At the recent NCSLMA conference, I had the chance to see one of my favorite authors, Jacqueline Woodson. She had participated in our conference before, at least ten years ago, and I remembered her as gracious and engaging. At that time, I had read a few of her books -- The House You Pass on the Way and If You Come Softly -- but I don't believe her novel Miracle's Boys was out yet.
Since then, I have voraciously read almost all the books she has written, including her young adult novels and her picture books, and I am constantly booktalking and recommending them to my middle school readers in my library.
Her latest novel, Brown Girl Dreaming, is a wonderful story of her growing up in South Carolina and New York, of her falling in love with words, and of her as a young child figuring out the world, the good and the bad. Told in verse, the memoir is a lovely read, solidifying Woodson as a prolific writer. The book has received numerous starred reviews and is a finalist for the National Book Award.