Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. 2001. New York:
Penguin Putman. ISBN 0399231161.
In the “Other
Side”, Woodson writes about a segregated town in the South. The black and
white communities are separated by a fence. Two girls Clover (African American)
and Annie (white) are both told not to climb over the fence because it is not safe.
It is a story of hope, how children don’t see black or white, but a potential friendship. The two girls work around the fence to become friends. “The Other Side” is a touching book
that introduces young children to the historical period of Segregation.
“I wanted to write
about how powerful kids can be. Clover and Annie fight against segregation by
becoming Friends. They don’t believe in the ideas adults have about things
so they do what they can to change the world. We all have this power.”
Woodson, Jacqueline. We had a Picnic this Sunday Past. 1998. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0786802421.
“We had a Picnic
this Sunday Past, is not a typical Woodson change the world book, but a lighthearted story about family’s annual picnic
seen through the eyes of the narrator. Teeka narrates the story about the annual
family picnic held in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York and her grandmother
goes the family picnic. With a loving eye and humor Teeka introduces the readers
to the members of her family as they arrive with their home cooked dishes.
Woodson light hearted story about picnics, food and family gathering and Greensied’s lively roly-poly characters
will have children laughing at Teeka animated descriptions of family member, Reverend Luke who carries the Bible, “….can
eat like the devil? …strange since he’s a holy man.” This book
will become a family favorite as they pack up their home cooked dishes for their annual family picnic
Middle Reader Titles
Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion. New York: Putnam's
Sons. 2003. ISBN0399231153.
Hip Hop Rules the World
Hop Rules the World, Lamont said
grinning like somebody had told him
he's just won the lotto.
all it was was Ms. Marcus saying
Of course rap is poetry!
of the most creative forms.
So now Lamon't writing lyrics
bopping his head
and every chance he gets
Hip Hop Rules the World
one of the most creative forms
Dog! Guess who else is a poet now!
This is Woodson first verse novel. Woodson
said, “ Lonnie’s voice was in my head, “The poems started coming
and the rest…. the rest is this book, I guess.” This book will introduce
young readers especially boys to poetry, exposing them to the connection between Rap lyrics and poetry. Lonnie’s words share his life with its readers, the pain of losing his parents and being separated
from his sister. Woodson has once aging written an urban tale rich with the language
of the street.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Last Summer with Maizon. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0698119290
“The Last Summer with Maizon”. Woodson writes about the friendship
between two black girls who live in the Bushwich section of Brooklyn,
New York. Margaret loves her family
and her best friend Maizon. During the summer they both turn eleven Margaret’s
father dies of a heart attack and Maizon in accepted at an expensive boarding school.
“Last Summer with Maizon” is the first book is a series of three
about middle class African American families that live in the same neighborhood that Woodson grew up in. In the first book of the trilogy Woodson writes about adolescent, death, racism, independence, and the
nurturing of the gifted child.
Young Adults Titles
Woodson, Jacqueline. The Dear One. 2004. New York: Penguin. ISBN 039923913
“The Dear One’,
is Woodson’s second novel about a strong group of African American women dealing with their individual problems which
connect them to each other’s lives. The story of Feni’s and Rebecca’s relationship is woven around contemporary
issues of: teenage pregnancy, alternative lifestyles, divorce, and adoption. Many
of the issues Woodson address in the novel are topics she faced each day as a drama therapist for homeless and runaway teenagers
“ The Dear One’,
was the second novel I ever wrote. I wanted too write about teenage pregnancy. At the time I was working with runaway and homeless young people-many of whom were
pregnant. I want to write a novel that spoke to them.”
Woodson, Jacqueline. The House you Pass on the Way. 2003. New York:
Puffin. ISBN 0142501913.
‘The House you
Pass on the Way”, deals with the contemporary issues of racism, interracial marriage and a high school girl’s
crush on another girl. The story follows Evangeline (nickname Staggerlee) and
her adopted cousin Trout during the summer they were thirteen questioning their sexual ordination.
“I wanted to write
about the south-something I hadn’t really done before. I wanted to write
about friendship and I wanted to write about what it means to love someone-how painful and confusing that can be.”
Woodson, Jacqueline. I Hadn’t Meant To Tell You This. 1995.
New York: Laurel-Leaf Books.
Maria and Lena are both motherless. Marie is black and well off. Lena is white and poor. They both live in the small town of Chauncey, Ohio where blacks and whites don’t mix. But
the girls become friends any way. Lena has a
terrible secret that she has only told Maria. Maria has to decide if she should keep it a secret or tell someone about it? In this book Woodson exposes the taboo topic of sexual abuse between a father and
daughter. Once again Woodson uses experiences from her work as a therapist to
say to readers, “Don’t be afraid. You are not alone.” The only problem I had with the book is that Maria decided to keep Lena’s
friends instead of telling someone about her friend’s problem.
Woodson, Jacqueline. From the Notebook of Melanin Sun. 1997 New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0590458817
Thirteen year old Melanin
Sun has a great life with hi single mom in a section of Brooklyn, New York called Flatbush. He feels like she’s
the person he can tell anything to. Then on day, his mother brings a white woman
named Kristin home. Melanin dislikes Kristin the minute he meets her and because
of her, his life with his mother will never be the same again. Woodson wrote this story about homosexuality and racism from
the point of view of a boy.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Miracle’s Boys. 2001. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0698119169.
Woodson won the Corretta
Scott King Award for “Miracle’s Boy’s in 2001. The story takes
place in the Washington Heights section
of Manhattan. Twelve
year old Lafayette tells the story of three bothers who are
orphaned after the death of their mother. He tells the story of what happens
to him and his older brother, fifteen year old Charlie and twenty-one Ty’ree, after Charlie comes home form juvenile
detention center where he has spent time for armed robbery.
“I wanted to write
a story that had no girls in it. Also wanted to write about how hard it
is t be poor sometime. I also wanted to write about how hard it is to lose someone
you love-in this case, both parents-and how that pain starts shaping itself into other things sometimes like anger and isolation. Most of all I wanted to write about three brothers who are funny, handsome, searching,
and caring of one another.
Woodson, Jacqueline. If You Come Softly. 1998. New York:
Putman. ISBN 0399231129.
“If You Come Softly”’
is a story about first love, interracial dating, and family. Ellie is white and
Jewish, Jeremiah is black. They meet at a private school and fall in love together
they have to learn to deal with how society treats them because they are and interracial couple.
“As I was writing,
I came across some line form Romeo and Juliet and realized this story was a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.”