Before the Ever After

Read or listen to this book in Granite’s Sora.

Written by Jacqueline Woodson

I am a huge fan of Jacqueline Woodson. I am a huge fan of novels in verse. And I am a huge fan of this book. ZJ has watched his father decline from a huge NFL sports star who had everything going for him to a confused, aggressive man in pain. He is not the father he used to be because of the traumatic brain injury he suffered as a result of taking too many hits. I loved the relationships in this book between family and friends. I loved how they all came together to support and love each other through trials and hardships. Jacqueline handles sensitive subjects with such beauty and grace and in such a way that helps the reader really develop empathy for the characters.

Reviewed by Laura Schmidt, Media Clerk, Fox Hills Elementary
December 2020
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-6

ZJ’s dad was a professional football player who is suffering from terrible headaches and dementia. He is a hero struggling to hang on to his memories and the love of his family. ZJ is trying to understand the downward spiral his family is on with the help of some great friends and a caring mother.
Written in verse, this is a beautiful book with a great message about loving someone when you don’t understand exactly why everything is changing around you.

Reviewed by Terrie Bishop, Media Clerk, Academy Park Elementary
November 2020
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-9

Teacher’s Guide:

Before the Ever After
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books
161 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 9780399545436

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