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Iggie's House (2002)

Iggie's House (2002)
3.62 of 5 Votes: 3
0689842910 (ISBN13: 9780689842917)
atheneum/richard jackson books
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Iggie's House (2002)
Iggie's House (2002)

About book: Iggie’s House by Judy Blume is a children’s novel. It is a realistic fiction novel that focuses on the themes of friendship and racism. The novel is from the perceptive of Winifred Barringer and is set in the 1970‘s Winnie has trouble coping with her best friend, Iggie moving away to Japan, and feeling like there’s nothing she can do about it. When a new family moves into Iggie’s old house. The Garber family is constantly told they do not belong and have been told to go back to where they came from. These people are black and from Detroit. The street Groves Street is where all the white people live. The one person who tries to make their life horrible to make them move. Her name is Mrs. Landon she also lives in Grove Street. When Winnie’s best friend, Iggie moves to Tokyo, Japan Winnie struggles with dealing with the fact that she is gone. When a new family moves into Iggie’s house Winnie is interested that a negro family has moved in and she soon befriend their three children. Another neighbor who lives also on Grove Street. She has extremely stubborn views about the Garber family and tries her best to make living in their neighborhood a misery. When Mrs. Landon finds out that Winnie is friends with the Garber’s children she creates a petition for the neighborhood to sign to try and push the Garber’s out. Winnie’s parent have mixed feeling about the Garber’s but do not sign the petition. When this didn’t work Mrs. Landon goes and nails a sign into the Garber’s garden reading “Go Back Where You Belong! We Don’t Want You Kind Around Here!” Everyday Mrs. Garber cries and is extremely depressed as Mrs. Landon continues to discriminate the family. The oldest Garber son becomes more angry than sad. “I hate, I hate her and I hate her! She doesn’t even know us. I wish I was back in Detroit where everybody’s black” Soon Winnie gets into an argument with the Garber children and they accuse her of befriending them only she thinks having negro friends is cool. Soon after Mrs. Landon visits Winnie’s parents again and she tries to pressure the Barringer’s to move. Winnie’s father refuses and faces Mrs. Landon with how she is discriminating the Garber’s. Soon Winnie makes up with the Garber’s and finds that none of them will move.The main theme of the novel Iggie’s house is racism. When Mrs. Landon put a sign into the Garber’s front yard saying “Go back where you belong we don’t want your kind around here!!” It goes way to far and Mrs. Landon is racially discriminating them. I usually don’t read Judy Blume books. This book was not particularly the best book I have read and I wasn’t really interested by it. I think this book would be best for younger children, as it’s a quite brief book and the story doesn’t really go anywhere. My favorite scene of the book is when Mrs. Landon comes to Winnie’s house asking for her parents and knowing fully well that her parents where at home Winnie screams into the house as loud as she can into the house without turning away from Mrs Landon “MOM! DAD! ...ANYBODY HOME?” Winnie was my favorite character because she was really outspoken, loud and bubbly. I would rate this book 3 stars.

