NY Times Bestselling Author Shares Her Journey to Success

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2018 NJEA Convention to talk with Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times Bestselling Author and 2018 NJEA Convention keynote speaker, about her extensive career in writing.

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"We are in fact at the NJEA convention. The 165th NJEA convention. We're here with the keynote speaker. We're honored to be joined by Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times bestselling author, and as I said, the keynote speaker here. Your 2014 novel... 2014... Memoire. ... book, if you will... Brown Girl Dreaming. Is part... much of the reason why you are here today. You are not just a great author, you are someone who was nationally recognized recently by the Library of Congress. The actual title as an ambassador is... National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Which means? That I'm the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. And I get to go around the country and basically preach the gospel of reading and writing and get people to connect around literature, get people to really think about the impact that books have on their lives, on our lives and have conversations. My platform is reading equals hope. Times change because I believe that... Say that again. Reading equals... Reading equals hope. Times change. It's a mathematical equation but it's not. It's a... It's beautiful....reading equation. Thank you. And I think that reading changes us. I think reading gives us hope. I think we read to find that hope. And I think the conversations we have when we read and after we read are really important to a bigger dialogue. You know, I mentioned this before... our daughter Olivia happens to be 8 and loves to read, but I see she's distracted along with millions of other kids by the iPad that I try to tell her she's so fortunate to even have. Hmm. Technology and reading, is there conflict there? You know, I don't... I think it's still content, right? People are still accessing content, they're still having to read to get to their different things on their devices. I think, you know, when you look at e-books… when you look at the way young people read by listening to books on their phones... So audiobooks, right? They're still engaging in literature. It's in a different way, I mean I think... yeah, we do have a lot more, quote-unquote "distractions" but I think the heart of being able to come to a story and it... in these days there are different ways of coming to it. It's not just the actual book which is what I love, because I'm old school, but kids are still coming to stories. Kids are still really appreciating stories. They still love to be read to. And maybe it seems to us like they're reading less, I don't think they are. You don't see it? My kids, you know, have their devices and they have their library, they have their books and I feel like..."