Advanced Search
My Book List Manage Click the plus symbol to
add books to your list.
    To save and return to your Book List later, please sign in or register.
    Lerner Publishing Group > Author-Illustrator-Details
    Author-Illustrator-Details
    About our Author
    Vaunda Nelson
    Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is the author of three Coretta Scott King Award-winning books: No Crystal Stair, Bad News for Outlaws, and Almost to Freedom. She is a youth services librarian in New Mexico.
    Awards
    Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
    Coretta Scott King Book Award
    ALA Notable Children's Books
    Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award
    Bluestem Award
    Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children
    Carter G. Woodson Book Award
    Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices
    Coretta Scott King Book Award
    ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award
    Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Honor
    NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
    New Mexico-Arizona Book Award
    Notable Books for a Global Society
    Once Upon a World Children's Book Award
    Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards
    SCBWI Golden Kite Award
    Virginia Readers' Choice Award
    Western Writers of America Spur Awards
    Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
    ABC Best Books for Children Catalog List
    Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards
    Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children
    Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books
    Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
    Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices
    Coretta Scott King Book Award
    Horn Book Best Books of the Year
    Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year
    Moonbeam Children's Book Award
    NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
    New Mexico-Arizona Book Award
    Notable Books for a Global Society
    Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2012
    School Library Journal Best Book
    Tayshas Reading List
    YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
    5 questions for Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
    1.
    What was your favorite book when you were a child?
    Uncle Wiggily and Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow by Howard Garis, and poetry that my father used to recite from memory like "Oh Captain, My Captain" and "Little Orphan Annie." Another book that stays in my memory is Bright April by Marguerite de Angeli.
    2.
    What’s your favorite line from a book?
    There are many great lines, but one of my favorites is, "You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them." (Scout recalling Atticus Finch's words in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    3.
    Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
    This is a question impossible for me to answer. There are so many wonderful authors and illustrators and they all are so different. Three of my favorite books are—To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. But there are many, many others.
    4.
    Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
    My mother read to us every night and my father wrote and recited poetry. They shared their love of words and stories. They taught me the power of language and inspired me to use this power to create the kind of writing that might move others the way I was, and continue to be, moved.
    5.
    Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
    Read. Reading other writers can help you to learn about the craft of writing, about what makes a story work.

    Write often. Don't wait for inspiration to strike. Writers need to practice just like musicians and athletes. Perfect your craft so that when you are inspired, you have the skills to tell your story.

    Love words and make every one count. Care as much about how you say a thing as you do about what you are saying. Don't be so anxious to submit to a publisher that you settle for something less than your best work.