Jacqueline Woodson is a writer who redefines children’s and young adult literature to reflect the complexity of the world we live in and stretch our readers’ intellectual abilities. Her works range from picture books to novels and explore complex issues like race, gender, age, family, and history.
She won the 2014 National Book Award for her memoir in verse, "Brown Girl Dreaming," about growing up in the segregated South and Brooklyn. In 2018, she was inaugurated as the sixth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress.
Her most recent novel is "Harbor Me." It's a middle-grade book about six students who meet every week to talk about their lives. The text is derived from recordings of their conversations, and it allows readers to witness each student's efforts to overcome their fears and biases.
In "The Garden," a story about her grandfather's garden, Jacqueline Woodson shares her love for nature. Her grandfather loves working in the garden and believes that it "gives back to you all that you've asked of it" (48). He also has a deep affection for his siblings.
Throughout her poem, Jacqueline uses language that is often dark and emotional. This is evident in the quote “My heart is home, and I’ll never go back.” The use of this word implies that she will always feel connected to her South Carolina roots.
She is also fond of her grandmother, who takes time to care for Jacqueline and Odella’s hair every week. This shows that she is dedicated to helping her children become the best versions of themselves.