“Jacqueline Woodson’s practiced hand gracefully pens the story of a son watching his father change with the seasons. A beloved professional football player, ZJ’s dad is sidelined when he suddenly begins to experience serious neurological issues. It’s hard for ZJ to understand why his dad’s excruciating headaches won’t let up, what he’s thinking as he stares out the window for hours, how he could possibly be unable to recognize his own son. ZJ hangs onto the memory of his dad by the strings of his guitar—when they sing or rap together, it’s just like it was before the ever after. A stunning story of the consequences of an American obsession, beautifully read by Guy Lockard.”Mary, Raven Book Store
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?