Thursday, March 30, 2017

Author Review

Jacqueline Woodson

Personal Background
Jacqueline Woodson grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn, where she lived with her grandmother and sister.  She also visited South Carolina as a kid.  The noticeable differences in the two influential places have helped her in writing about various backgrounds. She remembers looking for literature that was about African American people and characters, and she loved writing and reading since a very young age (Brown, 2002).

Woodson graduated from Adelphi University in Long Island, but already started writing a manuscript by this point.  She took lessons on writing children’s books and soon was discovered for Last Summer with Maizon.  She accredits her start in being recognized to acclaimed editor Wendy Lamb (Brown, 2002). 

Today, Jacqueline Woodson is happily living in New York with her daughter, son, and life partner.  She continues to transcend children’s literature through her own experiences as a child and her imagination that reflects young adults (Scholastic, 2012).

Contribution to Literature
Woodson’s contributions to literature include picture books, short stories, poems, and novels.  She writes about African American characters from her own perspective.  She doesn’t limit her stories to a specific gender, and expands into various multicultural and controversial topics.  Her book, Under the Melanin Sun is written from a male perspective.  One of her anthologies is written from a transgender perspective.  In her book Hush, she writes about the external struggles of an African American family as well as the internal struggles of each character in that family.  She writes about justice and influences her readers through her strong voice and noteworthy plot lines, regardless of their controversial ideas (Scholastic, 2012).

In efforts to provide an overall view of Woodson’s award winning literature and contributions to young readers, her personal website is The amount of awards that she has received for her books is endless.  Several books received multiple awards like Hush (National Book Award Nominee, etc.), Miracle Boys (Coretta Scott King, etc.), Locomotion (SLJ Best Book, etc.), Coming Home Soon (Caldecott Honor, etc.), and The Other Side (Booklist Editor’s Choice, plus) (Woodson, 2012).   

Teachers use Woodson’s literature in the classroom to combat racial issues that still emerge today.  Her fresh perspective on young adults provides elements in curriculum that allow students to understand plot development and imagery.  I chose Jacqueline Woodson for the author study because I read her books with my eighth grade Language Arts class and I didn’t know very much about her life.  Every chapter book I’ve picked up that Woodson wrote, I have been unable to put it down.  Her writing flows easily and I become emotionally involved with the characters of her novels. 


Brown, J.M. (11, February 2002). From outsider to insider. Publisher’s Weekly.

Scholastic. (2012). Jacqueline Woodson. Retrieved from

Woodson, J. (2012). Jacquiline Woodson: Books for children and young adults.
            Retrieved from

Multicultural Literature Review

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
Alexie, S. (2009). The absolutely true diary of a part time Indian. New York: Little,
            Brown Books for Young Readers.

Character Analysis
The main character of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a high school boy named Junior.  He begins his journey living on the Spokane Indian Reservation, is a Native American, and explains himself to be very odd.  Junior has low self esteem and realizes his faults.  He is friends with the school bully in order to protect himself from all of the other “normal” people at school.  Junior’s appearance alone is noticeable to the open eye.  He describes himself as an outsider, one who looks different, and is up front about being born with fluid on his brain.  His mother has tried to coddle him in fear he would be severely injured if participated in too much physical activity.  He simply does not fit in with the crowd.

Junior is faced with prejudice against his appearance at his own school on the reservation.  He is intelligent and realizes he may not get a strong future outside of the reservation unless he travels to the nearest school off the reservation, which coincidentally is an all white school, filled with deep rooted country residents.  He takes a brave chance, travels a long way, sometimes even walks twenty miles, and challenges traditional white views of his Native American culture in order to grasp at his academic opportunity in his new school. 

Junior faces prejudice because his skin is darker than his peers at his new school; he faces prejudice because of the way he looks, different than others, because he is poorer than most of his white peers, because he is smarter than others, and because he is Native American.  He uses humor to combat some of the comments and mean stares.  He also uses physical attributes to fight his nemesis, but later becomes friends with him when Junior’s own people from the reservation turn against him during the team basketball game. Students at the white school learn to not only tolerate Junior’s presence at school, but accept him into their friend circle.  Eventually, he gains their acceptance and dates the most popular girl in school, who likes him for who he really is, on the inside.  She helps him overcome his prejudice for white people as well. 

Reader Awareness

Sometimes, all it takes to overcome prejudice is exposure.  Prejudice awareness is raised in this novel through Junior’s journey to overcome his own prejudice and others’ journey in accepting him.  This novel allows readers to be Junior’s peer in school, to judge him, to like him, and accept him.  The only difference in reading the novel and actually being a character in the novel is that the reader knows the insights to what Junior and the other characters are thinking.  This allows the reader to internally assess their own prejudice for Junior and cultures other than their own.  The voice of all cultures speaks to the reader through the battle against unspoken prejudice.  Reading the novel is a safe way for readers to reflect upon their own prejudice and afterwards change it. 

     13 and up / 8th grade and up Recommended

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Literary Lion BOB Finalists

Students start competing with each other and studying for the 2017 Battle of the Books. Only five students and an alternate will be on the competition team.

When: April 13, 5-7pm
Where: Lockhart Junior High

Students read all 20 Lone Star Award Books and create journals for each.

I'm a proud Librarian of some awesome Lions!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Technology vs. Society

Digital Literacy in depth is about identifying the impact of technology on society.

1. What do you think is the most important technology device of AL times?
2. What is the most important function in technology?

Students votes are in:
1.Cell Phones & Laptops
2. Texting & Email

Our students are right on point with an  inquisitive cognitive analyais of the impact of technology.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bound to Stay Bound...FREE BOOKS!

The Lone Star Award Winning Literary Lions....Battle of the Books.....Book set arrived today!
Sir Milton delivered them to the our LJHS Library and we've already cataloged them and put them on the shelf, for check out.
Image result for lone star award 2016
We are so proud of our Literary Lions and super excited to participate in this year's revamped competition, in Spring.
Image result for bound to stay bound hashtag twitter

Friday, November 6, 2015

Weather Woes

Although our weatherman, safely predicted stormy weather w/ a slight rain fall, we have endured a day of clouds and mild wind....the library sustains a quiet reading environment, lucious enough for a few math show me's and telephone ringalings...stop by and join us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Memory Lane

I've been taking a walk down memory lane, today. Our Literary Lions have been working hard to get our 2015-2015 Lone Star Award Winning Reading List, all read. 

Ready...Set... Read!