Woodson, Jacqueline 1964–
Woodson, Jacqueline 1964–
PERSONAL: Born February 12, 1964, in Columbus, OH; daughter of Jack and Mary Ann Woodson; children: Toshi. Education: Adelphi University, B.A., 1985; also attended New School for Social Research.
CAREER: Freelance writer, 1997–. Goddard College, Plainfield, VT, M.F.A. Writing Program, associate faculty member, 1993–95; New School University, Eugene Lang College, New York, NY, associate faculty member, 1994; Vermont College, Montpelier, VT, M.F.A. program, associate faculty member, 1996. Writer in residence, National Book Foundation, 1995, 1996. Has also worked as an editorial assistant, and as a drama therapist for runaway children in East Harlem, New York, NY.
MEMBER: Alpha Kappa Alpha.
AWARDS, HONORS: MacDowell Colony fellowship, 1990 and 1994; Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, fellow, 1991–92; Kenyon Review Award for literary excellence in fiction, 1992 and 1995; Best Books for Young Adults citation, American Library Association (ALA), 1993, for Maizon at Blue Hill; Publishers Weekly Best Book citation, 1994; Jane Addams Children's Book Award, 1995 and 1996; Coretta Scott King Honor Book, ALA, 1995, for I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, and 1996, for From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun; Granta Fifty Best American Authors under 40 Award, 1996; Lambda Literary Award for best fiction and best children's fiction, 1996; Lambda Literary Award, children/young adult, 1998, for The House You Pass on the Way; Booklist Editor's Choice citation; American Library Association Best Books citation; American Film Institute award; Best Books for Young Readers citation, ALA, 2000, and Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book citation, both for If You Come Softly; Los Angeles Times Book Award for young adult fiction, Coretta Scott King Book Award, 2001, Best Book for Young Adults, ALA, for Miracle's Boys; Time of Wonder Award, 2001, International Reading Association (IRA) Teacher's Choice citation, 2002, Best Book citation, School library Journal, Booklist Editor's Choice selection, ALA Notable Book, Riverbank Review Book of Distinction citation, and Texas Blue Bonnet List citation, all for The Other Side; nominee for National Book Award in young people's literature category, 2002, Booklist Editor's Choice selection, 2002, Best Book for Young Adults, ALA, 2003, Best Book citation, School library Journal, and Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year, all for Hush; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award nominee in fiction and poetry category, 2003, IRA-CBC Children's Choice selection, 2004, National Book Award finalist, Coretta Scott King Honor, Best Book citation, School library Journal, all for Locomotion; named Child magazine Best of 2004, Caldecott Medal nominee, 2005, Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book, 2005, ALA Notable Book, and Booklist Editor's Choice selection, all for Coming on Home Soon; Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults selection, Young Adult Library Services Association, 2005, for Behind You; Booklist Editor's Choice selection, and Best Children's Books citation, Kirkus Reviews, both 2005, both for Show Way.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and His Birthday (nonfiction), illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Silver Burdett (Parsip-pany, NJ), 1990.
We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past, illustrated by Diane Greenseid, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1997.
The Other Side, illustrated by Earl B. Lewis, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.
Our Gracie Aunt, illustrated by Jon J. Muth, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.
Coming on Home Soon, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.
Show Way, illustrated by Hudson Talbott, Putnam (New York, NY), 2005.
FICTION; FOR YOUNG ADULTS
Last Summer with Maizon (first book in trilogy), Dela-corte (New York, NY), 1990.
The Dear One, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.
Maizon at Blue Hill (second book in trilogy), Delacorte (New York, NY), 1992.
Between Madison and Palmetto (third book in trilogy), Delacorte (New York, NY), 1993.
Book Chase ("Ghostwriter" series), illustrated by Steve Cieslawski, Bantam (New York, NY), 1994.
I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1994.
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, Scholastic, Inc. (New York, NY), 1995.
The House You Pass on the Way, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1997.
If You Come Softly, Putnam (New York, NY), 1998.
Lena, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1998.
Miracle's Boys, edited by Nancy Paulsen, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.
Sweet, Sweet Memory, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2000.
