83 pages 2 hours read

Jacqueline Woodson


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2000

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  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade realistic contemporary
  • Originally Published: 2002
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 640L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 4 parts; 28 chapters; approx. 192 pages; approx. 3 hours, 25 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: 13-year-old Toswiah Green and her family must secretly resettle in another city under new identities. Now, under the name Evie Thomas, Toswiah tries to cope with the loss of her best friend, her grandmother, and other pieces of her past.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Police brutality; racism; suicide ideation and attempt

Jacqueline Woodson, Author

  • Bio: Lives in Brooklyn, NY; author of almost 30 books for young and adult readers; Young People’s Poet Laureate (2014-2016); won the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming (2014)
  • Other Works: Brown Girl Dreaming (2014); Harbor Me (2018); Before the Ever After (2020)
  • Awards: National Book Award Finalist (2002); School Library Journal Best Book (2002); Booklist Editor’s Choice (2002); ALA Best Book for Young Adults (2003)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Challenge of Navigating a New Identity
  • The Pervasiveness of Racial Bias and Stereotypes in American Society
  • The Role of Community in Coping with Trauma

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the sociocultural context of the Federal Witness Protection Program and the potential impact it has on children like Evie/Toswiah within it.