newer one is gorgeous but the internet does not seem to contain any high resolution versions. Alas.
Disclosure: Purchased my own copy
Other reviews of Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson:
Crazy QuiltEdi – “a rich story in a very thin book”