The other side / Jacqueline Woodson ; illustrations by Earl B. Lewis.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.
    • Notes:
      Elementary Grade.
      300 Lexile
      Accelerated Reader 2.7
      Reading Counts! 2.6
      Children's Award winner
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
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Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 February 2001

/*Starred Review*/ Ages 5-8. Like her novel I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This (1994), Woodson's picture book tells a story of a friendship across race. Lewis' beautiful watercolors show a middle-class pre-civil rights setting, in which young girls wear pretty dresses, and there's a brown picket fence--in almost every picture--that divides the blooming green fields. Clover tells the story. She lives in a big yellow house on one side of the fence. Annie Rose lives on the other side, the white side. Their mothers say it isn't safe to climb over. First the girls sit together on the fence, getting to know each other and watching the whole wide world. Then one day Annie Rose jumps down to join Clover and her friends jumping rope. Even young children will understand the fence metaphor and they will enjoy the quiet friendship drama. One unforgettable picture shows Clover and Annie Rose in town with their mothers; the white-gloved adults pass one another without seeing, but the girls turn around and look back with yearning across the sidewalk lines. All the pictures have that sense of longing; it's in the girls' body language (their arms reaching out) and in the landscape with its ever-present barrier. At the end, as Clover, Annie Rose, and the other girls sit together on the fence, drooping and tired after their game, they are sad; they want the fence to come down. ((Reviewed February 15, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Fall

Illustrated with Lewis's masterful watercolors, this simple allegory depicts a black girl's cautious acceptance of the white girl who hangs out on the fence dividing the town. While giving no reason for the white girl's persistent attempts to make contact, Woodson's clear prose moves easily to the expected finish: ""Someday somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down."" Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

PW Reviews 2000 December #1

Woodson (If You Come Softly; I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This) lays out her resonant story like a poem, its central metaphor a fence that divides blacks from whites. Lewis's (My Rows and Piles of Coins) evocative watercolors lay bare the personalities and emotions of her two young heroines, one African-American and one white. As the girls, both instructed by their mothers not to climb over the fence, watch each other from a distance, their body language and facial expressions provide clues to their ambivalence about their mothers' directives. Intrigued by her free-spirited white neighbor, narrator Clover watches enviously from her window as "that girl" plays outdoors in the rain. And after footloose Annie introduces herself, she points out to Clover that "a fence like this was made for sitting on"; what was a barrier between the new friends' worlds becomes a peaceful perch where the two spend time together throughout the summer. By season's end, they join Clover's other pals jumping rope and, when they stop to rest, "We sat up on the fence, all of us in a long line." Lewis depicts bygone days with the girls in dresses and white sneakers and socks, and Woodson hints at a bright future with her closing lines: "Someday somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down," says Annie, and Clover agrees. Pictures and words make strong partners here, convincingly communicating a timeless lesson. Ages 5-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.