BY Alexander Opicho, 6:30pm March 31, 2018,

Black writer wins America’s top children’s literature prize

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson, the dreadlock-wearing dark-skinned African-America writer of children literature is the winner of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for 2018. Jacqueline Woodson Woodson was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York; she is the author of more than thirty books, including novels, poetry and picture books.

She writes primarily for children and young adults. She has intellectually traversed all the genres to write for children and young teens, she has written many works that explore racism, economic injustice and sexual identity in a simple language that is properly packaged as fit enough for juvenile consumption.

Woodson derives her popularity in the world of literature from her solid personal achievement in her autobiographical novel, Brown Girl Dreaming (2014), consequently, she has now won a prize for being a focused writer of children literature, the prize that is worth a whooping! $607,000).

The ceremony for the award is held annually in Stockholm, Sweden, to give the prize to a single laureate or to several from among writers, authors, illustrators, painters, poets and, spoken word artists as well as oral storytellers from all over the world.

The Jury of the award appreciated Woodson for introducing the world to the gift of resilience among young people fighting to find a place in the contemporary turbulence in the world where their lives are ever chided whenever it comes to finding a position.

The Jury acknowledges the beauty of Woodson’s writings that is found in good use of very simple language that is as light as air resounding with richness and depth. Woodson’s persistent commitment to hold up literary mirrors for the children to see their experience as legitimate caused her to be named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in the US in January 2018.

The Swedish organization, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is focused on promoting humane virtues and ideals stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is an epiphany after Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish writer and author of Pippi’s Long-stockings.

This award is not new, it has been around for the past fifteen years; it began in 2003 with Maurice Sendak the author of Where the Wild Things Are and Austrian author, Christine Nöstlinger as the first winners of the prize. Other previous winners include Meg Rosoff (2016), Philip Pullman (2005), Kitty Crowther (2010), Barbro Lindgren (2014) and Shaun Tan (2011).

There is similar development in Kenya where the Cambridge University Press in collaboration with the National Book Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK) has organized for the international conference on children’s Literature to be held at Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi.

Chairman of the National Book Development Council of Kenya Professor Chris Wanjala has so far confirmed that publishers of children literature around the world are invited to come and showcase their publications at the conference which will be held at the Two Rivers Lifestyle Center in Nairobi. The event will take place from 11th to 13th May 2018.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: March 31, 2018


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