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If You Come Softly
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If You Come Softly (If You Come Softly #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,778 ratings  ·  444 reviews
Both Elisha (Ellie) and Jeremiah (Miah) attend Percy Academy, a private school where neither quite fits in. Ellie is wrestling with family demons, and Miah is one of the few African American students. The two of them find each other, and fall in love -- but they are hesitant to share their newfound happiness with their friends and families, who will not understand. At the ...more
Paperback, 181 pages
Published June 22nd 2006 by Speak (first published September 28th 1998)
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Feb 22, 2008 Greta rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: perfect for middle/lower high school (girls probably; might appeal to boys)
Recommended to Greta by: sophia sarigianides
Shelves: young-adult
if you come softly
as the wind within the tress
you may hear what i hear
see what sorrow sees...

and if you come i will be silent
nor speak harsh words to you
i will not ask you why, now.
or how, or what you do.

we shall sit here softly
beneath two different years
and the rich earth between us
shall drink our tears.

bi-racial city romance.
lyrical, simple, sweet, and as such, heartbreaking.

This story has been done before: a forbidden romance between two young people. Society won't accept their love and only a tragedy can bring everyone together. Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. It is a plot that has become cliche, but there is something special about If You Come Softly.

The book is about Elisha, a white Jewish girl, and Miah, an African-American boy, both living in New York City. For them, it is love at first sight. They click instantly and share everything with eachother, eve
Amanda Touchton
This book was listed as a LGBTQ novel, but the book didn't really deal with any LGBTQ issues. The story is about a relationship between an interracial couple, Ellie and Jeramiah, at a wealthy private school; about how their relationship progresses, and how they deal with the outside world's response to their love.
I thought the book painted a beautiful picture of two people who had a deep connection. From the moment they first see each other, Ellie and Miah are atracted to one another. The more t
Jan 06, 2011 Travis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Ellie and Jeremiah fall in love at first sight. The fact that he's black and she's white doesn't matter to them, but it's all everyone else can see.[return][return]This had some good stuff going on. I particularly liked the chapters in Jeremiah's POV and his observations about the world...that's pretty much all that saved it from being a run-of-the-mill teen issue book. As it is, it didn't save it enough for me. [return][return]There's a lot of stuff labelled YA that I read and wonder why it was ...more
A quiet, beautifully etched portrait of a first love that is shattered by the racism, If You Come Softly traces the relationship of two teens whose lives intertwine for a short but life-changing time. Ellie is Jewish and white. Jeremiah is black. Both are from well-to-do families where it's sometimes hard to be yourself, and both are new students at Percy Academy. It was Jeremiah's father, a well-known African American filmmaker, who wanted Jeremiah to attend a private school. Jeremiah doesn't l ...more
"If You Come Softly" is a story of unrequited love between Jeremiah, a fifteen-year-old African American and Ellie, who is Jewish. Both are transferring from other areas. Jeremiah, a basketball player, has just begun going to a preparatory school (Percy Academy) in New York. He and the other few African American boys are not widely accepted because of the color of their skin, and Jeremiah unexpectedly meets Ellie. They become inseparable from that day forth but are reluctant to tell their parent ...more
Kendall M
i LOVED this book! This book had emotions everywhere. The feelings Miah and Elle had for each other told the story of true love. Miah was Black, Elle was white, that didn't stop them from loving one another. The detail in this book was Phenomonal! The best detail it had was one Miah was running through the park with his basketball, he was thinking of Elle, basketball, his family, school, the snow twirled all around him, and then the moment he gets shot you hold your breath. I never wanted to put ...more
Andrew Anthony
If You Come Softly is a love story. Jeremiah and Ellie are both new transfer students at Percy Academy. Jeremiah is an African American basketball player from Brooklyn. His father is a famous movie director and author. His parents are divorced. Ellie is the daughter of a white, Jewish doctor. She lives with her parents in a wealthy neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her mother has abandoned her twice in the past so Ellie still feels anger and mistrust toward her mother. Jeremiah a ...more
Caroline Saltzman
I REALLY liked this book. I started reading it yesterday, and I finished today. It was so clear and understanding. It shows me a lot of how people think and how it feels to be the victim of a stereotype. Ellie and Jerimiah are sophmores in a private school called Percy. Jerimiah is black, and Ellie is white, but that doesn't seem to matter. Since they both first saw each other they knew that they were meant to be together. Througout the story there are people who judge their reliatonship, like t ...more
Jamie Poorman