Book 2 in my Quest to Read Judy Blume this summer. "Iggie's House" is another Judy Blume title that I had never read nor heard of until this little project. First published in 1970, this is the second of Blume's works to published. Which, obviously, because I'm reading them chronologically. So, for me, this book reads like historical fiction. It still works, but it's a slice of life sort of book and as an adult I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that the events that transpired in this book would be okay. Winnie's best friend Iggie moves away. Iggie and her family are wonderful people. They travel. They treat children like their opinions matter. They're interesting and keep company with interesting people, but Iggie's father gets a job in Tokyo and they move but not before selling their home to a new family. The new family moves in and Winnie can't wait to make friends. There's just one problem, the Garber family is black and Winnie's street is al white and a lot of people are upset. Of course, there's the much hated, ignorant grown up who circulated a petition and outs a sign up in the Garber's yard telling them that the families of Grove Steet don't want their kind around. Winnie, herself, is stuck in this odd place of over compensating for the bad feelings she knows are lurking and cannot even figure out what to call the Garber's. The words "negro" and "colored" are thrown out with great regularity and both of those terms are so distasteful, I nearly put the book down. The worst neighbors of the bunch decide to sell their house and try to entice the rest of the neighborhood to do the same. Winnie's Dad finally puts his foot down. His family doesn't want to leave their home and he doesn't want his neighbors being manipulated or strong armed into leaving theirs. In the end, few adults make a positive statement about the Garber's. Winnie's mother says that she was never friends with Iggie's parents and doesn't feel the need to be friends with the Garber's and while Winnie's Dad won't participate in the white flight of the neighborhood he won't go any further to welcome the Garber's to the neighborhood. Winnie realizes she's been over doing it and it's okay to just be friends with the Garber kids and that being honest with them is the best policy, too. This book isn't huge and the words aren't difficult, but this is subject matter for more mature young readers.
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I had to stop reading this book when the White girl slapped the Black boy for taking her to task for her White Savior Complex ("the first time she hit anyone ever!"--and it had to be a Black boy, how nice!) AND his brother didn't put a whoopin' on her for hitting his brother with no justification AND/OR tell his mom or dad that this White girl just hit his brother, at which point mom or dad would have told that White girl to get out of their house!I really was a 1970s Black kid from Michigan, as the siblings in this book are supposed to be, and I can tell you that if some White kid would have hit any of us among my siblings, whether they were trying to be friends with us or not, that kid would have had another thing coming! We had distrust and fear of White people anyway, and a White kid who tried to befriend us while saying the expected stupid stuff White kids say to Black kids ("Are you from Africa? Did you or your parents loot in the riots?") and then turned around and hit one of us would have confirmed our beliefs that White people are mean to Black people and not to be trusted. I was starting to like this book, too. It does honestly portray White liberal "benign" racist thinking and how it manifests in the minds of White kids especially, like the White girl in the story. This girl really expects these Black kids to go ga-ga because she's "one of the good ones," and when one of them lets her know that it's really not all about her and as a kid she doesn't have all the White privilege and power she thinks she has, the White girl slaps him like Scarlett slapped her slave! Ugh.
Jose Juan
What does it feel like to loose you're best friend? Winifred Bates Barringer's best friend Iggie, just moved out of the neighborhood and moved to Japan with her family. Iggie's house on Groove Street was empty but not for long. This white neighborhood in New Jersey is in for a huge surprise. The Garber family moves into Iggie's house. Two parents, two young boys name Herbie and Glen and their little sister Tina. What you learn is that the family is the first black family to move into the white neighborhood. The conflict is that one of the neighbors Mrs. Landon or better yet Germs Incorporated decides to create a petition for the other neighbors to sign which states that the black family is not welcome in the community. Winnie becomes very good friends with the three children. Winnie becomes aware of the type of discrimination this family is about to face in their new community. Winnie confronts her hateful neighbor with a survey "what do you think of color people." In the end Mrs. Landon and her family move out of the community. This book touches on racial tension and captures the story of a black family integrating into a white community during during the fight for racial equality. The audience for this book is children 4th grade through 12th grade.
Rachael Quinn
A few weeks ago I realized that the only Judy Blume that I ever actually read was Summer Sisters and that this was one of those gaping holes in my junior chapter book reading that I should work on filling. I started at the beginning and then landed on Iggie's House. Soon after checking the book out, I heard it talked about on the Literary Disco podcast and it really helped to spark my interest.Why don't we talk about this book more? It was a difficult read, a gut wrenching read. It speaks to a time and a view that still manages to hit home and actually could be used to aid in the discussion of race relations today in a gentle way. There's some history here and there is value in that.Winnie's best friend Iggie had recently moved to Tokyo with her family, leaving Winnie to wonder about the "surprise" people who bought Iggie's house. Winnie is indeed surprised when she spots the family moving in. There is a mother, a father, and three children and they are black. In Winnie's town there are very few black people and she is excited because she has been learning about race relations in school and she wants to prove that she can be a good neighbor and a friend.Winnie, of course, falters in her attempt to befriend the new kids, the Garbers. Even though she means well, she is just learning her way and she still lives in a time when families discuss moving out simply because there is a black family on the street. One of her neighbors, Mrs. Landon, does decide to move out but only after making up a petition to let the Garbers know they are not welcome and then putting a sign in their yard telling them to go back to where they belong. Winnie is upset by this and by her own parents' reaction to the Garbers. She is disappointed in the adults around her and she is trying to understand and do the best she can.Like I said, this was a hard read but it definitely had it's value. Looking at such events through the eyes of a child adds this layer of innocence to the thought. I loved how Winnie struggled with things like terminology. Should she call the Garbers negro or black or colored? I also loved the simplicity of her thinking that the Garbers are just like everyone else because they use the same peanut butter as her family. However, this is one of those books where one has to remember that it was published in 1970 and it was a slightly different time.
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