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Coming on Home Soon

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,671 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
Ada Ruth's mama must go away to Chicago to work, leaving Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. It's war time, and women are needed to fill the men's jobs. As winter sets in, Ada Ruth and her grandma keep up their daily routine, missing Mama all the time. They find strength in each other, and a stray kitten even arrives one day to keep them company, but nothing can fill the hole Mam
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published 2004)
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Karen Witzler
Nov 08, 2014 Karen Witzler rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
The American home front during World War II is the setting for this gentle tale of a girl and her grandmother making do at home while loved ones serve far away. Luminous and comforting illustrations and a spare just-right text that suggests many things while never belaboring the points of loneliness and hardship and a far-off war; and it has a growing kitten to mark the passage of time.
Jul 19, 2017 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Jacqueline Woodson is now one of my new favorite authors. Coming on Home Soon offers so many opportunities for making predictions, inferences, and wonderful discussions.
Jan 22, 2012 L12_Anke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mc-literature
Coming On Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson is a Caldecott Honor Book that tells the story of a young girl named Ada whose mother leaves home to find a job in Chicago. It’s set during World War II when all the men are off fighting in the war and women are needed to fill jobs. “Imagine that, Ada Ruth. A colored woman working on the railroad!” says Ada’s grandmother. This historical fiction picture book is beautifully illustrated as it shows the sadness and loneliness felt by Ada and her strong-will ...more
Jan 15, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: african-american
A simple plot, sparingly yet evocatively told by Jacqueline Woodson, with E.B. Lewis’s beautiful, muted watercolors adding another level to the loneliness and restrained emotions of the text.

“They’re hiring colored woman in Chicago since all the men are off fighting the war.” Then Ada Ruth’s mother, whose hands are warm and soft, who loves Ada Ruth more than anything in the world, even snow, leaves to find work. Ada Ruth stays home alone with Grandma, and does her best not to cry, as she adjust
Alex Baugh
Sep 02, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
When Ada Ruth's Mama decides to go to Chicago to earn some money to send home, Ada Ruth must stay home with her Grandma. Yet as the days pass, and no letter or money comes from Chicago, Ada Ruth misses her Mama more and more. But Grandma reassures her that Mama with be coming on home soon and to just keep writing to her.

When Ada Ruth finds a kitten at the door one cold snowy morning, Grandma tells her she can't keep it, there isn't enough food for themselves with the war going on. let alone a ki
Nov 04, 2010 Simone rated it it was amazing
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Publisher and Date: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004

Summary: Ada Ruth’s mother left her to work in Chicago, a city that was hiring colored women. With her mother working in Chicago to earn money for the family and the men off fighting a war, she is left in the arms of her Grandma. Throughout the sadness and loneliness, Ada Ruth and her Grandma faced, they still found something to smile about.

Review: Jacqueline Woodson wrote a hopeful story that in many ways is timeless. The pl
During World War II, women took the jobs that men held before signing up or being drafted into the war. Ada Ruth's mama finds just such a job in Chicago, which means she has to leave her daughter behind with Grandma. The days are ordinary but hold an emptiness that only Ada Ruth's mama can fill. Finally, a letter arrives saying her mama will be coming home soon.

This is a very quiet story, and very simple. WWII is one of my favorite time periods, and life on the homefront is often not portrayed,
Rachel Dickson
Jun 02, 2017 Rachel Dickson rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Hopeful and sad at the same time, this book is a great reminder that life was hard during war. That not everyone has it so easy. And that chasing your dreams is important, but knowing the roads that lead you home again is even more.

