“"Before the Ever After" is yet another beautifully poignant and heart breaking story by Jacqueline Woodson. The audio version of this books is well paced, the narrator is amazing, and this book breaks your heart while simultaneously filling it with love and compassion. Son ZJ must navigate his dad's struggle with and diagnosis of CTE before CTE was even on anyone's radar and watching old Dad become new Dad is an emotional and heart rending journey. ”
Rebecca, Rediscovered Books
WINNER OF THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD
WINNER OF THE CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR AWARD
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?