34 pages 1 hour read

Jacqueline Woodson

Miracle's Boys

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1996

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Chapters 1-6Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

Twelve-year-old Lafayette Bailey watches his older brother, Charlie, and his friend, Aaron, comb their hair, readying to go out. Two months ago, Charlie was released from Rahway Home for Boys, a juvenile detention facility. Lafayette calls him “Newcharlie,” insisting he has changed. Charlie ranks the groups of boys at Rahway according to toughness; Aaron clings to every word. Lafayette thinks about how different things are since their mother died a year earlier.

Charlie and Aaron leave. Lafayette is alone.

Chapter 2 Summary

Lafayette recounts the death of his father, which occurred before he was born. While reading in Central Park, his father saw a woman jogging. Her dog ran out onto the thin ice of a pond, and the woman ran after it. They fell into freezing water, and, after saving them, Lafayette’s father acquired hypothermia and died.

Lafayette recalls learning to pray for animals to Saint Francis of Assisi from his brother Charlie. He thinks about their late mother, Milagros. “Milagros” is Spanish for “miracle.” Lafayette knows very little Spanish, as Milagros insisted that her children learn English.