Jacqueline Woodson’s Before the Ever After places professional soccer’s concussion epidemic the front and center.
ZJ had it all: musical talent, a strong group of friends, a strong, supportive mother and a famous football-player dad he adored. But that become before. Before his dad’s hands commenced to tremble. Before his dad’s reminiscence started to fade. When his father is recognized with a degenerative mind disease resulting from the more than one concussions he skilled on the playing field, ZJ must face the possibility of dropping his father and the relationship he holds maximum dear.
Award-winning author Woodson tells ZJ’s tale in intimate, compelling poems that slip thru time. We see ZJ as a small baby driving on his father’s shoulders, far above the fray of reporters and fans. We hear their heart-to-coronary heart conversations, concentrate to ZJ’s dad muse on his love for football and watch because the cracks and fissures of memory loss, anger and confusion creep into their idyllic life.
A stirring, character-driven novel in verse, Before the Ever After doesn’t sugarcoat harsh realities however addresses them with considered care and optimism. Woodson is some distance too adept a storyteller to immediately answer some of the questions she raises, however ZJ’s quiet resilience and the community of nurturing figures who surround him endorse a path lit with the aid of glimmers of hope.