Tag Archives: Jacqueline Woodson

An evening with Jacqueline Woodson

5 Apr

It’s a busy week, after the relaxing pace of Spring Break. It’s all good stuff and has me wondering why everything gets packed into one week and isn’t spread out over the whole month. The Universe can be a weird place sometimes.

Last night, wasn’t weird, it was wonderful. I hear Jacqueline Woodson speak as part of the Portland Arts and Lectures series, where authors talk about their work.

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Early on she told said, ” I know I’m not supposed to re, but that’s okay because most of my books are memorized.” She started reciting “show Way and had us from that moment on.

She went on to talk about the many ways we take in narrative and told her own story, listening to the stories her family told. Her family worried she’d write about them and she learned that  how she portrayed people mattered.

In telling the story of writing Brown Girl Dreaming,  Woodson said, “if you have old people in your life talk to them, get their stories”. Those of us who have lost our parents, grandparents, and others of that generation really understand why she says that.

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What I found most fascinating was her explanation of how Brown Girl Dreaming  came to be the book it is.  She said it was falling apart – that all books fall apart at some point but you have to do the work to keep it going and move on. In conversation with a friend about the problem she was having, the friend remarked, ” The South was on fire when you were born.” and that was the spark the brought it all together for her. That doesn’t mean it was easy from that point on. There were 33 rewrites, a fact I will happily tell my students.

She gave some good pieces of advice to aspiring writers.

  • Know that you have a story and the right to tell it.
  • Decide why you want to write.
  • Show your writing to people you trust.
  • Be prepared to re-write a lot!

 

This week’s book talks 9/17-21

21 Sep

Monday

The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm

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Tuesday

Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith

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Wednesday

Estranged  by Ethan M. Aldridge

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Thursday

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

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Friday

Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow

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#alaac18 – Day 3 in New Orleans

25 Jun

I came to New Orleans with a list of arcs I wanted. I also came intending to take only as many books as would fit in my suitcase.

I shipped two boxes yesterday.

I was at the post offcie by 9 a.m. because I wanted to avoid the lines that would be inevitable Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. The process was quick, efficient and pleasant. I walked the exhibit hall floor, looking for a few more books – really, just specific titles I had on a list but hadn’t yet found – on my way to the Pop Top Stage to listen to the Pura Belpre winners speak.

From there, I was off to lunch hosted by Abram books, at Calcasieu, private dining rooms above Cochon. We were given some meal choices and, even thought my vegetable consumption this week has been limited, I opted for the Gumbo starter and Shrimp with Grits for my entree. Both were divine.

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Four middle grade authors were present and two spoke between each course. Nathan Hale and Rebecca Petruck went first. Nathan spoke about Raid of No Return and Rebecca spoke about Boy Bites Bug.

As we finished our entrees, Laura Geringer Bass spoke about The Girl With More Than One Heart and Jonathan Auxier spoke about Sweep.

All of these books will be perfect for my classroom library and I look forward to book talking them in the new school year.

After the meal, I walked back to the hotel, intending to rest before dressing for the Newbery Caldecott Banquet. I was so sleepy I decided to have a nap, but didn’t set the alarm, not really expecting to sleep long. I awoke with a start at almost 5 pm. YIKES!

I slicked down my bedhead and dressed quickly. I was out the door in 5 minutes to walk to the shuttle bus at the convention center that wold take me to the Hilton where I would meet up with my Sibert committee colleagues. We got a table together for the banquet.

As the banquet is wont to be, the food was okay, the conversation excellent, and the speeches brought us all to tears. Matthew Cordell, Caldecott winner for Wolf in the Snow,  went first. That’s when the waterworks started flowing. He was followed by Erin Entrada Kelly, author of  the Newbery winning Hello, Universe. She had us laughing at examples of her first, self published works from elementary school and crying as she spoke about her family experiences and what the award meant. Final, Jacqueline Woodson, winner fo the newly renamed Lifetime Legacy Award who called us to action.

I had another great sleep and I am out early this morning for the presentation of the 2018 Robert F Sibert Medal. I  can hardly wait to share that experience with yout tomorrow!

This week’s Book talks 10/16-20

20 Oct

I had two days of training this week, co only did booktalks three days. I still managed to get in five books, though.

On the heels of listening to Jason Reynolds, I booktalked Ghost and Patina on Monday.

 

 

For no particular reason, except that I love it, I booktalked Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming on Wednesday.

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Finally, simply because I haven’t booktalked a graphic novel in a while, I shared Gene Luen Yang’s  Boxers & Saints.

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How I did on the ALA Youth Media Awards

2 Feb

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This morning the ALA Youth Media Awards were announced. I got a few right.

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The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet won the Sibert Award and  Caldecott Honor.

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Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith won a Printz Honor Award.

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Gabi A Girl in Pieces  by Isabel Quintero won the Morris Award.

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson won several awards.

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El Deafo  by Cece Bell got a Newbery Honor.

If you missed the live webcast, you can watch it here, or read below.

Here are the details:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

The Crossover written by Kwame Alexander, is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Two Newbery Honor Books also were named:

El Deafo by Cece Bell, illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Brown Girl Dreaming written by Jacqueline Woodson and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend illustrated by Dan Santat, is the 2015 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Dan Santat and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Six Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

Nana in the City illustrated by Lauren Castillo, written by Lauren Castillo and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

The Noisy Paint Box: The  Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art illustrated by Mary GrandPre, written by Barb Rosenstock and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Candlewick Press.

