Jacqueline Woodson

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She now writes full-time and has recently received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Her other awards include a Newbery Honor, two Coretta Scott King awards, two National Book Award finalists, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Although she spends most of her time writing, Woodson also enjoys reading the works of emerging writers and encouraging young people to write, spending time with her friends and her family, and sewing. Jacqueline Woodson currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Books by This Author

Coming on Home Soon

Illustrated by: E.B Lewis
Age Level: 6-9
When Ada Ruth's mother goes to Chicago for a much-needed job during World War II, Ada Ruth stays with her grandmother in Grandma's rural home. Being apart is tough even though Ada Ruth knows it is in response to the war. Words and illustration combine to present a stirring portrait of longing, family, and love until mother and child are reunited. Also available in Japanese.


Narrator Frannie keenly observes the changing dynamics in her classroom when a new white student arrives. Frannie also frets about her family — her deaf brother isolated from the hearing world and her pregnant mother prone to miscarriages.


Growing up is particularly difficult for Evie Green as she has no past. She lost it when her father testified against fellow police officers in a racially motivated murder. Each family member must learn to deal with their new lives and identities alone.

If You Come Softly

Two 15 year olds — one black one white — meet and fall in love at an excusive New York prep school. Both deal with their family issues as well as with how their growing relationship is received. This difficult novel is told in the couple's alternating voices — until the wrenching and tragic conclusion.


Disguised as boys, Lena and her sister Dion flee their father's abuse. They hitchhike to their mother's hometown in Kentucky in hopes of finding a relative to care for them.



Through a class poetry assignment, fifth-grader Lonnie reveals the house fire that killed his parents, his separation from his sister, his life in foster care, and his community's struggle with poverty and racism.

Peace, Locomotion

Lonnie, aka Locomotion (first introduced in Locomotion) tries to connect with his sister and to prevent forgetting their "real" parents. As he writes Lili, readers learn about his life including his foster brother who has returned from the Iraq war.

Show Way

Illustrated by: Hudson Talbott
Age Level: 6-9
Soonie's great grandmother was only seven-years-old when sold to the big plantation. A quilt that showed the way to freedom and chronicled the family's history connects the generations, and continues to do so. Idealized illustrations and the poetic text provide an unusual family story.


Anthologies and Collections

Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Flying Lessons & Other Stories
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) — celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us. For more great stories, see the WNDB anthology Fresh Ink.