Skip to main content

The House You Pass on the Way


The House You Pass on the Way

Young Staggerlee named herself after seeing her late, famous grandparents perform a song with that name on old tapes of The Ed Sullivan Show. She knows she is different from other girls. Being the middle child in a busy family makes it hard enough to find her way. One of her favorite memories is when she kissed her friend, a girl named Hazel. Unfortunately, Hazel soon turned on her at school, and that was the end of their friendship.

When her adopted cousin Tyler is sent to stay with them for the summer, she finds out that Tyler is confused about herself as well. What a relief to discover she is not alone.

Jacqueline Woodson is the winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for MIRACLE'S BOYS and has been nominated twice for the National Book Award. She is undoubtedly a versatile writer --- as she is able to deal with the subject of sexual identity in this book and discuss a family tragedy in poetry, as she did in last year's LOCOMOTION.

Staggerlee's story is no exception. One of the best features about the book is the theme that teens may explore different identities before finding themselves. The book also does not have black and white rules --- it offers many questions for discussion. THE HOUSE YOU PASS ON THE WAY has multiple layers that should not be overlooked.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on October 27, 2003

The House You Pass on the Way
by Jacqueline Woodson

  • Publication Date: October 27, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Speak
  • ISBN-10: 0142501913
  • ISBN-13: 9780142501917