Laura Noto's Reviews > The Other Side

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
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's review
Nov 02, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction

The Other Side is a picture book for students in grades 1-4. It is about a young African-American girl named Clover and a young Caucasian girl named Annie. Clover’s house is near a large fence that segregates the town. All of the African-Americans live on one side and the Caucasians live on the other. Clover’s mother always tells her not to go over the fence because it isn’t safe. She begins seeing Annie sitting on top of the fence. She wants to go talk to Annie but she is unsure. After a rainstorm she is feeling brave and she goes over to say hello. Annie points out that their mothers told them not to go over the fence, but they didn’t say anything about sitting on top of the fence. They sit there together all summer and become friends. Annie befriends Clover’s friends and at the end of the book they comment on how someone should tear the fence down.
This was a beautiful story with a beautiful message. All readers would be able to appreciate the plot and tone. Even thought the town is segregated, Clover and Annie don’t seem to care much about race. One of the more powerful pictures shows Clover with her mother and Annie with her mother in town. They are passing each other and dressed almost identically. They are very similar except for the color of their skin. At the end of the story Clover, Annie, and all of Clover’s friends all hang out and sit on the fence. This book shows that children do not judge others unless they are taught to judge.
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