Jacqueline Woodson’s most recent book, Brown Girl Dreaming, has earned her the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She has won numerous other awards including three Newbery Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and three Coretta Scott King Honors, a Margaret A. Edwards Award and an ALAN Award — both for Lifetime Achievement in YA Literature.
When Woodson started writing, she wrote on “everything…on paper bags and [her] shoes and denim binders. [She] chalked stories across sidewalks and penciled tiny tales in notebook margins. [She] loved and still love[d] watching words flower into sentences and sentences blossom into stories” [Woodson]. She has channeled that love onto the pages of almost two dozen-books, spanning from novels and poetry to picture books for children and young adults. She has been awarded the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation, a two year tenure which aims to raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.
Jacqueline Woodson split her youth between South Carolina and Brooklyn. She attended Howard University, where she studied drama, and earned her B.A. in English from Adelphi University. She lives with her partner and two children in Brooklyn, New York.
Selections of poetry from Brown Girl Dreaming:
HOW TO LISTEN #7
Even the silence
has a story to tell you.
I am not my sister.
Words from the books curl around each other
make little sense
I read them again
and again, the story
settling into memory. Too slow
the teacher says.
Too babyish, the teacher says.
But I don’t want to read faster or older or
any way else that might
make the story disappear too quickly
from where it’s settling
inside my brain,
a part of me.
A story I will remember
long after I’ve read it for the second,
Young Adult Books
Beneath a Meth Moon (2012)
Behind You (2004) – Winner of numerous awards including the 2005 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, the New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2005, and the ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Hush (2002) – National Book Award Finalist and winner of numerous awards including the 2003 ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the 2003 New York Public Libraries Books for the Teen Age
Miracle’s Boys (2000) – Winner of numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the ALA Best Book for Young Adults
If You Come Softly (1998) – Winner of the ALA Best Book for Young Adults and 2001 Detroit Public Library Author’s Day Award
Middle Grade Books
Brown Girl Dreaming (2014) – Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the 2015 John Newbery Medal, and the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
Peach Locomotion (2009) – Winner of numerous awards including the Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award, the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards, and the Keystone to Reading Book Award
Feathers (2007) – Winner of the Newbery Honor Medal
Locomotion (2003) – National Book Award Finalist and winner of numerous awards including the 2003 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction Honor, the 2004 IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, and the School Library Journal Best Book
After Tupac and D Foster (2008) – Winner of the Newbery Honor Medal and the 2009 Josette Frank Award
This is the Rope (2013)
Each Kindness (2012) – Receiver of the Coretta Scott King Honor and winner of the 2013 Jane Addams Peace Award, the 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award, and the Best Book of 2012 from the School Library Journal
Pecan Pie Baby (2010)
Show Way (2005) – Winner of the Newbery Honor Medal
Coming On Home Soon (2004) – Winner of the Caldecott Honor, the 2005 ALA Notable, the Booklist Editor’s Choice, and the Child Magazine Best of 2004
Visiting Day (2002) – Winner of the 2003 Skipping Stones Honor Award
The Other Side (2001) – Winner of numerous awards including the Riverbank Review Children’s Book of Distinction, the School Library Journal Best Book, the ALA Notable, and the IRA Teacher’s Choices 2002
We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past (1997)
Jacqueline Woodson’s homepage
Jacqueline Woodson on weaving memory, crafting poetry, and writing for young adults
NPR: Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers
Reading Rockets: The Basics
2014 National Book Award Winner, Young People’s Literature
Jacqueline Woodson: ‘I don’t want anyone to feel invisible’