Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson

This is not a book we currently have in our libraries, but fans of Jacqueline Woodson, beautiful picture books, and those serving incarcerated youth will want to know about it. You don’t have to do too much digging to figure out that while incarceration effects everyone, there is a highly significant link between incarcerated parents and incarcerated teens, at least in New York City. Sharon Content founded Children of Promise for this particular reason, and Torrey Maldonado wrote Secret Saturdays for younger (middle school) readers who may have a family member (or neighbor or friend) who is “upstate.” But Jacqueline Woodson, never one to shy away from the ways pre-teens and teens are affected by incarceration, joined forces with illustrator James E. Ransome to deliver a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book on the subject for younger children. Visiting Day follows a young female narrator as she and her Grandma get ready to visit Daddy and then make the trip. The young protagonist’s experience is portrayed as familiar and full of love. Author and illustrator notes at the end may cause your eyes to well up. This book will be of interest to students who are incarcerated and parents themselves. It is both warm and a wake up call.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Visiting Day. New York: Scholastic, 2002.

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