Jacqueline Woodson

Middle Grade/Young Adult

book cover with awards for Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of my childhood, in verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, I always felt halfway home in each place. In these poems, I share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and my growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
It also reflects the joy of finding my voice through writing stories, despite the fact that I struggled with reading as a child. My love of stories inspired and stayed with me, creating the first sparks of the writer I was to become.

Where it takes place:

Columbus, Ohio, Greenville, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York

Where I wrote it:

In all of those places but mostly in Brooklyn.

Why I wrote it:

I wanted to understand who my mom was before she was my mother and I wanted to understand exactly how I became a writer. So I started researching my life, asking relatives and talking to friends – and mostly, just letting myself remember.

Awards
  • National Book Award winner
  • NAACP Image Award winner (in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens)
  • Coretta Scott King Author Award winner
  • Newbery Honor winner
  • Sibert Honor winner
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist
  • New York Times Bestseller (for over 20 weeks)
  • ALA Notable
  • Bank Street College of Education’s Claudia Lewis Award
  • New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book
  • Kids’ Indie Next List (Autumn 2014)
  • Kirkus Best Book
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • School Library Journal Best Book
  • Horn Book Fanfare
  • Bulletin Blue Ribbon
  • NPR’s Great Reads List
  • TIME magazine Top 10 YA of 2014 List
  • CCBC Choice
  • NPR’s Book Concierge’s 2014 Great Reads List
  • NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show’s “Readers’ Reviews” on-air book club pick
  • Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS) 2015 winner
  • BookPage Best Children’s Book
  • Amazon Best Book (in two categories: Children’s Books and Nonfiction)
  • Buzzfeed Best YA Books of 2014
  • Goodreads Choice Award nominee
  • Bustle.com’s Top 25 Young Adult Novels of 2014 list
  • Audio edition: ALSC Notable Children’s Recording
  • Audio edition: E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Winner: Middle Grade
State Lists
  • Indiana’s Young Hoosier Book Award
  • Washington D.C.’s Capitol Choices Master List
  • Georgia’s Children’s Book Award Finalist
  • Wisconsin’s Just One More Page! Master List
  • Virginia’s Jefferson Cup Overfloweth 2015 Master List
  • California’s ACL 2014 Distinguished Books Master list
  • Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Book Award 2015-2016 (nominee)
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award 2016 (nominee)

updated: 6 months ago

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is an American writer of books for adults, children, and adolescents. She is best known for her National Book Award-Winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, and her Newbery Honor-winning titles After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. Her picture books The Day You Begin and The Year We Learned to Fly were NY Times Bestsellers. After serving as the Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017, she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress for 2018–19. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2020. Later that same year, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.