Visiting Day, illustrated by James Ransome, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
Hush, Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.
Locomotion, Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.
Behind You, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Catherine Saalfield) Among Good Christian Peoples (video), A Cold Hard Dis', 1991.
Autobiography of a Family Photo (novel), New American Library/Dutton (New York, NY), 1994.
(Editor) A Way out of No Way: Writing about Growing Up Black in America (short stories), Holt (New York, NY), 1996.
(Editor, with Norma Fox Mazer) Just a Writer's Thing: A Collection of Prose and Poetry from the National Book Foundation's 1995 Summer Writing Camp, National Book Foundation (New York, NY), 1996.
Contributor to short-story collection Am I Blue?, edited by Marion Dane Bauer, HarperTrophy, 1994; contributor to Just a Writer's Thing: A Collection of Prose & Poetry from the National Book Foundation's 1995 Summer Writing Camp, edited by Norma F. Mazer, National Book Foundation, 1996. Also contributor to periodicals, including American Voice, American Identities: Contemporary Multi-Cultural Voices, Common Lives Quarterly, Conditions, Essence, Horn Book, Kenyon Review and Out/Look. Member of editorial board, Portable Lower East Side/Queer City.
SIDELIGHTS: Award-winning author Jacqueline Wood-son is equally proficient in the novel format, verse, and picture books. She writes about "invisible" people: young girls, minorities, homosexuals, the poor, all the individuals who are ignored or forgotten in mainstream America. They are the people, as the author wrote in a Horn Book article, "who exist on the margins." An African American and lesbian herself, Woodson knows first-hand what it is like to be labeled, classified, stereotyped, and pushed aside. Nevertheless, her stories are not intended to champion the rights of minorities and the oppressed. Rather, they celebrate people's differences. Her characters are not so much striving to have their rights acknowledged as they are struggling to find their own individuality, their own value as people. "I feel compelled to write against stereotypes," Wood-son further remarked, "hoping people will see that some issues know no color, class, sexuality. No—I don't feel as though I have a commitment to one community—I don't want to be shackled this way. I write from the very depths of who I am, and in this place there are all of my identities."
Woodson's sense of not really belonging to one community might be grounded in her childhood. During her adolescent years, she moved back and forth between South Carolina and New York City, and "never quite felt a part of either place," according to a Ms. article by Diane R. Paylor. But Woodson began to feel "outside of the world," as she explained in Horn Book, even before her teen years. The turning point for her came when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974 and Gerald Ford took his place instead of George McGovern. "McGovern was my first 'American Dream.' Everyone in my neighborhood had been pulling for him." When Ford stepped into the Oval Office, Woodson felt that she and all of black America had been abandoned. "The word democracy no longer existed for me. I began to challenge teachers, and when they couldn't give me the answers I wanted, I became sullen, a loner. I would spend hours sitting underneath the porch, writing poetry and anti-American songs."
Writing soon became Woodson's passion. In the fifth grade, she was the literary editor of her school's magazine. "I used to write on everything," she commented for a Bantam Doubleday Dell Web site. "It was the thing I liked to do the most. I never thought I could have a career as a writer—I always thought it was something I would have to do on the side." Her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged Woodson to write and convinced her that she should pursue whatever career she felt would make her happiest. Deciding that writing was, indeed, what she wanted to do, Woodson endeavored "to write about communities that were familiar to me and people that were familiar to me. I wanted to write about communities of color. I wanted to write about girls. I wanted to write about friendship and all of these things that I felt like were missing in a lot of the books that I read as a child."
Woodson has always had a deep empathy for young girls, who often suffer from low self-esteem in their preteen and adolescent years. "I write about black girls because this world would like to keep us invisible," she wrote in Horn Book. "I write about all girls because I know what happens to self-esteem when we turn twelve, and I hope to show readers the number of ways in which we are strong." Woodson's first published book, Last Summer with Maizon, begins a trilogy about friends Margaret and Maizon. Set in the author's hometown of Brooklyn, the story tells of two eleven-year-olds who are the closest of friends. Their friendship is strained, however, when Margaret's father dies of a heart attack and Maizon goes to boarding school on a scholarship. While her friend is away, Margaret, who is the quieter of the two, discovers that she has a talent for writing. She also finds comfort in her family, who support her in her attempt to deal with her father's death. Maizon, meanwhile, finds that she does not like the almost all-white Connecticut boarding school and returns home after only three months. Glad to be with her loved ones again, Maizon, along with Margaret, goes to a gifted school in her own neighborhood.
