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Featured books by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson tackles tough issues head-on: race relations, foster care, and incarceration are just some of the issues that her characters confront. In the hands of such a skilled writer, however, readers trust that these sensitive and difficult topics will be handled realistically yet with the knowledge that hope will remain. (Please note the books that are more appropriate for kids ages 9–12)

For more mature books by Jacqueline Woodson, visit our sister site, AdLit.org.

Coming on Home Soon

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Ada Ruth's mother goes to Chicago for a much-needed job during World War II, Ada Ruth stays with her grandmother in Grandma's rural home. Being apart is tough even though Ada Ruth knows it is in response to the war. Words and illustration combine to present a stirring portrait of longing, family, and love until mother and child are reunited.

Feathers

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Narrator Frannie keenly observes the changing dynamics in her classroom when a new white student arrives. Frannie also frets about her family — her deaf brother isolated from the hearing world and her pregnant mother prone to miscarriages.

Lena

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Disguised as boys, Lena and her sister Dion flee their father's abuse. They hitchhike to their mother's hometown in Kentucky in hopes of finding a relative to care for them.

Locomotion

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Through a class poetry assignment, fifth-grader Lonnie reveals the house fire that killed his parents, his separation from his sister, his life in foster care, and his community's struggle with poverty and racism.

Peace, Locomotion

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lonnie, aka Locomotion (first introduced in Locomotion) tries to connect with his sister and to prevent forgetting their "real" parents. As he writes Lili, readers learn about his life including his foster brother who has returned from the Iraq war.

Show Way

By: Jacqueline Woodson, Hudson Talbott
Illustrated by: Hudson Talbott
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Soonie's great grandmother was only seven-years-old when sold to the big plantation. A quilt that showed the way to freedom and chronicled the family's history connects the generations, and continues to do so. Idealized illustrations and the poetic text provide an unusual family story.

The Other Side

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clover and Annie — one black, the other white — are separated by a fence and attitudes that want to prevent their friendship.

Visiting Day

By: Jacqueline Woodson, James Ransome
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A girl and her grandmother prepare to visit the girl's father by packing a big lunch then boarding a bus. The joyful reunion takes place in a prison, emphasizing the love between a father and his daughter. Notes from both the author and illustrator complete this book.

We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by: Diane Greenseid
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Teeka has a sharp eye as she describes each member of the family that joins the picnic in the park while waiting to see if the aunt with the dried out pie arrives. Lively language and animated, colorful illustrations make this picnic jump off the page.

Interested in wonderful interviews with tween and teen authors? Hop on over to our sister site, AdLit.org, and browse the library.

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables