Jacqueline Woodson is an award-winning author who has written stories for young people, teens, and adults for over 20 years. Woodson writes so that “children will see experiences, they will gain empathy and their world will become bigger.” Woodson’s books can be cherished by so many young hearts. We chose stories that display young women’s: courage, resilience, and handling differences in their society.

The Day You Begin-Woodson

Highlights the experiences of children where they do not see themselves on the outside, but through those experiences they learn.

This is the Rope
A Story from the Great Migration

A story about a family’s connection on migrating from the South to the North. A rope that had significance to the little girl’s grandmother living in South Carolina, to the rope being used to tie luggage on a car, and then used to hang a sign on a family reunion. This story highlights how something as small as a rope is passed down to different generations as a family “heirloom.”


Show Way-Woodson
Woodson shares a family story. Patches from quilts reminded the slaves in her family who were sold about home. “Show ways” were quilts which once served as maps for freedom-seeking slaves. Today Woodson writes stories to youth about their own paths for resilience and family.

Brown Girl Dreaming

Woodson writes in free verse about how her life transformed. Her family is from South Carolina, but like many other Black people they moved to the North. Woodson’s experiences with spirituality, Civil Rights Movement, her friends and family, and connection to writing. A young reader will enjoy the humanity and sincerity that Woodson shares in her book about the changes in her life during her adolescence.

Coming On Home Soon

A story about a little girl who has to live with her grandmother because her mother was hired to work in Chicago. This story occurs when a war occurred and the men were fighting so they hired women to work. A story of how the little girl and grandmother miss her mother.

The Other Side
Two little girls are separated from one another because of a fence that separates their land. Even though they are neighbors, their parents do not allow them to play together. Eventually the girls learn about one another and state for the fence to come down.