Taking place in the 1970s in an urban all African-American school, this story focuses on 6th-grade Frannie and the new boy in her class. Nobody knows what to make of him: not only does he look different (the only white boy in the school), but he's kind to everyone, he refuses to fight, and he doesn't even seem to mind when the other kids nickname him Jesus Boy. But as winter progresses, Frannie realizes that she's starting to see a whole lot of things in a new light: her brother's deafness, her mother's fear, her friend Samantha's faith, their classmate Trevor's anger, and her own desire for hope - "the thing with feathers." And it's all because of Jesus Boy's differences . . . and his friendship.
Feathers grapples with concepts such as religion, race, hope, and understanding. The book examines what it was like to grow up right after segregation had been outlawed, how all people are equal, and that hope is everywhere.
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