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The Other Side

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  8,094 ratings  ·  1,106 reviews
Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of this class
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 15th 2001 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Mr. Kennedy It seems like it's only their fear of what might be on the other side. Both girls seems so curious about why their parents don't want them on the othe…moreIt seems like it's only their fear of what might be on the other side. Both girls seems so curious about why their parents don't want them on the other side. Great question!(less)

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 ·  8,094 ratings  ·  1,106 reviews

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Other Side

I have been reading many children’s books that deal with prejudice and racism, but out of all the children’s books I had read that dealt with that subject; “The Other Side” which is written by Jacqueline Woodson along with illustrations by E. B. Lewis, is probably one of the most uplifting children’s books that deal with that subject ever!

Clover was a young black girl who always wondered about why her mother refused to let her go on the other side of the fence, where a white family lives at. It
This book was on my to-read list. On Wednesday, a colleague handed it to me and strongly suggested it. After reading the book, I quickly decided to share it with my class as a read-aloud. My students were completely engrossed in this story. They asked relevant questions which led to a rich discussion.

In The Other Side, a large fence separates Clover and her family from white people on the other side of town. Clover doesn't understand why there needs to be a fence. Her mother warns, "Don't climb
Lisa Vegan
This is a very simple but not one bit simplistic story. This book would be a fine way to introduce the topics of segregation and interpersonal relationships. It’s really lovely and is beautifully and perfectly complemented with its beautiful watercolor illustrations. I love how the children, particularly the two new friends, are described and depicted. I got a laugh out of how the always clever kids get around the adult made rules, and I really appreciate how Clover’s mother, while very protecti ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
The line dividing the mixing of black and white children is literally a fence put up by their parents to keep them separate. But the children find a way to play together anyway. Outstanding, but also sad.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Segregation and/or Interracial Friendship
Two young girls - one black and one white - observe each other from different sides of a fence in this poignant picture-book exploration of racial segregation, and the tentative steps toward interracial friendship that are taken, despite the barriers (both physical and social) put in the way. Clover, who has been instructed by her mother never to climb over the fence separating the white and black sections of town, observes her white neighbor, Annie, who sits on top of the fence doing some obser ...more
Mid-Continent Public Library
Jacqueline Woodson has the blessed ability to write books for all age groups. As an adult, I can take advantage of all levels. This picture book may seem like it is only for children. It most certainly is not. There are two girls in this book. Clover is black and Annie is white. Between their two houses is a fence that literally separates the two races. Can two girls show their town what it is like to cross that fence and get to know the girl on the other side? Woodson's poetic narrative is beau ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful story, metaphor, glimpse into the thoughts of young girls living in the country in the 1950s is suitably illustrated in natural water color hues of yellow, blue, green and brown. The natural setting of summer and swings, jump ropes, puddles, clouds and friends playing outside sets the tone for the natural development of friendship between two girls who see each other from a blurry distance, but as the story develops they come closer and into clearer focus.

Like many books for chil
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Other Side
By: Jacqueline Woodson
As a high school student I had the chance to look through elementary picture books and a give my opinion on them without reading them. The book that I was assigned to and that my group and I chose is entitled The Other Side.We decided to choose this book because just by seeing the cover we felt that it would have to do with racism and we wanted to see how the author communicated the message in the book. As a group we categorized this book in the section of
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Clover, a young African American girl, and Annie, a young Caucasian American girl, live on opposite sides of a large fence. The fence is intended to keep Black and White townspeople segregated from each other. With each passing summer day, Clover becomes curious about the girl on the other side of the fence. Can they become friends? Will they cross onto the other side?

I enjoy stories where unlikely characters interact and develop a friendship. This book could serve as a mild introduction to race
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Relyn by: I was drawn to the art before I knew a thing about it
I use this book every year to introduce my Civil Rights teaching unit. When I get to the last page of the book, I always cry. She says, "Someday, somebody's gonna come along and knock this fence down." I always close the book and say, "Tomorrow, we'll start to learn about a man, a woman, and a child who helped knock down fences just like this one." And as I speak, I hold up My Brother Martin, Martin's Big Words, If a Bus Could Talk, and The Story of Ruby Bridges. ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Other Side

Author: Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrations: E. B. Lewis

Publisher: G. P. Putnan’s Sons, 2001

This is a children’s picture book concerning race relations. The period of the book appears in the 1950s, based on text and illustrations. Accordingly, the book is dated and the relevance may not be comprehended by many of today’s children. Nevertheless, the book has a potent message that has been brilliantly conveyed by the author and illustrator.

The setting is a rural area that depicts two h
Wendy Gardiner
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The content and illustrations on this book are terrific. Watercolors are an effective medium to convey the outside (setting) and the realistic nature of the story. This book represents the enduring issue of divisiveness (by race, class, culture, gender, sexual orientation). In this particular book the issue is racial segregation and the "fence" as both the literal & metaphoric point of separation of people based on skin color. In this story, a White and Black girl (told from the African American ...more
Linda Lipko
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a pure delight to combine the writing of Newbery honor winner Jacqueline Woodson and the award-winning illustrations of E.B. Lewis.

This is a small book that melds the words and images to make a stellar story with a great moral.

From a distance Clover can see a white girl standing by the fence. Clover's mother warns not to go near the fence because it isn't safe.

