Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Harbor Me

Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them—everything from Esteban'...

Details Harbor Me

TitleHarbor Me
Release DateAug 28th, 2018
PublisherNancy Paulsen Books
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult

Reviews Harbor Me

  • Diane S ☔
    I don't often read books targeted for the middle school reader, but this is Woodson and I love how she tackles difficult subject. She does the same here, portraying six eleven and twelve year olds, all a different ethnicity, and from different backgrounds. All six have a harder time academically in school, for a few it is the language barrier, for another, not being able to be still. They are in an experimental classroom, and have an amazing teac...
  • Laurie Anderson
    This book has EVERYTHING - love, family, friends, middle school transitions, and the devastating realities faced by so many of our children in this country. It brought me tears, goosebumps, and gratitude that I'm alive in a world with people like Jackie Woodson.Seriously - buy copies for your libraries and every family you know!
  • Katie B
    For a middle grade novel that is less than 200 pages, this story manages to cram in quite a few serious subjects including race, imprisonment, deportation, and the death of a parent. The ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), is a place where 6 students in a special learning class get to meet every Friday unsupervised for an hour. They are allowed to talk about whatever is on their minds and throughout the course of the school year they share so...
  • Kate Olson
    Thanks to a Kid Lit Exchange reviewer for sharing her free review copy from #NerdCampMI with us!.There are some books that I label "teaching books" and this is most certainly one of them. Of course it's one I want kids to pick up on their own as well, but it's one I want read out loud to every 5th and 6th grade class in the US this school year. It's one that might seem so so familiar to many students, but it's also a story that may need a bit (or...
  • Michelle
    "The hardest part of telling a story is finding the beginning."Where do we start the dialogue in this country about acceptance and respect for others? It seems as if the collective has lost their minds. Each side is focused on rhetoric, everyone consumed by a war of "Us" versus "Them". We have forgotten that WE the people are the country that we are supposed to "indivisible" and what we are supposed to stand for is "justice and liberty for ALL".H...
  • Betsy
    A good book, whether it’s written for a nine-year-old, a nineteen-year-old, or a ninety-year-old can tilt your perspective, if only momentarily. Consider the concept of the “happy ending” and what it’s supposed to resemble. What does a real happy ending actually entail in real life? In children’s books, many times the ending of a given story is happy when day is done. In real life, something happy may happen to a child but where’s the...
  • Phil Jensen
    Two years ago, this country elected a leader who promised to "Make America Great Again." But what does that mean? What is America, and what does it look like when it's great? In Harbor Me, Jacqueline Woodson offers her vision of America at its best.The plot is simple. Six tweens meet weekly to discuss their issues. Many issues emerge, with police shootings, loss of parents, and families separated by deportation getting the most coverage. The stor...
  • Katie Long
    I’m not the target audience for this book at all, but I love Jaqueline Woodson so much that I requested it from Penguin First to Read even though it is meant for a much younger reader. While this one doesn’t transcend its middle grade designation the way Brown Girl Dreaming does, it does discuss important issues of cultural and socioeconomic divisions in a way that is accessible for a young reader. Woodson manages this accessibility without c...
  • KC
    When group of young Brooklyn students are given the opportunity to gather together in a safe, adult free classroom, they begin an explorative journey through dialog, poetry, revelation, and storytelling. Jacqueline Woodson taps into the most current challenges that many our youth face today with such unbridled courage and sheer eloquence.
  • Kiki Cole
    I have read two very similar books in one day. Harbor Me was the better out of the two. Nothing was offensive, but it was real and it showed the effect of social matters with kids. 6 kids are put into the ARTT room aka A Room To Talk. No adults are around and it's basically free lance conversations and through each other's differences, they found an unrelated family within the four walls of this room. I thought the writing was so beautiful and po...
  • Amaka
    There are so many heavy topics covered in this novel such as immigration, racism, privilege, and parental loss. I was mesmerized by the characters and I can't get over how brilliant this story is. Haley's use of the recorder to remember her friends confessions was perfect. I love how Woodson weaved the stories so beautifully making every situation relevant to our society today.
  • Richie Partington
    Richie’s Picks: HARBOR ME by Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Paulsen Books, August 2018, 192p., ISBN: 978-0-399-25252-5“Such a situation could have long-term, devastating effects on young children, who are likely to develop what is called toxic stress in their brain once separated from caregivers or parents they trusted. It disrupts a child’s brain development and increases the levels of fight-or-flight hormones in their bodies, Kraft said. This ...
  • The Reading Countess
    Jacqueline Woodson’s gift of words trick us into thinking the poetry oozing out of its pages at every turn magically appear, that we, too, can wield a mighty pen like a laden paintbrush and produce a masterpiece. Don’t be fooled, dear reader. That is why she is who she is, and we are...well, not.Console yourself in the knowledge that she holds a mirror up to us, to society, to our students. We are lucky that we can tuck her books into the han...
  • Abby Johnson
    We all need people to harbor us sometimes, when bad things happen or tragedy strikes or the world just becomes hard and lonely. In Harbor Me, six very different kids are brought together by a loving teacher to do just that. Every Friday afternoon, they gather in the old art room for an hour just to talk about whatever's on their mind. For Esteban that's his dad who was taken by immigration and is now being held far away from his family. For Amari...
  • Mary Lee
