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'Feathers' Looks to Sixth Grade for Life's Lessons

Feathers is a story with reminders of the good old days: afros, bell bottoms and hanging out at the basketball courts. But life for the character Frannie in Jacqueline Woodson's new novel takes a bit of a turn when a new kid who looks like a white Jesus joins her predominately black sixth-grade class.

The new student causes some in the class to wonder whether the kid they jokingly call "Jesus Boy" really is Christ.

The story of Feathers follows Frannie and her friends as they learn lessons about hope and embracing their identities — from being deaf to biracial.

The novel's author speaks with Farai Chideya about Feathers, and how the heavy topics in her books touch both children and adults.

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