APA Citation: Woodson, J. (1998). If you come softly. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Genre: Multicultural

Format: Print (hardcover, 181 pages)

Selection Process: School Library Journal review,

Elisha (Ellie) and Jeremiah (Miah) couldn’t appear more different from one another - she an upper-middle class white Jewish girl and he a tall, thin, curly haired African American boy - but they are more alike that anyone knows. Both fifteen year old sophomores in their first semester at Perc
This book was recommended by Justine Larbalestier who wrote "Liar" in her recommendations for books "like" Liar. Um, I don't know what planet anyone who saw any similarities between these two books is from, beyond both being set in NYC. Seriously, that's all I can come up with, other than the race of one of the characters.

If You Come Softly is the most trite, simplistic love story about the love between a Jewish girl and a black boy - that perfect star crossed love that they both feel the moment
This book..... I have never read a book that has spoken to me more, and trust me I have read A LOT of books.
The character of Jeremiah truly resonated with me. I've never seen so much of myself in a character...... And that makes the book all the more special to me.
I actually had the pleasure of meeting Ms Woodson during the Summer. She is an amazing woman, so down to earth and real.
There is something much deeper than the basic plot in this story. Deeper than boy meets girl, a love tainted by r

If You Come Softly depicts a love story between black Jeremiah and white Ellie in Manhattan, NY. Even though the book takes place in the 1990s, Jeremiah and Ellie experience racial tendencies against their relationship. Family and friends alike disdain of the match, but Jeremiah and Ellie love each other enough to ignore other people's comments. Also during the novel, Ellie struggles with her relationship with her mother, and Jeremiah has a rough time with his father relationsh
Mar 15, 2009 Heidi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heidi by: 50books_poc (sort of)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've been reading Woodson's books and truly do not understand how she has accumulated so many awards. Yes, her books deal with race and cultural differences. But I find most of them extremely short, to the point of not exploring the subjects in depth. I also find her endings very distressing. If you are black, you seem to have a tragic ending where there is no real indication about a future for the other characters.

In this book, which in fact does have a sequel, there is an interracial couple. T
Ravenne Cooper
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. But to be forthright, the book was very difficult to keep focus on. I was bored with the book and felt like some scenes would be stretched and then others were rushed. But I did love the use of words used by Jacqueline Woodson.
It is about a two teenagers of different races. Jeremiah is black while Elisa is Jewish. They meet each other in their new high school and become infatuated with each other. They fall in love but see how people look at
The first time I get a hold of this book I opened it and looked how many pages it has (This has been a ritual every time a buy or borrow a book HAHA). First thing that came to my mind that this is just a light read and I can finish this within an hour or so but I also saw that the fonts are so big and there are big spaces which made me think that this story is too short, and I kept wondering how would it end, and how would it flow in just 180+ pages? It made me interested too because it has topi ...more
If you come softly
Jacqueline Woodson

Woodson writes a compelling story of young love, not the - I think you’re cute – love but the soul mate at first sight love. High school students at a prestigious New York private school, Ellie and Miah find each other and the problems associated with interracial couples. Miah comes from a high profile black family and Ellie’s parents are an upper class Jewish family. Both experience family issues that leave them lonely and distrustful of others until they
Because this was a YA book, it made for easy reading as far as the writing goes, but the topic is not an easy one. This books takes on the tough topic of interracial relationships, and also just race as a whole.

Miah and Ellie are young and in love, but when they are togther, they get "looks" from old ladies on the street and peers at their school. Ellie even has a fight with her sister, who is gay, because her sister tries to preach to her about the difficulties of her relationship with Miah.

