Coming on Home Soon
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Coming on Home Soon

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  842 ratings  ·  148 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...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Putnam Juvenile (first published 2004)
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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...more
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,...more
Alex Baugh
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...more
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
Charmie McKinney
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...more
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...more
Ashley Adams
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...more
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
Ch_beth Rice
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
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...more
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
538 PM Jeremy Kossak
"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...more
Jun 22, 2007 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Rosa Cline
Even though this is a children's book, it's not a 'storybook' but yet one that addresses issues of loneliness and wonder and having to have hope when you feel there isn't any left. Ms Woodson teamed up with E.B. Lewis and together this is a fabulously beautiful story. Ms Woodson's story mixed with Lewis' art just amazing.

This book was written during the war, when men have all went off to fight leaving home the women and children to make ends meet when sometimes there wasn't but just very little...more
Myesha Jenkins
Ada Ruth struggles with the sadness brought on by her mother’s departure to Chicago where jobs are rumored to be available for black women. Times are doubly hard for these three generations—Ada Ruth, her mother and grandmother—struggling to subsist under one roof during World War II. Ada Ruth finds a semblance of comfort in her grandmother’s arms and a stray black kitten that grandma grudgingly agrees to let stay.
Woodson uses dialogue masterfully to convey the feelings and emotions of the charac...more
Jun 27, 2007 Nancy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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!
Overall I thought that this was an enjoyable book. I thought that the illustrations were colorful and really quite beautiful. I thought that it reminded me of water color and it made me feel as though I was in the story and experiencing what was happening. I thought that it was a very simple story and plot but I liked the simplicity and the sincerity. I thought that it was a great read because it was relatable to our lives- we have all waited for something in the mail to come. I think that it wo...more
Christine Medunycia
This story is about patience! A family struggles and so much needs to be done to survive! Although this is not necessarily a story of a refugee - I put it in the category because the mom has to leave to make money since the father is off to war. This young girl, her grandmother and new kitten work hard when they are missing her mother. It allows the reader to see that their life was rough yet full of love. The illustrations show the cold, cold weather and the loneliness the grandmother and daugh...more
Ally Copper
"Coming on Home Soon" by Jacqueline Woodson is a story about longing for the return of a loved one. It's a story about missing someone so much that any sign from them, like a letter, would bring joy and peace of mind. Ada Ruth misses her mom, and Grandma misses her daughter. They pass the time together (with the help of a stray kitten), but life just isn't the same with Mama gone. She is in Chicago looking for a way to make money during World War II. She is going to look for work on the railroad...more
A Summary/Thoughtful Review:
Jacqueline Woodson writes a rich, poetic story that expresses the love and bond between mother and daughter. Ada Ruth, a young black girl, and her mother are separated for a length of time, as her mother travels up to Chicago to work on the railroad during the war (although the time is not explicitly stated, readers can infer from the illustrations that it is either World War I or II). Ada Ruth spends the passing days with her grandmother, anxiously waiting her mother...more
Summary: Coming on Home Soon is a book that is set in wartime. The women have to go to work while the men are away fighting for the country. Ada Ruth is left behind with her grandmother because her mother has to leave to work in Chicago. The story is about the strength this family has to keep going while waiting for the rest of the family come back. One day a kitten was scratching at the door and Ada began to feed the kitten some milk. The kitten keeps Ada company as she waits and waits from a l...more
Coming on Home Soon is a historical fiction book written by Jacqueline Woodson that tells a story during World War 2 II about a little girl, Ada Ruth, and her mother has traveled to Chicago for work since men are fighting in the war. Her mother takes this job partly because Chicago is one place that will hire African American women for work. Ada Ruth gets anxious waiting for her mother's return while living with her grandmother. She writes everyday and knows that her mother will be coming on hom...more

Great story! Ada Ruth tries her best to be brave when her mother decides to go to Chicago to work on the railroads during World War II. Times are hard and Ada Ruth must remain at home with her grandmother. Ada Ruth knows her mother loves her more than rain and more than snow, but she still misses her more and more. She constantly waits for the arrival of a letter from her mother. When a stray kitten appears on the doorstep, she puts down a saucer of milk. As Grandmother softens towards t...more
Chris Maynard

Purpose: Historical Fiction (Wide Reading)

Genre: Historical fiction

Format: Picture Book

Age Level: Primary (P): kindergarten-grade 2 (ages 5-7) to Early Intermediate (I): grade 3

Themes: Wartime separation; mother/daughter relationships; longing; hope; poverty; scarcity; rural life

Cultures: African American culture

Read Aloud: Yes

Literary Elements: Strong foreshadowing early in the book when Ada Ruth’s Mama says that she loves her daughter “more than rain”, suggesting that Mama will be gone for a...more
The story coming on home soon is written by Jacqueline Woodson, and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. This is a story about a young girl named Ada Ruth whose mother goes off to work in Chicago during the war. Her mother tells her she will be back and also will write her and send her money while she is away. Ada writes her mother but she doesn’t write back. Ada gets lonely and one day a kitten comes along and her grandmother who she is staying with lets her keep the cat. The kitten keeps her company whi...more
Coming On Home Soon

Genre: historical fiction

Summary: Ada Ruth, a young black country girl living with her mother and grandmother try to make ends meet duirng World War II. Ada's mother travels to Chicago to work, while Ada stays behind waiting anxiously for her to return.

A. The watercolor illustrations are primarily important in conveying the meaning behind this story.

B.The illustrations are graceful, and have a silent peaceful quality to them. The style and composition of the illustrations sho...more
Text Summary
Ada Ruth sits by and watches as her mother packs her bags to leave. Her mother says, “Ada Ruth, they’re hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting the war.” (WWII) Ada Ruth’s mother leaves her daughter in the care of her grandmother while she is away. As they patiently await the return of mother, Ada Ruth and her grandmother are visited by a small kitten. Although grandmother initially has no intentions of allowing this kitten to stay, the kitten ends up makin...more
Christina Mathers
This story takes place during one of the wars in America's past. Ada's mother is going to work in Chicago. They are hiring "colored women" because the men are off to war. Ada has to stay behind with her grandma. During the story Ada is patiently waiting for her mother to return or to even write back to her. The story goes on to talk about how long they have been waiting with no reply and no money. They even talk about how there is a war going on and "Some days not much food to speak of." In the...more
Joanna Cheng
It is very sad story. In the story it narratives about mother-daughter relationship and granddaughter-grandmother relationship. Before Ada's mother went off to chicago for work, she gave Ada a hope that she will be coming on home very soon because they will have been separated a long time. Thus, she wants her daughter to have faith on it and not to give up. In fact, no body knows when Ada's mother returns to home. However, Ada has been hoping to see her mother again and believes that she will se...more
Published: 2004, Puffin
Age: 4-8

EB Lewis’s soft watercolor pictures expand Woodson’s text emotionally and say even more. The setting is wartime and the characters are African American, this time in the North. Times are very hard and the mother must go off to Chicago to find work. Ada Ruth and her Grandmother are left missing her very much and waiting for a letter and some money. The grandmother must remain strong and her strength seems sometimes harsh. But Woodson brings a kitten into the story...more
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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
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