The pictures really tell the story itself. They depict the weather, the cold snow and the flat earth. The soft kitten and the love that each character in the story had for one another. Everything, from the bows in Ada Ruth's hair, to the lamp next to the frosty window
Oct 09, 2016 Matthewluke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-572
Set during World War II, historical fiction and 2005 Caldecott award winning book, Coming On Home Soon will help paint a picture of the role women played during WW II. This story intended for students in grades 2-3 was written by award winning author Jacqueline Woodson. Coming On Home Soon, tells the story of young Ada Ruth, her mother and her grandmother during times of war. During WW II, many women took on jobs that were seen at the time as traditional male jobs. Ada Ruth's mother was one of t ...more
Charmie McKinney
Feb 26, 2014 Charmie McKinney rated it liked it
Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

This story took place at a time of World War II. The men were off fighting and women had to go out and work to take care of the family. "Mama" landed a job in Chicago and had to leave behind her little girl, Ada Ruth, with grandma. Ada and her grandma were missing "Mama" but they had each other. Everyday Ada Ruth would anxiously wait for the mailman to deliver the mail in hopes of a letter from Mama. As Ada waited for the day he
Oct 31, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
In Coming on Home Soon by Jaqueline Woodson, we are introduced to Ada Ruth. On the very first page, her mother informs her that she will be leaving to work in Chicago. She tells Ada Ruth that, “They’re hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting in the war.” Ada stays with her grandma and awaits letters from her mother. She takes in a scrawny kitten that, even her Grandmother comes to love as they try and keep their spirits up through the harsh winter months. Eventually, a ...more
Ashley Adams
Dec 10, 2012 Ashley Adams rated it it was amazing
1. Picture Book: Historical
2. This is the story of a little girl named Ada Ruth, who is left to live with her Grandma after her mother leaves to work in Chicago, because women are needed to work men’s jobs during the war. This recounts the life of Ada Ruth while she waits for her mom to come home, so that life could be normal again.
3. Critique:
a. The stunning illustrations stand out in this historical picture book.
b. The exquisitely detailed artwork in this book complements the sparse word choic
Apr 09, 2012 Daionda rated it liked it
This book provides a great story about a young girl, her mother and her grandmother. Her mother has to leave during the war to fill in the jobs where the men were working before they all left for war. When her mother leaves, the young girl and her grandmother spend time together, trying to comfort her in the time her mom is not around. The young girl keeps writing to her mother; however she does not write back until later in the book. While waiting for her mother’s return the young girl finds a ...more
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Early to Mid Elementary

Format: Picture Book

Awards: Caldecott Honor (2005), ALA Notable Books for Children (2005), fand Charlotte Zolotow Honor (2005)

The watercolor illustrations in this book are beautiful and warmheartedly convey the emotions of a little girl who is desperately missing her mother. The text is equally as tender, as the little girl often remembers her mother’s words when she would tell her that she loved her, how she would remember the w
Ch_beth Rice
Feb 27, 2010 Ch_beth Rice rated it liked it
Coming On Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of a young girl living with her grandmother during World War II. The girl’s mother has left to work in Chicago because “they’re hiring colored women…since all the men are off fighting in the war.” While the young girl waits for a letter from her mother she goes about daily life and the struggles during war time such as not having much food to eat. The girl takes in a stray kitten that her grandmother learns to like and all the while waiti ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Jerrica rated it really liked it
I think this book is really heart breaking because the little girl doesnt see her mom anymore. I feel that the mom got the little girl's hopes up by promising that she'll write but doesn't until the end of the story. I think it would be hard if a child sees one of their parents leaving, so i think this book can somewhat comfort children or show them that they're not the only one going through a situation where they don't live with their parents anymore.

In this book, I really liked how the illus
538 PM Jeremy Kossak
Oct 07, 2013 538 PM Jeremy Kossak rated it really liked it
"Hush now...Your mama's gonna be coming on home soon". Those are the words spoken by Ada Ruth's grandmother as they cling to each other in the hopes that Mama will return. Coming on Home Soon is a sad story, but it's one that is beautifully illustrated with life-like detail.