A black guy and a Jewish girl meet in a private school
Nothing happens
Then they get really happy
And then the boy dies
He dies
I picked up this book because my library didn't have a copy of Woodson's newer work "Brown Girl Dreaming" and I am incredibly glad that I did. It's a book filled with emotional richness and realism in the way teenagers love and process.

In full disclosure this book moved me to tears at least twice. The first was about mid-way through the book and the second was full on snot-running-from-nose-can't-catch-breath crying at the end. Woodson uses emotions and characters thoughts like paint to craft t
Allyson (Belle)
[Review done for my Teaching Literature to Adolescents class]

Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly is the story of two teenagers experiencing love for the first time. This can be an exciting and challenging time for every teenager, but Jeremiah and Ellie’s love story is complicated by the fact the he is black and she is white. Though they have different skin colors, they knew the moment they locked eyes that there was something special between them. Their friendship quickly grows to love as t
I really loved If You Come Softly. It's a quick read but hugely powerful. The story unfolds in alternating chapters, told from Ellie and Miah's differing perspectives. So the reader gets to see how both of them reacted to their first meeting and to the unfolding of their relationship, which I really enjoyed.

The rest of the review can be found on my blog http://notenoughbookshelves.blogspot....
Kirsten Erin
I first heard about Jacqueline Woodson last year. One of the great things about following a ton of YA authors on Twitter is that when one of them gets an award, everyone goes crazy. In 2014, Jacqueline Woodson won the National Book Award for her most recent novel, Brown Girl Dreaming. I was eager to read the book that everyone has been talking about, but I'm trying not to buy too many books until my income gets a little more stable (something I'm still failing epically at, since I've bought nine ...more
Scarlett Peterson
The subject of interracial couples and the struggles that they face are still a very prevalent issue today, especially in certain areas and among certain cultural groups.

This pairing began in a very trope-y way, but it was still adorable. Of course she dropped her books, of course he helped her to pick them back up again. What a token scene full of cute symbolism. It's as though he's helping her to pull herself back up and together. Their relationship was cut short, but they had a lasting effec
Dayhana Vasquez
The problems between interracial couples are very hard to overcome. Especially when people you revolve around don't accept it. This book have changed my opinion in a way that made me aware of what actually goes on between interracial couples. The challenges they go through just to be with each other. And the love they carry within them is so extraordinary. That is, until death tears them apart...
Sydney J
From this book I learned that somethings weren't meant to happen, but they just do. This boy and this girl in this book never meant to be together and it's really obvious, but they end up together. I find this truly amazing. It was a really good book and I enjoyed reading it! This book is really romantic and has a lot of meaning to it. It is definetly one of my top books that I have read.
Apr 04, 2014 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: introspective star-crossed teens
Recommended to Kate by: Rivera
Shelves: ischool, teen-fic
Annotation: Jeremiah, called Miah, and Elisha, called Ellie, are both fifteen-year-old fish out of water at tony Percy Academy in a timeless Manhattan. Although both come from well-off families, Miah struggles with being the only child of divorced, famous parents and one of the few black students at Percy, while Ellie is the by-far youngest child of an intact but emotionally remote family whose mother has disappeared twice and left her unable to count on anyone. From the moment that Ellie bumps ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Whitney Rampley
This work appeals to anyone that enjoys a story about overcoming stigmas in society and the joys of young love. I have always enjoyed reading about romance, but this work is not the typical romance found in most novels. The story is about the relationship between an African American boy and a Jewish white girl. The work was very well written, and keeping me immersed in the life of Ellie and Jeremiah. The story was told from both perspectives, allowing me to get a better insight into the inner wo ...more
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: second quarter book review 1 3 Jan 31, 2014 04:10PM  
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I used to say I’d be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing.

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories a
More about Jacqueline Woodson...

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“Time comes to us softly, slowly. It sits beside us for a while. Then, long before we are ready, it moves on.” 44 likes
“I think only once in your life do you find someone that you say, "Hey, this is the person I want to spend the rest of my time on this earth with." And if you miss it, or walk away from it, or even maybe, blink - it's gone.” 15 likes
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