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Sweet, Hereafter (The Heaven Trilogy) Paperback – January 4, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

Sweet, Hereafter (The Heaven Trilogy) + Heaven + The First Part Last
Price for all three: $20.69

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  • Heaven $7.66
  • The First Part Last $6.44

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Heaven Trilogy
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689873867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689873867
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Multiple award–winning author Johnson concludes the trilogy that began with Heaven (1998) and The First Part Last (2003) with this heartbreaking title narrated by Shoogy Maple, a beautiful African American teen who has cameo roles in Johnson’s previous books. After leaving home for reasons fiercely felt but difficult to define, Shoogy moves into a woodland cabin with Curtis, who has returned to Heaven, Ohio, after a tour of duty in Iraq. There, in the quiet, the two young people fall in love (although sex is never described) as they work through their own complicated, private grief. From the first scene, which alludes to the book’s closing tragedy, Shoogy prefers to hint at the events and people who shape her world, and readers, especially those encountering these characters for the first time, may feel lost. Shoogy’s reluctance to spell everything out, though, feels deeply true to her character, and Johnson’s stripped-down, poetic prose is filled with shattering emotional truths about war’s incalculable devastation, love’s mysteries, and the bewildering, necessary search for happiness. Grades 8-11. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This thoughtful tale, with its quietly poetic sensibility and timely themes, will resonate with those who are grieving the loss of loved ones because of the war. -- BULLETIN, March 1, 2010

*“Johnson’s evocative yet starkly simple language powerfully shows the devastating effects of the war on one small community…the characters and circumstances are never anything less than rich and real.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on Sweet, Hereafter (A Kirkus Best Book of 2010))

More About the Author

Angela Johnson is the author of the Coretta Scott King Honor picture book When I Am Old with You; as well as A Sweet Smell of Roses, illustrated by Eric Velasquez; Just Like Josh Gibson, illustrated by Beth Peck; and I Dream of Trains, which was also illustrated by Loren Long. She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels Heaven, Toning the Sweep, and The First Part Last. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Kent, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arts Lover Karen on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is quieter and leaner than "The First Part Last," but its beauty matches that of the moody young woman on its cover.

"Sweet" is a restless young woman, too smart for the small town she lives in and all its dead-end choices, but too young to see a path beyond it. She only knows that she doesn't belong at home, and her family doesn't understand her. They love her, but they want something more and she wants something less. Neither side really understands what that is.

Sweet finds herself attracted to Curtis, a quiet young man with "the darkest eyes" who has the ability to reach and tame people and animals other people overlook or don't understand. He gives Sweet a place to stay and the silence to let her figure herself out. She's still getting there when he disappears, leaving her to search for him and the part of herself that fell in love with a man she knew little about except that he was gentle and kind, and being with him was the one thing that ever made sense.

Johnson's stories unfold so organically that you don't realize there are unanswered questions until the answers arrive to reveal them. The plot pieces shift, softly falling into place, and in the end the picture is complete.

This book, with its undertow of sadness, reads like sparse poetry that moves to its own purpose until it comes at last to rest inside the soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janice Sims VINE VOICE on April 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At only 118 pages this book is very brief. The author manages to get her message across, though. That life is short and you have to live as if today might be your last. The heroine, Shoogy, is obviously in her final year of high school in Heaven, Ohio. She's very independent, going to school only two days a week, doing work-study to make up her hours so she can graduate. She also feels like a stranger in her own family. In many ways Shoogy is very deep, however, perhaps because this is the last book in a trilogy and I didn't get the chance to read the first two books, I don't know why she's so mature and introspective. I like her. She sticks by her convictions. She's tough, and loving. An admirable character. The book is about her relationship with Curtis, a young man three years older than she is. He has been in the war in Iraq and it's affected him in ways he won't even talk about. He likes silences. Shoogy likes silences. They are together in their silences. She leaves home to live with Curtis in a cabin in the woods. Soon she finds out that Curtis is AWOL. He doesn't acknowledge it, but he does say he'll never go back to Iraq. She lets it lie. For a book that didn't have that many words in it, a lot of emotions were felt: fear, love, loathing. By the end you're hoping for a positive outcome for these characters. I can see why the author is so popular among young adults. Her writing is more poetry than prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Jarmon-Wade VINE VOICE on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was the first book that I have read in a long time that left me in a state of confusion. Maybe I need to read it again or better yet, read the author's first book. The author is well versed and obviously a deep thinker with a poetic heart. The story was full of emotion and well written, but I just felt like I missed something along the way. If you choose this book, get the first one also.
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Format: Paperback
Though I've read the two previous novels in the Heaven trilogy, Sweet, Hereafter works perfectly well as a standalone (as do Heaven, and The First Part Last). "Sweet" is just as poetic and real as any Angela Johnson novel, from behaviors and reactions of the characters, to their idiosyncrasies and emotions. The inclusion of Marley, and Bobby and Feather is a nice touch, something more for the fans than anything else.
Shoogy's story is no doubt touching, and readers will have been moved to their core by the final line in Sweet, Hereafter.
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