Critics praised Last Summer with Maizon for its touching portrayal of two close friends and for its convincing sense of place. Julie Blaisdale, writing in School Librarian, also lauded the work for its "positive female characters … who provide the enduring sense of place and spiritual belonging" in the tale. Roger Sutton of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, while generally commending the book, found fault with the way Margaret eases her sadness by writing poetry. "Although underdeveloped," Sutton concluded, "this story will appeal to readers who want a 'book about friends.'" Similarly, Horn Book writer Rudine Sims Bishop commented on the story's "blurred focus," but asserted that "the novel is appealing in its vivid portrayal of the characters and the small community they create."
Woodson continues Margaret and Maizon's stories with Maizon at Blue Hill and Between Madison and Palmetto. The former is not really a sequel but, rather, an "equal" to the first book in the trilogy. Maizon at Blue Hill focuses on what happens to Maizon while she is at the Connecticut boarding school. Maizon, who is a very bright girl, likes the academic side of Blue Hill, but she is worried about fitting in socially. Most of the other girls are white and are either snobbish or, at least, not eager to be her friend. Although she is welcomed by a small clique of other black students, Maizon sees this group as rather elitist, too. She decides to return to Brooklyn, where she can comfortably just be herself. An American Library Association Best Book for young adults, Maizon at Blue Hill has been acclaimed for its strong and appealing characters. "More sharply written than its predecessor, this novel contains some acute characterization," remarked Roger Sutton in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Noting that the issues about self-esteem and identity that are addressed in the story spring appropriately from the characters rather than vice versa, Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Alice F. Stern asserted: "We are in the hands of a skilled writer here…. Woodson is a real find."
The last book in the trilogy, Between Madison and Palmetto, picks up where the first book left off, with Maizon and Margaret entering eighth grade at the academy. Again, Woodson covers a lot of ground in just over one hundred pages, including Margaret's bout with bulimia, issues of integration as the two girls' neighborhood begins to change and white families move in, and the testing of Margaret and Maizon's friendship as Maizon spends more time with another girl, named Carolyn. A Publishers Weekly reviewer applauded Woodson's gift with characterization, but noted that the effect is "somewhat diluted by the movie-of-the-week problems." In another Voice of Youth Advocates review, Alice F. Stern acknowledged that Woodson has "a lot of ground to cover," but noted that "she manages admirably." A Kirkus Reviews critic described Between Madison and Palmetto as a fine portrayal of a "close-knit community … [that] comes nicely to life."
In her Horn Book article, Woodson grouped her books into two categories: her "good" books, which deal with relationships between family members and friends, and her more controversial books, which address issues of alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, and other issues that skirt the delicate problem of what is "appropriate" for children to read. She reflected on how, after writing her second book, The Dear One, the speaking invitations she had formerly received suddenly stopped coming. "Even after Maizon at Blue Hill, another relatively 'nice book,' school visits were few and far between. Yet I often wonder, If every book had been like Last Summer with Maizon, and I was a young woman with a wedding band on my hand, would I get to visit schools more often?"
The central character of The Dear One is twelve-year-old Feni, a name meaning "The Dear One" in Swahili. Feni lives in an upper-class African-American home and basks in her family's attention. This all changes, however, when fifteen-year-old Rebecca is invited by Feni's mother to stay with them. Rebecca, the daughter of an old college friend, is a troubled, pregnant teenager from Harlem. Feni becomes jealous because she is no longer the center of attention. "But gradually and believably, with the patient support of Feni's mother and a lesbian couple who are longstanding family friends, the two girls begin to develop mutual trust and, finally, a redemptive friendship," related Twentieth-Century Children's Writers contributor Michael Cart.