Viva Frida illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

This One Summer illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki and published by First Second.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

Brown Girl Dreaming written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected:

Kwame Alexander for The Crossover published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.

Marilyn Nelson for How I Discovered Poetry illustrated by Hadley Hooper and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC.

Kekla Magoon for How It Went Down published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

Firebird illustrated by Christopher Myers, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Misty Copeland and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Two King Illustrator Honor Book were selected:

Christian Robinson for Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, by Patricia Hruby Powell, published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Frank Morrison for Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, by Katheryn Russell-Brown, published by Lee and Low Books, Inc.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:

When I Was the Greatest written and illustrated by Jason Alexander, is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

I’ll Give You the Sun, written by Jandy Nelson, is the 2015 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named:

And We Stay, by Jenny Hubbard, and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.

The Carnival at Bray, by Jessie Ann Foley, and published by Elephant Rock Books.

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith, and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, and published by First Second.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

A BOY AND A JAGUAR written by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.

RAIN REIGN written by Ann M. Martin and published by A FEIWEL AND FRIENDS BOOK, is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13).

The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is Girls Like Us, written by Gail Giles and published by Candlewick Press.

 

Pura Belpre (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

Viva Frida, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, is the Belpre Illustrator Award winner.  The book was written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.

Three Belpre Illustrator Honor Books were named:

Little Roja Riding Hood, illustrated by Susan Guevara, written by Susan Middleton Elya, and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Green Is a Chile Pepper, illustrated by John Parra, written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, and published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Pura Belpre (Author) Award honoring Latino authors whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience:

I Lived on Butterfly Hill is the 2015 Pura Belpre (Author) Award winner. The book is written byMarjorie Agosin, illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

One Belpre Author Honor Book was named:

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes, written by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raul Colonand published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, written by Jen Bryant, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Five Sibert Honor Books were named:

Brown Girl Dreaming, written by Jacqueline Woodson, and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial Russia, written by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, written by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated byChristian Robinson and published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands, written and illustrated by Katherine Roy, and published by David Macaulay Studio, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press.

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:

This Day in June, written by Gayle E. Pitman, Ph.D., illustrated by Kristyna Litten and published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association, is the winner of the 2015 Stonewall Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award.

Three Honor Books were selected:

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin, photographed by Susan Kuklin and published by Candlewick Press.

I’ll Give You the Sun, written by Jandy Nelson, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, written by Christine Baldacchio, pictures by Isabelle Malenfant, published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

You Are (Not) Small, written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, is the Seuss Award winner. The book is published by Two Lions, New York.

Two Geisel Honor Books were named:

Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page, written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard, and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Waiting Is Not Easy! written by Mo Willems, illustrated by Mo Willems, and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, written by Isabel Quintero, is the 2015 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Cinco Puntos Press.

Four other books were finalists for the award:

The Carnival at Bray written by Jessie Ann Foley and published by Elephant Rock Books.

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, written by E.K. Johnston and published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.

The Scar Boys written by Len Vlahos and published by Egmont Publishing.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender written by Leslye Walton and published by Candlewick Press.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: 

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, written by Maya Van Wagenen, is the 2015 Excellence winner. The book is published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Four other books were finalists for the award:

Laughing at My Nightmare written by Shane Burcaw, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia written by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business-and Won! written by Emily Arnold McCully, and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights written by Steve Sheinkin, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

ALA Youth Media Awards

1 Feb

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Tomorrow is the big day when the Youth Media Awards are announced. I hope to watch them live, but that means I will have to get to school extra extra early. Or take the morning off. You can watch them live here.

There are many books I hope to see honored at the ALA YMA and I think today is a good day to share a few of  them with you, in no particular order.

Unknown-1 The Story of Owen by E. K. Johnston

images Poisoned Apples  by Christine Heppernan

Unknown The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant

Unknown The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Unknown El Deafo by Cece Bell

Unknown Gaston  written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christine Robinson

Unknown I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora

20615330 Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Unknown Going Over  by Beth Kephart

Unknown-1 The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

Unknown Nuts to You  by Lynne Rae Perkins

Unknown Audrey (Cow)  by Dan Bar-El (this can;t win a Newbery because Bar-El is Canadian)

20702546 Gabi A Girl in Pieces  by Isabel Quintero

Unknown-2 Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Memoir and Memory

26 Sep

In her author’s note at the end of  Brown Girl Dreaming,  Jacqueline Woodson says simply “Memory is strange”.

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And  free verse, a form in which Wooodson is very comfortable, seems to be the perfect vehicle for her memoir. Her voice is so clear in my head and so engaging that I couldn’t put the book down, finishing it in one sitting. The book is tender, heart-breaking and inspirational, full of love, family and place.

Place is almost a character here. Although Woodson was born in Ohio in 1963 and spent much of her youth in South Carolina before her family moved to Brooklyn. Each of these places is beautifully evoked and you can see how each had their influence on the burgeoning writer.

As much is this memoir is about writing, it is the parts about listening I find most interesting. There are a series of short, numbered  haikus throughout the book. As Jacqueline and I  moved through the book together , I noticed how they change.

How to Listen #1

Somewhere in my brain

each laugh, tear and lullaby

becomes a memory

How to Listen #2

In the stores downtown

we’re always followed around

just because we’re brown.

How to Listen #7

Even the silence

has a story to tell you.

Just listen. Listen.

The memoir is full of family stories, and variations of family stories, as in the story of Jacqueline’s birth, that different people remember in different ways.

This is a beautiful book I hope you all take the opportunity to read.

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