For our first episode of 2021, we chat with renowned writer Jacqueline Woodson. She is the author of dozens of award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. This conversation took place September 7th, 2018 and was recorded live at the American Writers Museum. At that time, Woodson was the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She is joined by AWM Program Committee member Sheila Murphy.
We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer.
“I think young people are really smart and sometimes we don’t understand how grounded and connected to the world and everything around it they are.”
“I read slower than other people as a young person and so I read differently…Even today it feels like people get challenged for reading slowly, which I completely disagree with. I think people should read slowly because it takes us a long time to write these books.”
“Always remember, when you are with your people, you are home.”
“I’m interested in any way that people read. And I think graphic novels are amazing. I remember the resistance against them, right? Like, that’s not really reading. Those aren’t really books…but I’m so excited that going from that time when there was resistance in classrooms and libraries to people recognizing that some people read this way.”
“I go around the country and spread the gospel of reading and literature and the importance of gathering and having conversations that are deep and sometimes hard and sometimes scary but that books help us to have. So my platform is Reading = Hope x Change.”