The Dear One is a unique book in that it deals with tensions not between blacks and whites but between poor and wealthy blacks. Woodson gives a sympathetic portrayal of Rebecca, who is uncomfortable living in what she considers to be a mansion, and who is also reluctant to change her lifestyle. She misses her boyfriend and her family back in Harlem; she envies Feni and resents the privileges Feni has been given. The novel also offers a fresh perspective on adult relationships. As Hazel S. Moore noted in Voice of Youth Advocates, "The lesbian couple seems to be intact, while the straight couples have divorced and suffered." Marion and Bernadette, the lesbian couple, provide Feni with wise advice to add to the support she receives from her mother.
Taking things a step further than The Dear One, I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This explores a relationship that spans both race and class when Marie, a girl from a well-to-do black family, befriends Lena, whom Marie's father considers to be "white trash." Both girls have problems: Marie's mother has abandoned her family, and Lena is the victim of her father's sexual molestations. Told from Marie's point of view, the book details the twelve-year-old's internal conflicts as she tries to think of how she can help Lena. In the end, Lena, who has been able to find no other viable solutions to her problem, runs away from home, and Marie must accept the fact that there is nothing she can do about her friend's tragedy. Woodson has been praised by critics for not resolving her story with a pat conclusion. Cart commented: "Woodson's refusal to impose a facile resolution on this heartbreaking dilemma is one of her singular strengths as a writer." "Woodson's novel is wrenchingly honest and, despite its sad themes, full of hope and inspiration," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
In Lena, Woodson picks up Lena's own story after she leaves Marie. Lena plans to hitchhike with her little sister Dion to Pine Mountain, Kentucky—their mother's birthplace—in an effort to escape their father's abuse. "In the first novel, the girls' friendship sustained them across racial barriers in a desolate world," declared Hazel Rochman in Booklist, "but here everything has a glowingly happy ending." "The great appeal here," the reviewer concluded, "is the survival story. After cold and danger, we feel the elemental luxury of shelter: warmth, cleanliness, breakfast, privacy." "Writing in Lena's voice, striking for its balance of tough-mindedness and tenderness," stated a critic in Publishers Weekly, "Woodson conveys the love that the protective heroine feels for her sister as well as the compassion of strangers."
Another Woodson novel, If You Come Softly, also explores the issue of race. The book tells of the budding relationship between two fifteen-year-olds: a black boy named Jeremiah, and Ellie, a Jewish girl. "The intensity of their emotions will make hearts flutter, then ache," stated a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "as evidence mounts that Ellie's and Jeremiah's 'perfect' love exists in a deeply flawed society." "This, like every story I've written, from Last Summer with Maizon to I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This to From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, is my story," Woodson wrote in a Horn Book essay on writing outside one's own cultural group. "While I have never been Jewish, I have always been a girl. While I have never lived on the Upper West Side, I have lived for a long time in New York. While I have never been a black male, I've always been black. But most of all, like the characters in my story, I have felt a sense of powerlessness in my lifetime. And this is the room into which I can walk and join them."
The issue of homosexuality, which had been peripheral in Woodson's earlier books, comes to the forefront in From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun and The House You Pass on the Way. Thirteen-year-old Melanin Sun, the central character in the former novel, has a close relationship with his mother, whom he admires as a single working mother who is also putting herself through law school. Their bond is strained, however, when Melanin's mother tells him that she is a lesbian and that she is in love with a white woman. This development makes Melanin question his relationship with his mother, as well as making him wonder about his own sexuality. Torn between his emotional need for his mother and his fear about what her lesbianism implies, Melanin goes through a tough time as his friends also begin to abandon him. Gossip in the neighborhood that Melanin's mother is "unfit" also spreads, making matters even worse. Again, Woodson offers no clear-cut resolution to the story, but by the novel's end Melanin has begun to grow and understand his mother. Critics praised Woodson's portrayal of Melanin's inner conflicts as being right on the money. As Lois Metzger wrote in the New York Times Book Review, "Ms. Woodson, in this moving, lovely book, shows you Melanin's strength and the sun shining through." "Woodson has addressed with care and skill the sensitive issue of homosexuality within the family … [without] becoming an advocate of any particular attitude," asserted Voice of Youth Advocates critic Hazel S. Moore. In The House You Pass on the Way, fourteen-year-old Evangeline, the middle child in a mixed-race family, struggles with feelings of guilt and dismay over her awakening sexual orientation. "A provocative topic," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, "treated with wisdom and sensitivity, with a strong secondary thread exploring some of the inner and outer effects of biracialism."
