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The Jacket by Andrew Clements
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The Jacket

by Andrew Clements

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Genre: Realistic Fiction
Review: "The Jacket" is about a boy named Phil who accused another student, Daniel, of stealing his brother's jacket. Phil is white and Daniel is black. After that event, Phil begins to wonder if he is prejudiced or racist. The book follows his thoughts and interactions with family, friends, and Daniel's grandmother until he finally apologizes to Daniel and gives him the jacket back. This could be a tough book to read in class, especially in a school or area that regularly deals with racism. It could bring up negative feelings from students who have had racist things said or done to them, or by students who simply don't understand Phil's feelings. This is a good book to read in older grades, but it will start some deep discussions that teachers need to prepare for. I think this is an excellent book to explore how we treat each other or see each other without realizing it. People do a lot of things without realizing that they hurt someone else, so perhaps reading this book will help some students think about actions they and others take.
Uses: I think this would be a good book to read and use for a journal type of response, or one that inspires students to think of something in their society they would like to change. It could be a good book to explore how one character, like Daniel, reacts to situations, why he reacts the way he does.
Media: Picture, pencil ( )
  jbohall14 | Apr 3, 2017 |
Very good book about making assumptions based on stereotype. ( )
  aperry71 | Jun 3, 2015 |
A white boy sees a black boy wearing his jacket and he automatically assumes he stole it. Now he is confused whether or not he is prejudice or not. It's great for children to and open their eyes on the subject of racism. ( )
  roxygamboa | Nov 19, 2013 |
The Jacket is about a boy who is "prejudiced." Phil sees this boy in the hallway who is wearing his brother's jacket. The boy's name is Daniel and he is black. Phil and Daniel get caught by the principal and they have to go to her office. Phil and Daniel explain their side of the story. Daniel said that he got it from his grandma. Then Phil asks if his grandma's name was Lucy then exclaims that she was his maid. Daniel gets mad and runs off.
Phil thought he hated black people then. He had to find a way to make things right with Daniel. He then realizes that he can talk to Lucy. Phil gets Daniel's number from Lucy and goes onto a website to track where the number was from. Phil prints off the address and goes to Daniel's house. He brings the coat with him. When Phil goes to Daniel's house he is surprised. Daniel was just like any normal kid. Phil talks to Daniel and everything is good between him and Daniel. IT ends up to be that Daniel and Phil have a lot of things in common.
  alut5692 | Mar 11, 2012 |
Summary: Phil always got along with everyone regardless of color, but after a misunderstanding at school he starts to question whether or not he is prejudiced deep down. For the first time in his life he starts to notices all of the unforced segregation around him. After Phil performs a brave act of kindness, the thought provoking misunderstanding at school might have actually given him a new friend.

Personal Reaction: I thought this was a good book, but it is not my favorite. It starts out really good but I feel it could have a better ending.

Classroom Extension Ideas: After reading this book you could start a classroom discussion about morals and why Phil did the right thing. Also, you could have a discussion about whether or not they think segregation still exist and why a short paper over their thoughts on segregation.
  JessicaFlood | Oct 29, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689860102, Paperback)

After wrongly accusing a boy--an African American boy—of stealing his brother's jacket, Phil--a white boy--has some hard thinking to do. And a tough question for his mom: "How come you never told me I was prejudiced?" This seemingly small school incident turns into a painful, but ultimately satisfying, learning opportunity for the sixth grader, as he explores the myriad influences in his life and the way his thought patterns have formed... and finds a new friend in the process. The intellectual evolution Phil goes through may be somewhat facile for a child his age, but Andrew Clements's message will undoubtedly hit home for many readers. This is exactly the kind of situation that arises every day in schools (and offices and buses) all over the world. Clements is the author of many highly acclaimed children's books, including The Janitor's Boy and Frindle. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:25 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An incident at school forces sixth grader Phil Morelli, a white boy, to become aware of racial discrimination and segregation, and to seriously consider if he himself is prejudiced.

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