    Amazing book.So beautifully written.So needed for this country, our classrooms, our children, all our citizens RIGHT NOW.So powerful...the power of talk, of getting to know others ("Others").So honest about race and privilege and ability (dis- and otherwise) and family and grief and loss and prison and immigration. It's all there, but it's not too much. Because it really is all there, all the time.
  • Jennifer Laseman
    Loved this little book that tells a big story about humanity and sometimes our lack of it. Woodson looks at complicated issues like a immigration, racism, white privilege, bullying, friendship and the importance of family through the eyes of a group of 6 students who have been labeled as special needs. She authentically captures the voice of her youthful narrator with poetic lyricism. She is a true storyteller who wastes not a word. This feels li...
  • Jana
    I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this middle grade fiction novel that was provided to my #BookRelays reading group. I have always been a big fan of Jacqueline Woodson’s books because I believe she writes with an authentic voice that really speaks to readers, especially middle grade kids. This book tells the stories of six fifth/sixth grade kids who have been placed in a special class together.At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Lave...
  • Linda Quinn
    This beautifully written book gives me hope for our future, where young people who can learn to get along are our real-life superheroes.
  • Sue
    This book is about what is happening with families .. in a world I really know nothing about except by reading excellent stories like this.. immigration.. fathers being taken away... father in prison.. but most of all the value of what friendship does for all..
  • Ms. Yingling
    E ARC from Edelweiss PluaSix students who struggle academically are involved in a pilot program in their Brooklyn school to see if they make more progress in a small group setting. Their teacher knows that it isn't just academic issues that the students face-- they also have a variety of trauma they are processing, so their teacher tells them they can have one hour every Friday to talk to each other without a teacher. The students refer to this t...
  • emma
    Please read this book.Haley knows she's different. She shares a classroom with six others, and when the six are given a classroom to talk alone for one hour a week, no one is thrilled. However, in the ARTT room ("A Room To Talk), the kids begin to open, sharing their stories, and strengthening their bond.Harbor Me is such a beautiful, poetic book- it made me feel things! Simply put, this is a book about kids and their lives. Specifically, it's a ...
  • Lorie Barber
    I woke up, excited to read this book that had just came to me from one of my #bookexpedition mates. I grabbed it, went downstairs and, coffee in hand, got to reading. I did nothing else until I finished. No food, no shower. I was absorbed.I'm not sure there's any such thing as a "perfect" book. But if there is, for this time in which we are living, for me, Harbor Me is perfect. From her first line - "We think they took my papi." - to the lyricism...
  • Laura Gardner
    Thanks to @penguinkids @msmarythomas and @kidlitexchange for this free book!.〰〰Six kids. One room. Time to talk. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5.〰〰The tough conversations Haley, Holly, Amari, Ashton, Esteban and Tiago have about race, identity and class are intense. With parents imprisoned or in danger of being deported, these kids are facing big problems. I am so glad I read this book before starting the school year in a couple of weeks. We all have s...
  • Elyse
    Penguin First-to-Read ARC.This was my first Jacqueline Woodson book but it will not be my last. This was a beautiful book about the "special" kids in school who have so much to say. We're never told explicitly why these kids are separated in their own class and it doesn't matter. To even further this, their teacher sends them to an empty art classroom, dubbed ARTT (A Room To Talk) and they are left to their own devices for an hour, no teacher, no...
  • Susan
    I could pretty much tell you that Harbor Me is Breakfast Club for the current generation and if you knew me you would know that you should read this book, whether you are a middle school child or a grown up. Ms. Woodson has taken the Shermer High kids, brought them into the 21st Century, and sent them to Brooklyn with modern day problems: immigration and deportation, incarceration, single parenting, racism, and bullying. In less than 200 pages, h...
  • Leonard Kim
    Listened to audiobook. A couple years ago, Gary Paulsen wrote a book, Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat, that I don't remember that well but also featured a Breakfast Club-like scenario, six kids, forced together at school, not knowing each other well, but eventually talking and connecting. What was distinctive about Paulsen's book was that the material was presented both as a novel and as a play. I thought about that with Harbor Me. Woodson has style, ...
  • Julie Kirchner
    I started this book before bed and had to read it first thing this morning. Jackie Woodson spoke to my heart with this one. In this crazy, at times unrecognizable world we are living in, we need to harbor each other. We need to be there to listen, to protect, to care for and love each other. Harbor Me is the story of six students in 5/6th grade who are brought together because of their school related needs. Their teacher gives them a gift of unin...
  • Heather Jensen
    In Harbor Me, Jacqueline Woodson's writing is timely and important to our times. It addresses many issues our young people are facing on a daily basis. She deals with bullying, losing parents, immigration, parents in prison, friendships, and family. This is a must read! Woodson once again challenges us to be better people. "If the worst thing in the world happened, would I protect someone else? Would I let myself be a harbor for someone who needs...
  • Cassie Thomas
    A beautiful story of community, friendship, family, and understanding. Woodson always does phenomenal and this was nothing short of that. Highly recommend for all, especially 4/5, educators. Following the stories of the individuals in the ARTT room will open your mind to the understanding of what each individual student could possibly be experiencing. Knowing that everyone has an experience worth sharing.
  • Linda Gibbons
    I started reading this book expecting to love it, as I have loved everything I’ve ever read by Jaqueline Woodson, I was not disappointed.Her combination of characters and their stories weaves together an amazing and timely tale of what life is like for so many young people in our country. The support they give each other and the love they have for each other really touched my heart.This middle grade novel is sure to become an important story fo...