How to find information about Jacqueline Woodson
(This section was written by my fabulous assistant, Anne Hays. Thanks, Anne!)
A quick note about trustworthy sources
Sadly, a lot of published information is incorrect. You will discover that even encyclopedia entries may differ from each other (for instance, a few encyclopedias list her birth year as 1964, which is not true–it’s 1963). When doing research, it’s good to develop a healthy suspicion of all “facts.”
If you’ll notice, the lists below are “incomplete lists.” This guide is meant to be the beginning, not the end point, of your research. If you find an excellent interview, article, essay, or other information we don’t have, feel free to send an email
There is truly a lot of information available about Jacqueline Woodson. Rather than list every article, book review, interview, or encyclopedia entry specifically (which would be nearly impossible–there’s just too much information) this is a handy guide with a list of resources to help you find the most useful information to you. A quick Google search yields dozens of hits, but if you are looking for particular magazine articles or trustworthy sources, you can’t rely solely on Google. You should really go to your school or local library to do your research. To get you started, here is a basic research guide.
How to use databases (a quick explanation) through your library:
There are three ways to search for information on Jacqueline Woodson in databases: Keyword, Author, and Subject searches.
The most general search is a keyword search. Try this first. If you enter her name as a keyword, everything in the database mentioning her name, or any part of her name, will come up. Depending on how many hits that come up, you may need to narrow your search.
To search for works by Jacqueline Woodson you will want to enter her name in the author entry in the advanced search box (last name first, then first initial). The Library of Congress establishes “authorized” terms as a way to distinguish between authors whose names are the same, or similar, to the author you’re looking for, and to correct common misspellings. Authorized terms make your life easier because once you find an entry correctly listing Jacqueline Woodson, her name should appear as a link. Click this link to search for everything in the database with her as an author.
To search for works about Jacqueline Woodson, you will need to do a subject search. Simply type in her full name in the subject entry box in an advanced search. Just as there are authorized author terms, there are also authorized subject terms. If you find an entry that correctly references Jacqueline Woodson, see if there is a link to her as a subject and click on that to reveal all other entries in the database referencing her as a subject.
And remember, you can always narrow your search by adding additional search terms into the advanced search entry boxes under title, author, subject, publisher, and more (called Boolean searching).
Another handy trick
You can find excellent information by tracing bibliographic entries in articles you find useful. If you discover a well-researched article with the kind of information you need for your project, check out that author’s bibliography at the end of the piece. The bibliography is a ready-made list of articles and books you may find useful.
Incomplete List of Books Authored by Jacqueline Woodson
- After Tupac & D Foster
- Behind You
- Between Madison and Palmetto
- Coming on Home Soon
- The Dear One
- From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun
- The House You Pass on the Way
- I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This
- If You Come Softly
- Last Summer with Maizon
- Maizon at Blue Hill
- Miracle’s Boys
- The Other Side
- Our Gracie Aunt
- Peace, Locomotion
- Pecan Pie Baby
- Show Way
- Sweet, Sweet Memory
- Visiting Day
- We Had a Picnic this Sunday Past
Incomplete List of Anthologies Containing Her Work
- 21 Proms
- African American Fiction 2009
- Am I Blue?
- Art & Story
- Color of Absence
- Eighth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators
- The KGB Bar Reader
- Handbook of Poetic Forms
- How Beautiful the Ordinary
- I Believe in Water
- Mending the World
- No Such Thing as the Real World
- One Hot Second
- Prentice Hall Literature
- Queer 13
- Rush Hour
- Same Difference
- Writing Great Books for Young Artists
Incomplete List of Interviews
- The Brown Bookshelf
- Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market 2011 (print interview)
- My Friend Amy (blog)
- The Happy Nappy Bookseller
- Penguin Interview
- Publisher’s Weekly: Brown, Jennifer M. “From outsider to insider. (PWInterview).” Publishers Weekly. 249.6 (11 February 2002): p156.
- Talk of the Nation: “Interview: Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Lethem and Jacqueline Woodson discuss the writer’s view of adolescence.” Talk of the Nation. (19 August 2004): Literature Resource Center. Gale.
- TeachingBooks.net Note that this interview also exists on this website (PDF available).
- Teen Reads
- Rhapsody in Books Sunday Salon
- Reading Rockets (video interview)
Where to Find Biographical Information
The following databases are good places to start:
- The Gale Virtual Reference Library
- Something About the Author (exists in print and online database)
- MLA International Bibliography
Here is a short list of encyclopedia entries:
- Jacqueline Woodson (1964-).“Children’s Literature Review. Ed. Deborah J. Morad. Vol. 49. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 194-210. Literature Criticism Online. Gale.
- “Jacqueline Woodson (1964-).” Something about the Author. Vol. 189. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 200-209. Something About The Author Online. Gale.
- Jones, Caroline E. “Woodson, Jacqueline.” Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English. Ed. Victor Watson. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge, 2001. 767. Gale Virtual Reference Library.
- “Woodson, Jacqueline (1964-).” Major 21st-Century Writers. Ed. Tracey Matthews and Tracey Watson. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Gale Virtual Reference Library.
- “Woodson, Jacqueline Amanda.” Who’s Who Among African Americans. Ed. James Craddock. 26th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011. 1381. Gale Virtual Reference Library.
- “Woodson, Jacqueline.” The Writers Directory 2011. Ed. Lisa Kumar. 26th ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: St. James Press, 2010. 2565. Gale Virtual Reference Library.
A list of her works is at the top of the screen, but here are ways to double-check this list. Try her publisher’s websites. These sites also list bios and reading guides:
- Penguin Group,
- Random House,
- Recorded Books.
- Database: Bowker’s Books in Print: But beware, if a book is no longer in print it will not appear in this database.
Where to find critical reviews and articles
She has been reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, Audiofile, and many more. You can do individual searches through these publications.
A better option is to go to your library and search her name in the following databases:
- Book Review Digest: a list, by book, of all major book reviews. Extremely useful.
- Magillon Literature Plus: a few critical articles about her books.
- MLA International Bibliography: a quick search yields a variety of sources, including book reviews, critical articles, interviews, and academic works discussing her books.
- Popular Magazine: hundreds of hits come up in this database! This database pulls articles from hundreds of mainstream magazines.