Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams : Code Switch : NPR: The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.
"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."
Woodson has made a career out of breaking down that "code" for young readers. She's published 30 books, and won three Newbery Honor Medals and a National Book Award. Her latest book, Brown Girl Dreaming, is a memoir in free verse. It is under consideration for a National Book Award for young adult literature.