The plight of three orphaned brothers in New York is presented in Woodson's Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel, Miracle's Boys. Lafayette, the youngest of the three, tells the story in a "voice that's funny, smart, and troubled," according to Booklist critic Rochman. Ty'ree, the oldest brother, has given up his educational possibilities to raise his younger brothers, but faces conflict at every turn from the middle brother, Charlie, who has just returned from a correctional institution for robbing a candy story and now is in gang trouble once again. The boys also carry the sad memory of their dead mother, Milagro; Charlie blames Lafayette, or Laff as he is called, for her death. But through it all the brothers try to stay together, healing their grief as best as they can. A contributor for Horn Book praised Lafayette's narrative voice, noting that it "maintains a tone of sweet melancholy that is likely to hold the attention of thoughtful young teens." Likewise, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the novel an "intelligently wrought, thought-provoking story," and Edward Sullivan, writing in School Library Journal, found this "story of tough, self-sufficient young men to be powerful and engaging."
In her 2002 novel Hush, Woodson explores the loss of a child's identity when a young girl and her family are forced into the witness protection program. Toswiah Green's father is a black policeman in Denver. Her life is perfect: a wonderful home, caring parents, and cool friends. But when her father chooses to testify against fellow policemen—white—whom he witnessed shooting and killing an unarmed black teen, the lives of the entire family are turned upside down. The white community and his fellow cops turn against Green, and the family must enter the witness protection program, move to another state, and assume new identities. "Woodson's taut, somber novel examines complex themes," wrote Lynda Jones in Black Issues Book Review. Such themes as racism, self-identity, the class system, and ethical imperatives are dealt with in the journal that Toswiah—who takes the assumed name of Evie Thomas—keeps. "Woodson shows that while Evie's situation is extreme, everyone has to leave home and come to terms with many shifting identities," commented Rochman in a Booklist review. Jennifer M. Brabander, reviewing Hush in Horn Book, also lauded the story, concluding that Woodson's "poetic, low-key, yet vivid writing style perfectly conveys the story's atmosphere of quiet intensity." Reviewing the same novel in School Library Journal, Sharon Grover called it a "complex coming-of-age story," and Claire Rosser, writing in Kliatt, declared Woodson to be "one of the best novelists we have in the Y[oung] A[dult] field." Rosser further asserted that Woodson "brings poetry to her prose and always a deep understanding of emotional upheaval."
Woodson brings much the same sensibility to her picture books for younger readers, presenting subjects not usually examined in books for children. These include titles such as The Other Side, a "story of friendship across race," according to Booklist critic Rochman; Sweet, Sweet Memory is the tale of a little girl whose grandmother has died, and one that "will resonate with those who have lost someone dear," as Ilene Cooper observed in Booklist; Our Gracie Aunt is the story of two children whose mother is in the hospital and who must go into foster care; and Visiting Day is a "poignant picture book," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, that tells an intergenerational tale about a young girl and her grandmother who go to visit the father in jail. As Rochman noted in Booklist, "Woodson brings children close to those whose stories are seldom told." Woodson turns to poetry for her "sad but hopeful" story Locomotion, as a critic for Publishers Weeklycalled the book. Young Lonnie tells his story of loss and redemption in sixty poems in various styles from sonnet to haiku. Horn Book's Brabander concluded that "Woodson's finely crafted story of heartbreak and hope won't let [readers] go."
