Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Genre: Young adult fiction
How I got the book: I bought it
Summary (from Amazon):
Evie Thomas is not who she used to be. Once she had a best friend, a happy home and a loving grandmother living nearby. Once her name was Toswiah.
Now, everything is different. Her family has been forced to move to a new place and change their identities. But that’s not all that has changed. Her once lively father has become depressed and quiet. Her mother leaves teaching behind and clings to a new-found religion. Her only sister is making secret plans to leave.
And Evie, struggling to find her way in a new city where kids aren’t friendly and the terrain is as unfamiliar as her name, wonders who she is.
My Review (may contain spoilers!):
I read this book in eighth grade and loved it. When I came across it at the bookstore, I felt I had to buy it. This was the first time I’ve read it since then.
There’s a much deeper meaning to this book that 13-year-old me didn’t catch the first time I read the book.
A young girl and her family got into Witness Protection after her father, a police officer, witnesses a murder.
The book follows Toswiah–now Evie–as she and her family struggle with their new life and new identities. It strains her relationship with her sister, her parents’ marriage becomes rocky, and no one is happy. Everyone is confused.
It’s great to watch all the characters go through the change in their own way. Anna, Evie’s older sister, desperately finds a way out through college. Their mother finds strength through religion as a Jehovah Witness. Their father struggles with it the most as he sits by the window thinking of his choices and the dreadful day he witnessed a 15-year-old boy get murdered by two cops; those cops being close friends to him and his family.
The novel is all about identity. Be yourself. Be true to who you are, but in the end we’re all human.
Which is where the underlying theme comes in: racism.
Evie and her family are black. The young boy that was killed was black. The two cops that killed him were both white.
As Evie’s father tries to defend the deceased boy, everything comes out as black versus white and Evie’s father didn’t want it that way.
The book is a quick read at under 200 pages. It follows amazing characters and conveys a wonderful message. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Hush by Jacqueline Woodson gets 5 out of 5 stars.
“Blood’s the same color no matter who it’s flowing through.” –Jacqueline Woodson, Hush