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Keeping the Night Watch av Hope Anita Smith

Keeping the Night Watch (utgåvan 2014)

av Hope Anita Smith (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
17611121,982 (3.88)1
A thirteen-year-old African American boy chronicles what happens to his family when his father, who temporarily left, returns home and they all must deal with their feelings of anger, hope, abandonment, and fear.
Titel:Keeping the Night Watch
Författare:Hope Anita Smith (Författare)
Info:Square Fish (2014), Edition: First, 73 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Taggar:Diversity, coretta Scott king award, poems, family, anger, free verse


Keeping the Night Watch av Hope Anita Smith


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I really liked "Keeping the Night Watch" because it was incredibly powerful and unique in its approach to depicting the life of an African American boy, CJ and his estranged relationship with his father. The story is told from CJ’s perspective over the course of thirty-five poems that go from fall to spring and starts with CJ’s father returning home after abandoning CJ, his mother and his sister for an undisclosed amount of time. The fact that the story was told from CJ’s point of view and not from a third person perspective is what makes each poem that much more impactful for the reader. We are given the opportunity to hear the thoughts, fears, and arguments that CJ has with himself in his mind while he struggles to rekindle any sort of relationship with a man who abandoned him. In the first poem titled “We Are Family” CJ writes about the awkwardness of their first family dinner with his father back; CJ writes: “The house smells warm and safe—as if Daddy never left. We sit with pretend smiles on our faces. We are quiet and shy with each other.” The poem makes the reader feel the intensity and discomfort that CJ describes because it is CJ who is sharing it with the reader—if this was written in third person, the reader would feel a disconnect. In another poem titled “Sticks and Stones”, CJ writes: “Now Daddy’s home and my jaw is set…My words are burrowing deep down in my throat...my questions are brick heavy. I want to know: Who are you? What were you thinking? Why did you leave?”. When his father left, CJ became the man of the family and assumed the roles that his father left behind; in the time that he was gone CJ grew protective over his mother and sister, making it harder for him to forgive. His mother and sister don’t know these questions in his head, but the reader has the opportunity to hear them. In the poem “Family Tales” he says: “Every night it’s always the same. Twenty minutes of reading and then lights out. Zuri knows the routine…But tonight when I go to her room. Zuri’s not alone. Daddy’s there… ‘That’s okay, CJ., I want Daddy to read to me.’ My crown falls from my head and her words cut, each one a shard of glass.” CJ perspective differs from his sister Zuri’s and from his father, they do not know the pain he is feeling and how much harder it is for him to trust his dad again. By the end of the book CJ is able to begin the process of reintroducing himself to his father. The big idea of the poems is the effect an absence of a parent can have on the family, especially the person who is left to pick up the slack. CJ felt abandoned by his father and accepted that he wouldn’t come back—when his dad does return, CJ must hash over a multitude of emotions before he is able to move forward. It is okay to be sad, angry, confused and scared. ( )
  mkende1 | Oct 2, 2018 |
Smith puts an eloquent voice to a young man's emotionally frustrating impasse with his father. Kids who are in similar situations will be grateful to see their hearts reflected here. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
My personal response to the book: The story is a sad but true story for many children without fathers. Children without fathers will empathize with this story.
Curricular connections: The curricular connections include: culture, African Americans, families and counseling. A school counselor could use this book with the bibliotherapy approach to counseling. I would recommend it to a school counselor as both a TL and school counselor myself.
  West_Elementary | Jan 24, 2016 |
This teenager copes with the return of his father. During his father's abandonment, he took on fatherly responsibilities for the sake of his family. He resents his father's return, but by the end of the poetry collection learns to forgive. Reading this book can help children cope with similar situations. The poems are simple and flow together perfectly. The illustrations depict family members' emotion through facial and body expressions.
  sonya337 | Dec 4, 2010 |
Great ( )
  MariaRiedman | Aug 1, 2010 |
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A thirteen-year-old African American boy chronicles what happens to his family when his father, who temporarily left, returns home and they all must deal with their feelings of anger, hope, abandonment, and fear.

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Medelbetyg: (3.88)
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