This Caldecott Honor Book is a choice pick for children and parents who have suffered feelings of longing when separated from their loved ones. Jacqueline Woodson’s sparse prose gives a lovely rhythm to this historical fiction tale about a young girl whose mother goes to Chicago for work during wartime. Woodson writes, “Mama’s hands are warm and soft. When she put her Sunday dress into the satchel, I held my breath. Tried hard not to cry. Ada Ruth, she said. They’re hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting in the war.” Ada Ruth stays at home with her grandparents and a kitten she adopts. She waits for word from her mother as the family lives through tough economic times. The pain that enfolds the reader through most of the book is lifted with a happy ending for Ada Ruth and her mother. E. B. Lewis’ illustrations are incredible and bring the tale to life for readers. This would be a wonderful book for elementary-aged children who have a parent who is deployed or living apart from them for work, or for children with an interest in history.
Check the WRL catalog for Coming on Home Soon.