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, Family

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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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..
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Alicia
    There's enough packed into this little novel but it all felt cliche and reminiscent of Crutcher's Period 9. A group of kids are pulled every Friday afternoon to be in a room without adult supervision to "talk" during ARTT. Of course their reticent at first then each one of their issues and complex problems unfurls as the group comes together and they're all centered around contemporary social, political, and economic issues of our time: immigrati...
  • 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...
  • Kris Patrick
    I love that Jackie Woodson avoids telling her audience what to think. She leaves that heavy lifting to the young reader, as she should. We need more narrative texts for Middle Grades like this one that are <200 pages. Bravo!Still congratulating myself years later for having the wisdom to make time to see her speak in Indianapolis. Truly one of the best author presentations I've ever experienced. This is how I feel as if I've earned the right to c...
  • Dayna
    This book follows a group of six classmates throughout the school year. They are in the same classroom and get an hour each week to talk, without a teacher present. We find out more about various struggles they are going through-- a parent facing deportation, bullying, their racial identities, and more. It's a read that explores many of the issues kids face today, in a way that younger/ middle grade readers can understand. Thanks to Nancy Paulsen...
  • Jillian Heise
    Beautiful, heartfelt, impactful, and necessary. A community building type of story, this book begs to be shared. It is a must for school and classroom libraries, and I'll be sharing with my 4/5 teachers to consider as a whole class read aloud.
  • Margo Jantzi
    Thank you Jacqueline Woodson and Nancy Paulsen. The message is timely in our national political climate currently. Today, I want to be a loving, listening, and caring harbor in our elementary library. Such an inspiring middle-grade book for our time.
  • Tanesha
    Loved it. Heartfelt, honest, emotional, timely..... a story of the human struggles we see on TV everyday (immigration, racism, poverty, bullying) told through the voices of several middle schoolers. Jackie Woodson is a master at writing prose like poetry - I'll read anything by her.
  • Franki Sibberson
    One of the best books I've read in a very long time.
  • Tessa Baer
    Beautiful story. Would be excellent for a classroom discussion.