Cayla's Children's Lit Project

Author Study- Jacqueline Woodson

About the Author

Jacquline Woodson is an American writer who writes books and novels for both children and young adults. Woodson began her journey into literature and writing after being chosen to become the literary editor for a magazine when she was in the 5th grade. She became sold on becoming a writer after reading texts like, Ruby by Rosa Guy and The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison, which allowed to actually relate to character's background. She was able to see that main characters in books could be about people of color. Woodson now writes books that incorporates characters from different racial, ethnic and social backgrounds. Woodson has received awards and honors from the American Library Association, Newberry Honor, National Book Award, and Coretta Scott King Award. Click this link to learn more about Jacquline Woodson.

Popular Children's Books Written by Jacqueline Woodson

This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration

This is the Rope is a novel written by Woodson that follows a family's journey as they travel North during the Great Migration. The story begins with a little girl that finds a jump rope right before her family begins their journey. She has no idea that this jump rope will eventually become passed down from generation to generation. The book shares how the jump rope has been used by the little girl, who eventually becomes a grandmother, her daughter and finally her granddaughter.

This book is good for Grades 1st-2nd.

This book can be a great introduction into the topic of the Great Migration. It also can start a discussion on how things change from generation to generation.

Click this link to find an activity to do with this book.

Pecan Pie Baby

This children's book follows a little girl named Gia. Gia is really annoyed with hearing about the new baby her mom is going to have. Everyone including her friends at school are always talking about the new baby. Gia likes things exactly how they are and is hesitant that when the new baby comes everything will change. How will Gia handle this new change?

This book is good for grades K-2nd

The some of the book's themes include coping with change, role of being a big sibling, and highlighting family structures. This book does a good job of introducing a single-parent family structure. This book can also bring up good discussions on how students can deal with change. The following link provides an activity that goes along with this book.

The Other Side

The story follows Clover, a young African American Girl. Clover lives beside a fence that separates her town from whites and blacks. Her mother explains to her to never go on the other side of that fences because it can only lead to trouble. Then one day during the summer Clover notices a young White girl, named Alice, standing on the other side of the fence. She continues to see her standing there and seems very lonely. One day Clover decides to go over to the fence and talk to the girl. The girls begin to realize that one fence shouldn't stand in the way of a growing friendship.

This book is appropriate for Grades K-2nd

Some of the themes this book include Diversity, Friendship, Racial Equality and Segregation. This book can help begin to introduce and start some discussions on the history of racism and diversity with children.

The following link provides an activity that goes along with this book.

Show Way

This children's book shares the stories of one African-American family over seven generations. The story begins with Soonie's Great Grandmother who was seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her family with only fabric and needles to call her own. Over time she learned to make Show Way quilts, which were used to help lead slaves to the underground railroad which lead to freedom. She would then pass this knowledge on to her own daughter, Soonie's Grandmother. They would continue to pass this knowledge on from generation to generation. The book shows how the show way pattern has been passed on generations over time as the country moves from slavery to freedom, including segregation up until the present.

This book is appropriate for grades 2nd-5th

Some topics that this book does a good job introducing would be Slavery, Underground Railroad, Abolition, Segregation, and Family Generations. This book can do a good job of starting a discussion on talking about family history.

The following link provides an activity that goes along with this book.

"Each Kindness" Book Trailer

Each Kindness

When a new student, Maya arrives at school, she has a hard time adjusting to the new school. She has a difficult time making friends because they all seem to pick on her because she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old fashion toys. Every time she tries to play with Chloe and her friends they always turn her down. Eventually Maya stops asking and just plays by herself. Then one day Maya stops coming to school. After listening to a lesson the teacher gives on kindness, Chloe gets upset on the lost opportunity for kindness and friendship with Maya.

This book is appropriate for grades K-2nd.

This book can begin some good discussion on Friendship, Acceptance, Kindness and Compassion.

The following link provides an activity that goes along with this book.

Coming on Home Soon

Ada Ruth's mother must head to Chicago to find work, since many jobs are open because of the war. With her mother gone it is just Ada Ruth and her grandmother trying to keep up their daily routine while still waiting for her mother to return. The story talks about the strength they are able to find in one another as they continue to wait for word of her mothers return.

This book is appropriate for grades 2nd-4th.

This book can bring up discussion on the Roles of Women during War time, Family Seperation, and Hope.

The following link provides an activity that goes along with this book.