The Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
Jacqueline Woodson wins 2018 Wilder Award
“From picture books through novels for young teens to her exquisite memoir in poetry, Jacqueline Woodson has established herself as an eloquent voice in contemporary children’s literature,” said Wilder Award Committee Chair Rita Auerbach.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1963, Jacqueline Woodson lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. She has said that as a young child she wrote stories at every opportunity. The author of more than two dozen books for children and young adults, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2015 and is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Woodson’s award-winning works include “Brown Girl Dreaming,” which won the 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Award, 2015 Newbery and Sibert Honors, and the 2014 National Book Award; and “Show Way,” recipient of the 2006 Newbery Honor Award. In addition, Woodson has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement and the NAACP Image Award.
If children’s literature today addresses themes of racism, sexuality, and class; if previously invisible characters have come to the fore; if different voices are now heard; if more children see themselves and others in books, look to Jacqueline Woodson as a prime-mover. For over 25 years, in elegant poetry and prose, she has courageously explored issues once ignored and nurtured her readers’ self-esteem and empathy.
As an author who has inspired and encouraged young writers, Woodson wrote “Locomotion”about a boy in foster care who finds his voice as a poet. Having suffered the death of his parents and subsequent separation from his sister, Lonnie discovers, in poetry, both an artistic form and emotional focus to move forward.
Members of the 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Committee are Chair Rita Auerbach, New York, N.Y.; Viki L. Ash, San Antonio Public Library; Susan Faust, San Francisco; Laura Koenig, Boston Public Library; and Merri V. Lindgren, Cooperative Children's Book Center / Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis