Barbara's Reviews > Our Gracie Aunt

Our Gracie Aunt by Jacqueline Woodson
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Aug 12, 11

bookshelves: picture-book
Read in August, 2011

Sometimes Johnson and Beebee are left alone when their mother goes out, but this time she is gone long enough for the neighbors to become concerned. A social worker eventually tracks down their aunt who agrees to take care of them. Johnson is quick to trust Aunt Gracie while Beebee is more reticent. Still, they love their mother, and when the chance comes for them to visit her, they are thrilled. But it's questionable just how stable their mother is at this point, and both children are glad that they have another relative who loves them too. Woodson's language is pitch-perfect, nailing every syllable to evoke the anxiety, fear, mistrust, and security the children feel. One of my favorite lines was the way the aunt described the purpose of crying: "Crying washes you out inside" (unpaginated). The softly hued illustrations provide a sentimental wash to a serious topic handled deftly and honestly by Woodson.
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