"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Friday, 3 September 2010

MIRACLE'S BOYS by Jacqueline Woodson

Miracle's Boys is the story of three brothers, Ty'ree, Charlie, and Lafayette and their struggle to stay together as a family after the death of their mother. The family struggles actually began years ago when the boys' father died after saving a jogger and her dog from drowning.
Milagro, (miracle, in Spanish) was left to raise three boys on her own. There was little money but Milagro was able to pass on her strong values and love of learning to her boys.

This is an eloquent story of the power of love to sustain a family, against tough odds. Despite her death, Milagro is a powerful presence in the lives of her sons and it is her spirit that keeps the boys together and helps them resist the destructive lures of the streets.

Their mother, whose name was Milagro, (Miracle in Spanish) was the center of the family and held them together. Now they must rely on each other while learning to deal with the death of their mother.

Born on February 12th in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She now writes full-time and has recently received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.

The issue of identity is central to the three books under discussion, yet each seems to approach this topic differently. Was this a deliberate choice on your part? What does each of these stories say about the teen characters and their struggles to define themselves?

Identity has always been an important and very relevant issue for me. For a lot of reasons, I've been 'assigned' many identities. From a very young age, I was being told what I wasblack, female, slow, fast, a tomboy, stubbornthe list goes on and on. And this happens with many children as they are trying to become. So that by the time we're young adults, no wonder we're a mess!! There are so many ways we come to being who we are, so many ways in which we search for our true selves, so many varying circumstances around that search. No two people are alike but every young person is looking for definition. My journey as a writer has been to explore the many ways one gets to be who they are or who they are becoming.

Although these are very different stories, they each reflect what can happen to African Americans when they are impacted by the criminal justice system. What do you want your readers to understand about this?

I don't really know what I want readers to understand. I know what it helps me to understandthat the criminal justice system has historically not worked for African-Americans, that the percentage of people of color as compared to whites in jail, killed by cops, racially profiled and constantly singled out is unbalanced. I want the system to be different and the only way that it can change is if the way our society looks at race changes. And the only way that can happen is if people really start paying attention and making a decision to create change.

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