Title: Coming On Home Soon
Written by: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2004 Fiction Caldecot Honor Book; Ala notable 2005: Booklist editors choice;
Themes: Separation, Mother and child, Grandmothers, African-Americans, World War. 1939-1945-United States.
Written for ages: Elementary school
Resource pages: http://us.penguingroup.com/static/images/yr/pdf/tl-guide-jacquelinewood.pdf for teacher guides. Also can go to http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/teachers.shtml for links of Ala teen reads and other tips on where to find teaching material.
From the Jacket: it’s wartime, and women have to go to work while the men are off fighting. Ada Ruth’s mama has a job in Chicago, and she must leave Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. Now Ada Ruth and Grandma are missing Mama ans trying to keep each other strong. But some days, it feels like nothing can fill the emptiness in their hearts. Then a surprise comes to their door and gives them something to fuss over while they wait for the letter that will say Mama’s coming on home soon.
First few sentences: Mama’s hands are warm and soft. When she put her Sunday dress in the satchel, I held my breath. Tried hard not to cry. Ada Ruth, she said. They’re hiring coloring women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting in the war.
Why I love it: It’s sad and hopeful at the same time, a guaranteed page turner. It’s timeless. Now with men coming home from war in the middle East it’s as pertinent as ever. It’s about the strength of women everywhere and the importance of those who keep the home fires burning.
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