Jacqueline Woodson is the author of numerous award-winning books for young adults, including Last Summer With Maizon, I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This, From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, and Miracle’s Boys. She started writing when she was young, but her fiction for kids didn’t really click until she got older. That’s when she realized that she could actually help the younger generation simply through her words.
That’s why Woodson chooses subjects that she thinks kids should be able to read about — even if they’re topics that are hard to explain or uncomfortable to talk about. For example, If You Come Softly is about an interracial romance; Hush tells the story of a family placed under the witness protection program; and Sweet, Sweet Memory depicts the way a young girl copes with her grandfather’s death. Visiting Day is a picture book about a little girl’s trips to see her father in prison. It’s not every day you see a children’s book about this topic, but Woodson believes that it is an important subject because lots of people have family members in prison, and she wants them to know that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, Woodson says that Visiting Day is about the same thing that all her other books are about: caring about one another. “In Visiting Day, the people really love each other, miss each other when they’re apart, and care a great deal about each other. This is what’s most important to me — to show love in all its many forms.”
Woodson currently lives in Brooklyn, where she writes full-time and can be found in the mornings hanging out in Prospect Park with her dog, Maus.