Woodson's picture book Show Way is perhaps her most autobiographical work yet; it is a fictionalized tale of Woodson's family history that ends with a picture of Woodson's daughter, Toshi. Show Way begins in pre-Civil War America when a young girl is sold away from her parents to a new plantation. The girl learns to sew "Show Way" quilts that tell stories and also contain secret symbols that show the way to freedom in the North. The narrative then follows the girl's female descendents for several generations, culminating with the author and her daughter. The images in the book predominantly mirror the Show Way quilts; each picture tells part of the family's story. Critics praised to book's format as an effective approach to the topic and School Library Journal critic Mary N. Oluonye called the story's combined elements "perfectly executed." In addition, Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman noted that Show Wa y "will move many readers to explore their own family roots."
Although most of her works, like Show Way, have been aimed at preteen and teenage audiences, Woodson has also written a novel for adults, Autobiography of a Family Photo, which addresses issues of sexuality and sexual behavior for a more mature audience. However, its short length and central coming-of-age theme put Autobiography of a Family Photo within the reach of young adult audiences. Told in a series of vignettes spanning the 1960s and 1970s, the novel is a reminiscence related by an unnamed narrator. Her family has many problems, including her parents' troubled marriage, her brother Carlos's inclination to be sexually abusive, her brother Troy's struggles with homosexuality that compel him to go to Vietnam, and other difficulties. Despite all of this, the narrator survives adolescence, undergoing a "compelling transformation," according to Margot Mifflin in an Entertainment Weekly review. However, some critics have contended that the vignettes fail to form a unified whole. A Kirkus Reviews contributor, for example, commented: "Chapters build on each other, but the information provided is too scanty to really create any depth." Catherine Bush, writing in the New York Times Book Review, complained that the novel focuses too much on the narrator's growing sexual awareness. "I found myself wishing that the narrator's self-awareness and longing could be defined less exclusively in sexual terms," Bush remarked. Bush concluded, however, that "even in these restrictive terms, the novel is the best kind of survival guide: clear-eyed, gut true."
Woodson has never backed away from portraying truths about life in modern American society. She has written her "good" books about friendship and family that deal with safe, acceptable topics, but she clearly does not shy away from controversial subjects like homosexuality and sexual abuse. Woodson has asserted that she is not trying to force any kind of ideology on her readers, but rather is interested in all kinds of people, especially the socially rejected. "One of the most important ideas I want to get across to my readers," Woodson emphasizes, "is the idea of feeling like you're okay with who you are." "Death happens," Woodson told Samiya A. Bashir in Black Issues Book Review. "Sexual abuse happens. Parents leave. These things happen every day and people think that if they don't talk about it, then it will just go away. But that's what makes it spread like the plague it is. People say that they're censoring in the guise of protecting children, but if they'd open their eyes they'd see that kids are exposed to this stuff every day, and we need a venue by which to talk to them about it and start a dialogue. My writing comes from this place, of wanting to change the world. I feel like young people are the most open."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Children's Literature Review, Volume 49, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.
Gay and Lesbian Literature, Volume 2, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1995.
Writers for Young Adults, Scribner (New York, NY), 2000.
Black Issues Book Review, May, 2001, Samiya A. Bashir, "Tough Issues, Tender Minds," p. 78; March-April, 2002, Lynda Jones, review of Hush, p. 67; July-August, 2002, Lynda Jones, review of Our Gracie Aunt, p. 75. Book, March-April, 2003, Kathleen Odean, review of Hush, p. 37.
Booklist, February 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of Lena, p. 970; February 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 1102; February 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 1149; February 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of The Other Side, p. 1154; February 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Sweet, Sweet Memory, p. 1158; January 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of Hush, p. 851; January 1, 2002, review of The Other Side, p. 769; February 15, 2002, Stephanie Zvirin, reviews of Hush and The Other Side, p 1034; September 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of Our Gracie Aunt, p. 137; January 1, 2003, review of Hush, p. 798; September 15, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of Show Way, p. 63.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1990, Roger Sutton, review of Last Summer with Maizon, pp. 49-50; December, 1992, Roger Sutton, review of Maizon at Blue Hill, p. 128; September, 1998, Janice M. DelNegro, review of We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past, p. 40; April, 1999, Deborah Stevenson, review of Lena, p. 298; February, 2001, Janice M. DelNegro, review of The Other Side, p. 211; May, 2001, Janice M. DelNegro, review of Sweet, Sweet Memory, p. 357; Deborah Stevenson, review of Coming on Home Soon, p. 272.
