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Before the Ever After

por Jacqueline Woodson

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4923650,209 (4.34)10
ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.
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From Kirkus: "A poignant and achingly beautiful narrative shedding light on the price of a violent sport."
  BackstoryBooks | Apr 3, 2024 |
- Age: Middle school

- About a boy and how his father used to be a football star and then had started to have migraines and loss his memory.

- The book is written in poems and is easy to read. It is kind of sad because his dad was like his best friend and then he forgets his name. However, I might have it in my classroom.
  sabmcd | Apr 3, 2024 |
A touching book on the impact of CTE on a young boy's life as he slowly watches his father fade away. Woodson deftly reveals the struggles ZJ faces among his friends, his family, and his own identity. ( )
  KoestK | Apr 1, 2024 |
This book is made up of different poems that form one story. The poems tell the story of a football players struggle with CTE, which wasn't known at the time yet. The story is told from the perspective of the son of the football player, and the son has to live with how his father is changing and not knowing why he is changing. I would use this book in a 4th grade classroom. It can be used for poetry or independent reading because some students might be interested in learning more about football and how it was in the late 90s and early 2000s. (Novel, 161 pages)
  mwik21 | Mar 30, 2024 |
ZJ’s dad is a football hero to the fans, but to ZJ – he is “my every single thing”. Father and son share a deep bond and the reader glimpses wonderful memories of father and son sharing music, food, and fun. But, there are changes happening with ZJ’s father. His headaches, emotional outbursts, and confusion initially cause embarrassment, but later are frightening. ZJ and his mother find that he is slowly slipping away from them. His mother explains that it is from all of the hits his father received playing ball. While not named in the novel, CTE is slowly stealing ZJ’s father from him. As ZJ tries to understand what is happening to his beloved father, he turns to a tight group of friends. Adult readers will know what future awaits the family, Woodson does offer hope for ZJ with the support of those closest to him.

Once again, Woodson delivers. Reading her verse is a wonderful way to peel back the layers of this story, learning a little bit more page by page. This story is set when the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on NFL players and other athletes is only beginning to be studied. We learn that other football families are also experiencing similar situations. ( )
  AnnesLibrary | Jan 28, 2024 |
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ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.

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