Before the Ever After

Before the Ever After Details

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.

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?

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

    Before the Ever After Reviews

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Pernille Ripp

    Wow, what can I say as far as Jacqueline Woodson’s forthcoming middle grade novel that will get across just how incredible it is? Because I had to sit and hold it for awhile last night when I finish...

  • Read In Colour

    Trust Jacqueline Woodson, national treasure that she is, to have you smiling and crying within moments of the other and leave you feeling hopeful even in the most dire of circumstances. Her latest, Be...

  • Darla

    This new novel in verse from Jacqueline Woodson does not disappoint. Definitely one of my favorites and ranks right up there with "Brown Girl Dreaming" for me. We come from the mountain, living on the...

  • Mid-Continent Public Library

    Now that the NFL is back in action, here is a book that packs an extra punch. This new novel in verse from Jacqueline Woodson does not disappoint. Definitely one of my favorites and ranks right up the...

  • Abby Johnson

    This is a special book. And I say that as a member of Jacqueline Woodson's Newbery Committee for Brown Girl Dreaming, so you know that all her books are special to me. This book is special. ZJ misses ...