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Behind You

Review

Behind You

Jeremiah has died from a cop's mistaken bullet. Now, those he
has left behind try to figure out how to go on with their lives in
this very moving story by Jacqueline Woodson, author of the
award-winning LOCOMOTION and HUSH. The 2002 hit by Alice Sebold,
THE LOVELY BONES, concerned a young girl watching her family from
the afterlife after a violent death. In a similar way BEHIND YOU
takes readers into the lives of Jeremiah's mother, father,
ex-girlfriend and two friends, along with Jeremiah, as he views
life on Earth from the afterlife.


Jeremiah ("Miah"), an African-American prep-school star athlete,
left a large hole in many lives. Ellie, his Caucasian girlfriend,
finds that her pain does not lessen after months. No one else in
her school understands this and tells her that she "is such a
widow." Nelia, his mother, is finding it hard to get out of bed.
Ellie and Miah's father start visiting her to offer and receive
comfort. Kennedy is now the big athlete at the prep school and is
tired of people comparing him to Miah. Carlton, a longtime
neighborhood friend of Miah's, now has no one to share his secrets
with and feels utterly alone.


In between glimpses of the pain-filled people on earth are
wonderful scenes of Miah in the afterlife. He finds his beloved
grandmother and tries to learn to let go of the connections he
maintains to earth.


While sadness is prevalent in this book, hope emerges as Miah's
beloved people on Earth find ways to connect to and help each other
in surprising ways. Demonstrating her excellent writing skills
again, Woodson evokes strong emotion with well-chosen words and
characters in BEHIND YOU.


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Reviewed by Amy Alessio on October 18, 2011

Behind You
by Jacqueline Woodson

  • Publication Date: May 24, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
  • ISBN-10: 039923988X
  • ISBN-13: 9780399239885