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Jacqueline Woodson

Middle Grade/Young Adult

book cover of The Dear One

The Dear One

Rebecca is fifteen and pregnant and poor. Afeni is twelve, wealthy, spoiled, and doesn’t care to have a pregnant girl living in her house even if the girl is the daughter of her mother’s best friend from college. From day one, the girls hate each other and must figure out how to live under the same roof with each other and all of their opposing ideas.

Where it takes place:

In Pennsylvania in the fictionalized town of Seton.

Where I wrote it:

In Harlem, New York and in Brooklyn, New York.

Why I wrote it:

The Dear One was the second novel I ever wrote. I wanted to write about teenage pregnancy. At the time I was working with runaway and homeless young people—many of whom were pregnant. I wanted to write a novel that spoke to them.

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.