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"Growing up I always felt there's a way in which you belong--I definitely had my clique of girls, and I was a cheerleader and dated a basketball player--but it always felt like I was outside watching that and never quite belonging. . . As a writer, that's where my gaze starts."
-- Jacqueline Woodson, Publisher's Weekly interview, 2002
Woodson has a reputation for dealing with difficult and controversial issues, including:
* Teen pregnancy
* Single Parents
* Interracial Dating
* Multi-racial families
* Incarcerated family members
* Homosexuality and gender identity
* Class differences
* Race and racism
"The questions that arise in the text were questions that arose for me [as a young adult]. Why is there this fear of the other? What is this lesson my parents are trying to teach me about stay with your own, or don't stay with your own?"
"Race and economic class and sexuality--these were always issues that were a part of my life. The idea of writing stories that didn't deal with them just seemed so unrealistic and not true."