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Jacqueline Woodson’s ‘Brown Girl Dreaming’ Wins the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

November 20, 2014 – The National Book Foundation has named Jacqueline Woodson’s BROWN GIRL DREAMING the winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The award was announced on the evening of November 19 at Cipriani Wall Street, along with winners in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry. Woodson has been a National Book Award finalist three times for Hush, Locomotion, and Brown Girl Dreaming. This is her first win.

BROWN GIRL DREAMING is the New York Times bestselling memoir of Woodson’s childhood. Woodson shares the poignant, the gritty, and the sweet memories of her youth—as well as revealing the first sparks that ignited her writing career—in lyrical poems about growing up as an African American as the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum. Raised in South Carolina and New York during the 1960s and 1970s, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. Brown Girl Dreaming has been called “gorgeous” [Vanity Fair], “distinctive” [NPR Morning Edition] and “captivating” [The Wall Street Journal].

“It is such a joy to publish Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, a book that has the power to touch people’s hearts with its honesty and lyricism,” says Nancy Paulsen, President and Publisher of Nancy Paulsen Books.

“Readers of all ages can relate to this moving portrait of a writer finding her voice and purpose during the burgeoning Civil Rights movement. We hope that this well-deserved accolade will bring many new readers to Jacqueline’s inspiring story.”

The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years. Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, James McBride, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.

Jacqueline Woodson has won several lifetime achievement awards including the Margaret A. Edwards Award in writing for young adults, the St. Katherine Drexel Award, and the 2012 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Reader’s Literature, as well as being shortlisted for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. She has received three Newbery Honors for the books After Tupac & D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. She won the Coretta Scott King award and the LA Times Book Prize for Miracle’s Boys. She won a Caldecott Honor for Coming on Home Soon and the Jane Addams Peace Award for Each Kindness.

To learn more about BROWN GIRL DREAMING or to speak with Jacqueline Woodson, please contact Jessica Shoffel at 212.414.3464 or [email protected]


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