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Jacqueline Woodson

Middle Grade/Young Adult

book cover of From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

Thirteen-year-old Melanin Sun has a great life with his single mom. He feels like she’s the person he can tell anything to. His friends think she’s beautiful and tease Melanin about how they’d love to go on dates with her. Then one day, his mother brings a white woman named Kristin home. Melanin dislikes Kristin the minute he meets her and because of her, his life with his mother will never be the same again.

Where it takes place:

In the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York.

Where I wrote it:

In Provincetown, Massachusetts and in California’s Napa Valley.

Why I wrote it:

This was the first time I wrote from the point of view of a boy. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could actually do it. I also wanted to write about different kinds of love and different kinds of families because I hadn’t seen many books written about what Melanin goes through. Just like with If You Come Softly, I wanted to say that it’s important to love who you want as long as you’re happy.

  • Coretta Scott King Honor
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.