Where do we all begin in a world like this one? Have we been here before? (Probably.) Did it feel like this? (Maybe. Maybe not.) How do we begin? How do we protect ourselves? How do we care for each other?
Jacqueline Woodson is on a book tour now, so I’ll be lucky enough to hear her speak in person soon. (Do I have a bounce in my library step? I do! Are there moments of I am soooo lucky…squeeeee? There are.) What I love about her work in both of these books is the way she acknowledges the challenges, pain, and joy of our individual lives even as they mirror national moments. Harbor Me reaches out to the parent or teacher or aunt trying to explain family separation in a place with no diversity or much diversity. The Day You Begin calls to all of us and the fear of what we are or aren’t or might be.
But we all have a voice, right? And now is the time to use it, she seems to say. Maybe a big voice, maybe a small voice, but just imagine all of those voices and what they can do together.
She is amazing.
Harbor Me and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
(The Day You Begin is illustrated by the amazing Rafael López.)