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The Jacket Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Clements, Andrew, Henderson, McDavid (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0689860102     ISBN-13: 9780689860102
Publisher: Atheneum
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: August 2003

Annotation: A thought-provoking exploration of prejudice from the master of the school story. This timely, deceptively short and simple story will make readers look at the world around them in a new way. Illustrations.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Prejudices; Fiction.
Race relations; Fiction.
Schools; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Prejudice & Racism
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: BL2003011375
Lexile Measure: 640
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.00" W x 0.25" (0.15 lbs) 96 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 60720
Reading Level: 4.1   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 1.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q29051
Reading Level: 4.1   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 4.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:

When Phil sees another kid wearing his brother's jacket, he assumes the jacket was stolen. It turns out he was wrong, and Phil has to ask himself the question: Would he have made the same assumption if the boy wearing the jacket hadn't been African American? And that question leads to others that reveal some unsettling truths about Phil's neighborhood, his family, and even himself.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall)
Philip, a white sixth grader, wrongly accuses an African-American boy of stealing his younger brother's jacket. When he learns that his mother actually gave the jacket to Daniel, Philip begins to notice the often subtle forms of prejudice practiced by both himself and his family. Though the narrative is so tightly focused that the book becomes heavy-handed, it does raise some interesting issues. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2003 September #3)
A sixth grader realizes he is prejudiced when he falsely assumes that an African-American schoolmate has stolen his coat. "The story pointedly delivers a timely message and can serve as a springboard for dialogue about tolerance and self-honesty," wrote PW. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2001 December #3)
Originally serialized in the Boston Globe, Clements's (Frindle; The School Story) brief, instructive tale centers on a sixth-grader who one day realizes that he is prejudiced. When Phil spies Daniel, an African-American schoolmate, wearing a jacket identical to one that his mother bought him in Italy (and that Phil had passed down to his younger brother), he assumes that Daniel has stolen the coat. After tussling in the hall, the two sort things out in the principal's office, where Daniel reveals that his jacket was a gift from his grandmother, Lucy; as it turns out, the woman who for years has cleaned Phil's house is Daniel's grandmother. Learning that the jacket now legitimately belongs to Daniel, Phil questions his actions ("What if Daniel had been a white kid? Would I have grabbed him like that?"). The lad's quandary deepens when he suddenly recognizes that his father is, quite blatantly, a bigot. Though lacking subtlety, the story pointedly delivers a timely message and can serve as a springboard for dialogue about tolerance and self-honesty. Clements makes his point without didacticism and with just the right amount of emotion. Ages 8-12. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2002 March)
Gr 4-7-Sixth-grader Phil sees another boy wearing his younger brother's jacket and accuses him of stealing it. After both of the students end up in the principal's office, Phil discovers that his mother gave the garment to the African-American woman who cleans their house. Lucy Taylor then gave it to her grandson, Daniel, the accused thief. Phil's anger, embarrassment, and confusion over the incident give him a new awareness of race and prejudice. This thin story is more like a character sketch than a fully realized novel. The incident forces Phil to examine himself at a level he has never before considered. He gets along fine with all the kids at school, but all of his friends are white. He has known Lucy all his life, and although he likes her, he has never thought about the details of her life or known that she has a grandson who attends his school. Events are told from Phil's point of view, so Daniel's reactions are experienced on a limited basis only. When the protagonist pays a surprise visit to Daniel's home, he discovers that the neighborhood is almost a mirror image of his own. While purposeful and a bit heavy-handed, the book may spark discussion with a class exploring racism, tolerance, and prejudice. Parents or church youth leaders may also find it useful.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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