Jennifer's Reviews > If You Come Softly

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
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Nov 21, 09


If You Come Softly is a touching, deeply moving novel that takes its name from a poem by Audre Lorde. The book unfolds the love story between two teenagers of different races and religions. Although Woodson doesn’t delve into their difference in religion, she brings their racial differences to the forefront with ease, making the reader question what he or she knows about race relations. Instead of taking the “colorblind” approach, Woodson chooses for her characters to acknowledge their differences and find them beautiful, which is an excellent lesson for young adult readers to learn. The book also captures the dizzy feeling of youthful infatuation, which will give young readers a point of empathy and identification. I would bring this novel into my classroom alongside teaching point of view, as the novel shifts between first and third person. I would also use the text as a lead into discussions about race relations, prejudice, and social injustice. It would be a good match with I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This or Hush, both by Woodson.
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