Before the Ever After

By Jacqueline Woodson

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


Hardcover Retail: $17.99

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For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad’s been everyone’s hero. A popular pro football star, he’s as beloved to this neighborhood kids as he is to millions of sports fans. But lately his dad’s forgetting stuff and has turned moody. The doctors think it might be because he’s has so many concussions, but they’re not sure how to help. That stings-and so does the day his dad embarrasses him in front of his friends.

ZJ’s scared and has lots of questions. Will his friends stop coming over? Will his father get better? And are their glory days gone forever? For now, though, ZJ’s just doing his best to get by- taking comfort in his music and the friends who do have his back. Somehow, whatever’s coming next doesn’t seem half as scary with them cheering him on.

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson’s powerful novel in verse celebrates our ability to adapt and bravely go forth when not every happily ever after can be counted on.

Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 5.81 × .72 × 8.56 in

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