Carole Boston Weatherford
High Point children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford composed her first poem in first grade, dictating the verse about the seasons to her mother.
Her parents supported her dream of becoming a writer. Weatherford’s father, a high school printing teacher, surprised her by printing her work on index cards.
“The Creator called me to be a poet,” Weatherford said. “I hear words strung together in my head just as a composer hears notes and chords. Scenes unfold in my mind just as they do on a filmmaker’s storyboard. Like poetry, quality children’s literature compresses language, distills feeling, evokes scenes and can be experienced on multiple levels. The best poetry makes music with words.”
Since 1995, she has published 40 books including the bestsellers Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane; Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins; and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.
Moses was a New York Times bestseller and won a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award
Her celebrated writing career has always been tightly focused on mining the past for “family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles.” Weatherford often emphasizes N.C. history with subjects such as the Pea Island Lifesavers, John Coltrane, the Carolina Parakeet and the Greensboro sit-ins.
Her books have garnered wide acclaim, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Jefferson Cup, the Golden Kite Honor for Picture Book Text, the Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honor, the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award and several “Best Book of the Year” shortlists. With the goal of sparking children’s imaginations, Weatherford frequently performs readings at schools.
For her steadfast production of educational and inspirational poetry and prose, Weatherford recently won the 2010 North Carolina Award for Literature.
The Baltimore, Md., native received her bachelor’s from American University, a master’s from the University of Baltimore and a master’s of fine arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches children’s and adolescent literature and professional writing at Fayetteville State University.