By Jacqueline Woodson

Original Publisher: Putnam (Penguin Group USA Inc.)
Current & Digital Publisher: Speak (Penguin Group USA Inc.)

Reading Level: Ages 10 & Up

YPL Finalists That Year:

  • M.T. Anderson for Feed
  • Naomi Shihab Nye for 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
  • Elizabeth Partridge for This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie
  • Jacqueline Woodson for Hush

YPL Winner That Year: Nancy Farmer for The House of the Scorpion

Judges That Year: Christopher Paul Curtis, Sandra Jordan, Gregory Maguire, Han Nolan, Rita Williams-Garcia

The Year in Literature: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park won the Newbery Medal. A Step from Heaven by An Na won the Printz Award.

More Information: 

  • Woodson was a Young People’s Literature Finalist again in 2003 for Locomotion.
  • Woodson has had many literary influences, including Virginia Hamilton, Nikki Giovanni, and fellow National Book Award Finalist James Baldwin. “I feel that I learned how to write from Baldwin. He was onto some future stuff, writing about race and gender long before people were comfortable with those dialogues. He would cross class lines all over the place, and each of his characters was remarkably believable. I still pull him down from my shelf when I feel stuck.”

Buy the Book: