Before the Ever After

Before the Ever After

by

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Jacqueline Woodson's novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies.

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. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can't remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?

Title:Before the Ever After
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780399545436
Format Type:

    Before the Ever After Reviews

  • emma

    I like football.This is somehow both one of the most embarrassing and most surprising things about me. I am doomed to an existence of not only knowing the names of coaches and players on my favorite t...

  • Bookishrealm

    4.5 Stars. I'm telling ya'll Jacqueline Woodson can do no wrongBefore the Ever After is such a short novel (under 200 pages) but holy crap does it pack a punch. I first became aware of CTE after watch...

  • Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    This book talks about the late 90s and early 2000s and tells the story of ZJ whose father is a popular football player in those times. His dad began losing his memories, started losing his abilities t...

  • Brina

    The calendar is about to turn to September. Leaves are starting to fall from the giant tree in our front yard, days are slowly becoming shorter, and in the mornings there is a crisp feel in the air ma...

  • Kelsey (munnyreads)

    A short, 161 page book written in verse. This is narrated by ZJ, the son of a professional football player suffering from a neurodegenerative disease after a career filled with concussions. Quick read...

  • Julie

    Heartbreaking and hopeful. This is a story of a resilient family coping with change and loss due to the father's CTE. The story is told through the perspective of the son, ZJ. He recalls memories of h...

  • ? Sandi ?

    5 starsNot unlike the rest of Woodson's books, I rate this one highly. Woodson tends to write about up-to-date issues that affect people. This book is written in verse - similar to many individual con...

  • Bethany

    Actual Rating: 4.5 starsA beautiful and heartbreaking story told in verse about a professional football player experiencing degenerative symptoms of CTE from repeated head injuries and the impact it h...

  • Regina

    "Before the Ever After" is a 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards finalist in the Best Middle Grade & Children's category. Woodson's novel-in-verse tells the story of a young boy, ZJ, (aged approx. 9 - 12 thr...

  • Bkwmlee

    5 stars! Jacqueline Woodson is a renowned author whose works I’ve been wanting to read for a long time, but unfortunately, never got around to doing so. Luckily for me, a few days ago, my libr...