Lena

Paperback | November 11, 2010

byJacqueline Woodson

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A compelling story of survival from a three-time Newbery Honor winning author

At the end of I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, Lena and her younger sister, Dion, set off on their own, desperate to escape their abusive father. Disguised as boys, they hitchhike along, traveling in search of their mother's relatives. They don't know what they will find, or who they can trust along the way, but they do know that they can't afford to make even one single mistake. Dramatic and moving, this is a heart-wrenching story of two young girls in search of a place to call home.

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A compelling story of survival from a three-time Newbery Honor winning authorAt the end of I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, Lena and her younger sister, Dion, set off on their own, desperate to escape their abusive father. Disguised as boys, they hitchhike along, traveling in search of their mother's relatives. They don't know what the...

Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir BROWN GIRL DREAMING, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laur...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8.3 × 5.5 × 0.4 inPublished:November 11, 2010Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142417335

ISBN - 13:9780142417331

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Read from the Book

An Excerpt from Lena:        "You crying, Lena?" I felt Dion's little hand on my shoulder.        "What would I be crying for?" I gave my eyes one more wipe and glared         at her.        Dion shrugged. She took a step back from me, hunkered down on her own         knapsack. We must have been a sight--two kids in flannel shirts and jeans         and hiking boots at a Trailways station--Dion chewing on her collar, me         with my head in my hands.        She swallowed like she was a little bit scared of what she was gonna say.        "Where we going, Lena? You tell me that and I won't ask you anything else--ever         again if you don't want me to."        People on the outside who didn't understand would probably look at me         and Dion and say, "Those kids running away from home." But I knew we were         running to something. And to someplace far away from Daddy. Someplace         safe. That's where we were going.        "Mama's house," I whispered, my voice coming out hoarse and shaky. "We         going to Mama's house."        Dion shook her head. "Not the lies we tell people--the true thing. Where         we going for real?"        "Mama's house," I said again, looking away from her.        "Lena?" Dion said "Mama's . . . dead." . . .          ". . .I know she's dead. I didn't say we were going to her. I said we         were going to her house."        "And what's gonna happen when we get there?"        "You said you wasn't gonna ask no more questions, Dion."        Dion nodded and pulled her book out of her knapsack. I took a box of colored         pencils out of mine and the brown paper bag our sandwiches had come in         and started sketching. I sketched the cornfields across the way from us         and a blue car moving in front of them. I sketched the sky with the pink         still in it and Dion sitting on her knapsack reading. Maybe we sat there         an hour. Maybe two or three...We'd learned how to make ourselves invisible.        

Editorial Reviews

"This taut story never loses its grip on the reader."--Publishers Weekly, Starred"Lena's rough voice . . . speaks eloquently for the tenacity of the human spirit. . . . Once again, Woodson writes . . . about difficult issues of childhood and leaves readers encouraged by humanity's potential for insight, compassion and hope."--School Library Journal"A tender and loving story of . . . encountering much goodness in the world as well as ultimately a place to belong in it."--The Bulletin, Recommended