Readers will forget this book is set during the Second World War. The illustrations are timeless and really do set the mood throughout the story. I felt as if I was part of the narrative. As I read, I felt the characters' pa
Feb 27, 2013 Ch_13catherinecooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
This book takes places during WWII (even though it is not explicitly stated within the text). Ada Ruth is a young girl who's mother has left home (with Ada in the care of her grandmother) to travel north to Chicago to work on the railroads. Her mother explains that, "They're hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting the war." and that she will write and send money home to them. The young girl continuously writes her mother, however she gets discouraged because she never ...more
Brenda Lambert
While reading this book I wanted to cry for the little girl because she was living in a time where jobs and food for a family were hard to have. When her mother left for work in Chicago, and the young girl was really sad all the time because she loved her mother dearly, I found that I could relate to her feelings about missing her mom, because myself when I was little had my mother leave me and my family. But my mother was not leaving to earn money to provide for her family, she was leaving and ...more
Jun 19, 2007 Anna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I really enjoyed this book. It's the story of a girl who lives with her grandmother while her mother goes into the city to find work during the war. I didn't think I would like this book but the author does a wonderful job of describing the way the girl is waiting and missing her mother (without being too sappy or dramatic). I usually like stories that are more obviously cleaver but I grew to love this one and the end made me cry :) it's a gentler story but a powerful one too. E.B. Lewis' waterc ...more
A modern Caldecott Honor picture book. Reading old and new Caldecotts intertwined continues to be an interesting way to see how the world has changed. In this one the writing is relatively simple but not boring. And the production values on the art and paper and binding is high. The picture is a small one and almost timeless except for being set in a rural household at a time of war, perhaps WWII. There is just a little bit of something missing from this one, not quite sure what. But rural scene ...more
Jun 27, 2007 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Jacqueline Woodson tells the story that lets the U.S. know that Rosie the Riveter was not only white but she came in every beautiful shade of brown. This book is quite special to me because my grandmother and aunt both worked in the Tank arsenal in Detroit during that time. Thanks Jackie for remembering these brown beautiful women that too help win the war!
Jan 06, 2017 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Jacqueline Woodson is brilliant. I read this book aloud to a group of fifth graders and they totally understood why I thought it felt like poetry. The rhythms and the silences in this book are pure poetry. Lewis's paintings are poetry as well. Buy the book for a child in your life.
Nov 06, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
really truly loved & appreciated this book
and now I say to our Little Bean "I love you more than the rain. I love you more than the sun!" and I can tell she loves hearing that.
Jan 11, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
This was Jada First World War II book. First I had to explain the time period and then Jada didn't understand why the mom called herself "colored".
May 07, 2017 Arhely rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a picture book that was written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B Lewis. Winner of the Caldecott Honor of 2005.

Main Character: Ada Ruth

Ada Ruth’s mother has to go to Chicago because “they are hiring colored women…since all the men are off fighting in the war.” The set is World War II. Ada has to stay with her grandmother, but she is sad because her mother doesn’t come back for a long time. Ada has a difficult time waiting for her mother. She writes her letters with no answer,
Lynn  Davidson
Jun 02, 2017 Lynn Davidson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Ada Ruth stays with her grandmother when her mother packs and says "They're hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting in the war." She promises to send money home.

In partial sentences, the way of speech, this story is told from the voice of Ada Ruth, a young black girl. A little kitten makes its way into their hearts and home, giving Ada Ruth comfort while she waits a long time for her mother to come on home.

This is such a beautiful quiet story. The illustrations are wo
Stefanie Burns
Mar 21, 2017 Stefanie Burns rated it really liked it
Shelves: caldecott-honor
Heartfelt story about a girl whose mom must leave home for an indeterminate amount of time to work on the railroads during the war to earn money. The girl stays at home during the harsh Winter months with her grandma. This story really tugs at the heartstrings. The text is so emotive and the illustrations emulate the longing of the little girl, and the grandma. There's a little kitten that shows up which breaks some of the sorrow as it adds some home. The story has a happy ending, but throughout ...more
Jacey Hull
Mar 14, 2017 Jacey Hull rated it it was amazing
A great book to teach about the history of women's roles during war.
Mackenzie Putvin
Jun 09, 2017 Mackenzie Putvin rated it it was amazing
This book made a vivid image in my head. It made me feel sorrow for the character, and hope that her mom would come home soon. I had to read to the end, or I would always wonder what happened.
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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
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