Childhood Education, summer, 2003, Sharon White-Williams, review of Visiting Day, p. 247.
Entertainment Weekly, April 21, 1995, Margot Mifflin, review of Autobiography of a Family Photo, pp. 50-51.
Horn Book, September, 1992, Rudine Sims Bishop, "Books from Parallel Cultures: New African-American Voices," pp. 616-620; November-December, 1995, Jacqueline Woodson, "A Sign of Having Been Here," pp. 711-715; May-June, 1999, Kristi Beavin, review of I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This (audio version), p. 358; March-April, 2000, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 203; January-February, 2002, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Hush, p. 87; November-December, 2002, Roger Sutton, review of Visiting Day, p. 743; March-April, 2003, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Locomotion, pp. 219-220.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 1993, review of Between Madison and Palmetto, p. 1532; October 1, 1994, review of Autobiography of a Family Photo, pp. 1307-1308; July 1, 1997, review of The House You Pass on the Way, p. 1038; September 15, 2002, review of Visiting Day, p. 1403; November 15, 2002, review of Locomotion, p. 1704.
Kliatt, January, 1999, Paula Rohrlick, review of Lena, pp. 10-11; January, 2002, Claire Rosser, review of Hush, p. 8; March, 2002, Claire Rosser, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 20.
Ms., November-December, 1994, Diane R. Paylor, "Bold Type: Jacqueline Woodson's 'Girl Stories,'" p. 77; July, 1995, p. 75.
New York Times Book Review, February 26, 1995, Catherine Bush, "A World without Childhood," p. 14; July 16, 1995, Lois Metzger, review of From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, November 8, 1993, review of Between Madison and Palmetto, p. 78; April 18, 1994, review of I Hadn't Mean to Tell You This, p. 64; June 22, 1998, review of If You Come Softly, p. 92; December 14, 1998, review of Lena, p. 77; April 17, 2000, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 81; December 4, 2000, review of The Other Side, p. 73; March 4, 2002, review of Our Gracie Aunt, p. 79; September 16, 2002, review of Visiting Day, p. 68; November 25, 2002, review of Locomotion, pp. 68-69.
Reading Teacher, November, 2002, review of The Other Side, pp. 257-258.
School Librarian, November, 1991, Julie Blaisdale, review of Last Summer with Maizon, p. 154.
School Library Journal, May, 2000, Edward Sullivan, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 178; January, 2001, Catherine T. Quattlebaum, review of The Other Side, p. 112; April, 2001, Marianne Saccardi, review of Sweet, Sweet Memory, p. 126; August, 2001, Jacqueline Woodson, "Miracles," p. 57; August, 2001, Julie Cummins, "Offstage or Upstaged?," p. 9; February, 2002, Sharon Grover, review of Hush, p. 138; September, 2002, Susan Pine, review of Visiting Day, pp. 208-209; December, 2002, Anna DeWind, review of Our Gracie Aunt, p. 114; September, 2003, Grace Oliff, review of Visiting Day, p. 86; August, 2005, Blair Christolon, review of Coming on Home Soon, p. 50; November, 2005, Mary N. Oluonye, review of Show Way, p. 111.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1991, Hazel S. Moore, review of The Dear One, p. 236; October, 1992, Alice F. Stern, review of Maizon at Blue Hill, p. 235; June, 1994, Alice F. Stern, review of Between Madison and Palmetto, p. 95; October, 1995, Hazel S. Moore, review of From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, p. 227; February, 2001, review of Miracle's Boys, p. 400.
Bantam Doubleday Dell, http://www.bdd.com/ (April 8, 1997), "Jacqueline Woodson."
BookPage.com, http://www.bookpage.com/ (February, 2003), Heidi Henneman, "Poetry in Motion."
Jacqueline Woodson Home Page, http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/ (February 16, 2006).