Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Length: 192 pages
Audiobook Length: 3 hours and 50 minutes
First Published: 2018
Jacqueline Woodson shines in this middle-grade coming-of-age book hitting on important issues of today teaching children that it’s easier to face things when we aren’t alone. Every week, six children from a special class are given an hour alone to talk among themselves. Gradually, they begin to open up to each other, discussing Esteban’s father’s deportation, Amari’s worries of racial profiling, Haley’s father’s incarceration and her mother’s death, and their fears and hope for the future.
Jacqueline Woodson’s first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.
It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat–by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them–everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.
Quotes from Harbor Me
If the worst thing in the world happened, would I help protect someone else? Would I let myself be a harbor for someone who needs it?
Back then, we still all believed in happy endings. None of us knew yet how many endings and beginnings one story could have.
Tragedy is strange. It takes away. And it gives too
About Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson is an author and poet whose works include Brown Girl Dreaming, Another Brooklyn, Red at the Bone, and Harbor Me. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit the author’s website →