Jacqueline Woodson was the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.
It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat--by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them--everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
YA superstar Jacqueline Woodson dedicates her beautiful, fast-read novel to “all the people who helped me write during a crazy time in our country.” We’d like to +1 that sentiment. Her story of six pre-teens who come together to share dramatic developments in their home lives and their most frightening, covered-up emotions made our heart swell. We loved every one of Goodson’s sixth-grade characters. Their stories humanize issues like immigration and racism—the stuff of explosive headlines these days—and cement our hope that young people are our hope.
Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) celebrates all that is essential and good for humanity compassion, understanding, security, and freedom in this touching novel about six children with special needs. Sixth-grader Haley and her best friend, Holly, don't know much about their four male classmates when they are placed in a self-contained classroom. They soon discover the things that they do and do not have in common when, on Friday afternoons, their teacher takes them to ARTT (a room to talk). Here, without adult supervision, the class can have conversations about anything. Usually the students use the time to unburden themselves of problems ranging from a parent's deportation to bullying in the schoolyard. Haley is the last to spill her secrets, about her mother's death and why her father is in prison, and afterwards she is rewarded with a feeling of lightness, "like so many bricks had been lifted off me," she says. Woodson's skills as poet and master storyteller shine brightly here as she economically uses language to express emotion and delve into the hearts of her characters. Showing how America's political and social issues affect children on a daily basis, this novel will leave an indelible mark on readers' minds. Ages 10 up. (Aug.)
Customer ReviewsSee All
A bit odd
The first half of the book was brilliant. Slow but brilliant. The next half made no sense AT ALL. It was good and all, but not great.
It is a wonderful book to expose to your kids you wouldn’t think a four year old kid is going to understand this type of book my kid is that age this is her fifth book ever yet she really very loves this book she is six now and wow we had to by that book because she hid it on purpose this is probably the 60th time she read it.