Young adult novel author Jacqueline Woodson has won the coveted Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award prize of $600,000.
According to the New York Daily News, Woodson, 55, will be presented with the international prize on May 28 in Stockholm, Sweden. The award is the biggest honor granted to writers in the children’s literary writing worldwide.
Woodson, best known for her novels Miracle’s Boys, Brown Girl Dreaming and After Tupac and D Foster, is the 15th recipient of the award, and was reportedly chosen for her “masterful characterization and deep understanding of the adolescent psyche,” the judges wrote in a statement.
“Jacqueline Woodson introduces us to resilient young people fighting to find a place where their lives can take root. In language as light as air, she tells stories of resounding richness and depth.”
Woodson woke up to the news and celebrated it early this morning with a message via Twitter:
— Jacqueline Woodson (@JackieWoodson) March 27, 2018
She has published more than 30 books, which primarily focus on the lives of children into their young adult years. Woodson is also vocal on issues pertaining to race, sex, and economic injustice, social exclusion, and identity.
“It’s important to hold up mirrors for kids to see their experience is legitimate,” Woodson said. “Too often those mirrors aren’t there for them.”
Woodson’s memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, which focused on her own childhood spent in South Carolina and New York throughout the Civil Rights Era won a National Book Award in 2014.
Other popular titles include The Dear One, about teen pregnancy, and In Beneath a Meth Moon (2012), which focuses on the pitfalls and complexities of drug addiction. Each Kindness, The Other Side, Another Brooklyn and Locomotion are also popular titles.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was named in honor of the author of the Pippi Longstocking book series.