Hush

by Jacqueline Woodson

Thirteen-year-old Toswiah Green loves her name, not just because it’s unusual,... read more

Thirteen-year-old Toswiah Green loves her name, not just because it’s unusual, but also because it was the name of her grandmother and her grandmother’s mother. The African American girl lives a picture-perfect life in Denver, Colorado, with her parents and older sister until her dad testifies against two of his fellow police officers who shot and killed an African American teenager. Once her family starts getting death threats, her parents make the difficult decision to enter the Witness Protection Program, and Toswiah is given a completely new identity in a different part of the country. Toswiah’s greatest challenge initially is in losing her name and her best friend, Lulu, with whom she can no longer have any contact. Now known as Eve, she does her best to make friends in her new school, and is especially intrigued by a sophisticated, wise-cracking girl who is also named Toswiah. Her compelling story, told mostly in flashbacks, reveals the slow unraveling of her family, cut off from everything familiar and everyone they know and love, making for a richly complicated backdrop against which the more typical story of a teenager’s search for identity is played out. Winner, CCBC Coretta Scott King Author Award Discussion (Ages 11-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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