Miracle's Boys

by Jacqueline Woodson

Twelve‑year‑old Lafayette was once close to his middle brother, Charlie.... read more

Twelve‑year‑old Lafayette was once close to his middle brother, Charlie. But now he calls him “Newcharlie” because the older boy has changed so much since serving time in a juvenile justice center. The boy who loved animals and once cried at the death of a stray dog seems to have disappeared. Someone hard, even cruel, has taken his place. “Milagro killer,” Charlie calls Lafayette, using the Spanish word for their mother’s name, Miracle. He is referring to the fact that Lafayette was the only one home when their Mama died. Lafayette’s oldest brother, 22‑year‑old Ty’ree, has taken care of both boys since Miracle died. “Saint Ty’ree” is what the neighbors call this young man who gave up a college scholarship to care for his siblings. But Ty’ree is only human, as he keeps trying to tell Lafayette. Jacqueline Woodson’s characters are flesh and blood, heart and soul, in this novel that looks at the lives of three brothers burdened by the loss of both parents and dying dreams. The plot takes place over little more than 24 hours, but much of it involves Lafayette flashing back to earlier events. On that single day, events in the present and revelations from the past mark a potential turning point in the brothers’ feelings about themselves, their relationships, and the future. Honor Book, CCBC 2001 Coretta Scott King Author Discussion (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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