Clover watches the child from the safety of her swing. She watches the girl who jumps and plays in water puddles while Clover is to
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale about integration and the literal and figurative fences that kept people of different races apart. We loved that the two little girls dared to become friends, despite the mistrust and fear during the Civil Rights era. I thought it was brave for the little girls to push the boundaries set by their parents, sitting on the fence at first, but not crossing it; testing the waters to see what would happen. And I loved that the narrator's Mom noticed the blossoming friendship a ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous book about finding your way over walls - er, fences - when you're too little to tear them down. ...more
Phil Jensen
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is by far the most accessible Pre-K book about racism that I have encountered. Todd Parr and Faith Ringgold are great, but too abstract to get the point across. This book followed a simple problem/more problem/solution pattern in a small social story that any child could understand. My five year-old asked to read it again the next night. What more could you ask? ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Someday somebody’s going to come along and knock this old fence down,” Annie says. Two young girls, one black one white, become friends sitting on a fence dividing them. Children will learn change can happen. Woodson is one of my very favorite authors.
Lisa Haywood
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
THE OTHER SIDE, by Jacqueline Woodson, is another beautifully-written piece of children’s fiction that will tweak at your emotions and inspire dialogue between reader and audience. Set in what appears to be the early 1960s, shortly before the Civil Rights Act made racial discrimination and segregation illegal, the book offers the hope that even small acts between just a few people can lead to change.

Clover sits in her yard wondering about the fence that stretches through the town, separating wh
NS Kelley
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a story is about a little girls point of view during a time period where racial segregation was still around. Once summer you see her evolve when she makes friends with a white girl, Annie who lives next to her. The story starts when the little black girl, Clover plays on one side of the fence while Annie, sits up on top of the fence. Both children were told not to play on the other side because black children and white children should not play together. Over time, Clover gets up enough ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the other side the main character Clover is an African-american girl who sees an american (white) girl named Annie on the other side of a wooden fence. They both seemed to have much in common and ended up becoming friends.

I would recommend that students within 4th to 6th grade should read this book because that's the time when they start learning about America’s history of separation between white and colored people. This book also has 300 lexile, so that would be a good reading level for ele
Joanne Allen
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Categories/Genres- Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction

Interest level- K-4

Reading level- Gr. 2

Brief description- Historical/realistic fiction: In a town divided by a fence, two young girls learn how to become friends, regardless of their color difference.

Characteristics of this genre and subgenre (discuss how they appear) -Illustrations are equally important to the narration. Without them, the audience would not know that the girls were of different races- White and African American.
-Point of
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Other Side, is a story about an African American girl who grew up next to a fence that divided her from white people. She notices a girl sitting on the fence, and eventually gets courage to sit with her.
This book, by Jacqueline Woodson, introduces the racially segregated south in a positive and hopeful way. This story is a great example of cultural authenticity from how the girl wasn't allowed near the fence because it was dangerous on the other side, to how the girls friends all ignored th
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: week9-21-09
A young black girl named Clover lives in a town where a fence separates the black side of town from the white side and her mother tells her never to cross over the fence. During this summer, her white neighbor named Annie, begins to sit on the fence each day, watching Clover. Clover begins to become more curious about the fence, the girl, and why it’s even there. One day, feeling brave, Clover walks to the fence to meet Annie. From this point on, the girls sit on the fence together each
Mari Miyagi
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The story plot is a bit similar to Each Kindness but I like the ending better than Each Kindness. This story can nicely encourage children to think about segregation and racism, making connections, sharing feelings, personifying, discussing author's viewpoints and messages, and using higher-order thinking. I could also connect this to a history unit on segregation. Although many books that talk about segregation and racism include hardships and struggles, I like The Other Side leaves you with a ...more
Ellen Brandt
This is the book I read to the youngest students to give them a glimpse of the time before Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement. It is a very sweet story, told from the perspective of an African American girl who reaches out to a lonely white girl. Shows how sometimes kids can be wiser than their grownups.
Nov 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids, teachers
A touching story about kids who don't quite understand why race matters but definitely know it does. Good writing and great illustrations. A great book to read to middle schoolers and then discuss. ...more
Maddie Eriksson
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
The historical fiction book, "The Other Side", is relevant to classrooms all over America. African American children and caucasian children grew up with very different lives. Hearing an account of two contrasting lives in one similar setting is interesting because students are able to see how much just the color of one's skin can change their whole life. This book was a WOW book because it is full of joy and wonder. The two girls are both interested in each other's lives, and willing to break ba ...more
Hye Won
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book represents the segregation between the white and the black. In the story, it shows the friendship of the children who have different colors of race through the two girls that one is African American girl whose name is Clover, and the white girl’s name is Annie. As it does not clearly explain us how the segregation worked, but only shows that two curious girls who do not even know why they are separated, it may give confusion to young age readers who do not have background knowledge abo ...more
Jennifer Villalon-Palacios
The Other Side by Jaqueline Woodson is a great realistic/ historical fiction text that demonstrates how friendship can change two strangers. This was a WOW book because the message that it would leave on children is that we can't judge people just because we are told not to talk to them. Clover felt like she couldn't talk to Annie, she didn't know why. She was just told not to, towards the end of the book Clover and Annie break a social barrier and that could be a great point for discussion abou ...more
Tena Edlin
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I read this book for a class I'm taking called It Takes a Family: Using Children’s Books to Raise Social Awareness. This is the kind of book I needed this week. It's beautiful, both in words and in illustrations. I like the message of children being leaders and that there's a way to come together and talk at the fence. Maybe that's the first step. This is the first picture book I've read by Jacqueline Woodson. I love her work for older kids. I'll definitely be reading more... she has something t ...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

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