Before the ever after / Jacqueline Woodson.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
    • Abstract:
      Summary: For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone's hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he's as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ's house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ's mom explains it's because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that, but it doesn't make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name.
    • Notes:
      Read by Guy Lockard.
    • Notes:
      Title from container.
      Compact discs.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2020 October #2

*Starred Review* Guy Lockhard poignantly connects listeners to 12-year-old Zachariah ZJ Johnson and his friends and family, most notably his pro-football player father. Set in the early 2000s, when concussion research on NFL players was just beginning to uncover the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the story takes listeners back in time with ZJ to "before, when his dad was a loving father and football star. In Lockhard's voice, we hear the youthful optimism and admiration for ZJ's dad, who is not his hero but his "ev-er-y single thing." But soon his dad's headaches, memory lapses, and unpredictable anger grow increasingly frequent and scary for ZJ. Lockhard's voice reflects ZJ's confusion and disappointment as his dad starts to change. Before the headaches, Zachariah Sr.'s voice is full of life and masculine energy, but as his condition gets worse, listeners hear his anguish and debilitating pain. Lockhard skillfully portrays ZJ's wistfulness for the time before his father's illness, his gratitude for the support of his friends, and his heart-wrenching sadness as his dad slips further away. With relatable authenticity, Lockhard amplifies the emotion and sensory experience of Woodson's spare and lyrical verse, helping listeners to feel the confusion, fear, and sadness of a family suffering together from the effects of brain injury and the personality changes it brings. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.