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Jacqueline Woodson

Picture Books

This is the rope book cover

This Is the Rope

This is a fictive memoir. From the early 1900s until the mid 1970s, more than 6 million African Americans moved from the rural south to northern cities. This novel is inspired by those families and by my own Mom, who moved from Greenville, South Carolina to Brooklyn, New York in 1968.
The book begins:

This is the rope my grandmother found
beneath an old tree
a long time ago
back home in South Carolina.
This is the rope my grandmother skipped
under the shade of a sweet-smelling pine.

Where it takes place:

It starts out in South Carolina and ends in Brooklyn, NY.

Where I wrote it:

In Brooklyn and in Virginia.

Why I wrote it:

I wanted to tell the story of how some Black people came to New York City. When I began writing it, my mom was still living. She didn’t live to see the final book but I think it would make her very proud. She came to Brooklyn a long time ago and if she hadn’t come to New York, I wouldn’t have grown up here! I couldn’t even imagine that!

  • New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of 2013
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor
  • 2014 CCBC Choices
  • 2015 Kentucky Bluegrass Awards (nominee)
  • Maryland Blue Crab You Readers Award 2014 Honoree (Transitional Fiction Category)
State Lists:
  • Choose to Read Ohio booklist 2015 & 2016
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.