I have never read anything books by author Jacqueline Woodson until our Reading and Responding to Children’s Literature class. To be honest, I never even had heard of her. But overall, I am definitely happy that I have been exposed to her work and writing style. It is unique and not quite like anything that I have ever read and I feel that her voice really speaks through the text. I felt a lot of different emotions while I was reading her work as well. I felt sadness, happiness, and anger. The events of her work really move the reader and provoke emotion, something that a great writer can do. It is just one thing to write words on a page but to really bring out emotion and getting readers to think is a gift that not every author has.
Many of her books deal with the same themes and ideas. After having our class discussion I discovered that her books deal with African American characters within an urban setting. Many of them are faced with a struggle such as family issues or interpersonal and also tend to be heavy, weighing a lot on the main characters. However, these are great issues to expose students to within a classroom because it is reality and could happen to anymore. Something traumatic could have happened to any one of the students in a classroom so they may be able to relate to the experiences that the characters are feeling in the books.
Because of the intensity of the issues that she writes with, her work can be seen as controversial. I do not have a problem with controversial work as long as it is taught in a way that students will be able to understand and take away something. I would not object to using Woodson’s work within my classroom. I believe it would be great exposure for students and she also writes from an African American point of view. This can help students gain an insight to how people from other races portray aspects of our world and their reactions to it. It definitely gives a different perspective that many students are not used to.
Jacqueline Woodson writes picture books and novels. Check out her work at her website: http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/