Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Traci L. Jones  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: Monmouth, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Jones was born in Monmouth, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Born in Monmouth, Illinois, Jones was raised in Denver, Colorado and still resides there today. In 2006, Traci won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award for her debut young adult title, Standing Against the Wind. Two well-received YA novels have followed: Finding My Place and Silhouetted by the Blue.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Standing Against the Wind
ISBN: 0374371741

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 2006

Patrice Williams was happy living in Georgia with her grandmother, who called her “cocoa grandbaby.” Then her mother lured her to Chicago and ended up in jail. Now Patrice lives with her Auntie Mae, and her new nickname is “Puffy” – thanks to her giant poof of hair. But Patrice’s hair isn’t the only reason she sticks out: she cares about her grades and strives for the best. That’s why Monty Freeman, another eighth grader who lives in the building, asks Patrice to tutor his little brother. Even though Monty’s friends make Patrice uneasy, Monty himself is friendly, confident, and surprisingly smart. When he becomes her guardian angel, Patrice begins to think something stronger than friendship might be growing between them. Still, nothing will stop her from applying for a scholarship at prestigious Dogwood Academy – her ticket out of the project and a school populated by gangs and drug runners.


In her debut novel, Traci L. Jones presents a girl with grit she never knew she had, and a boy so inspired by her that he begins to take pride in his own abilities.

Standing Against the Wind is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year and the winner of the 2007 Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award.

Finding My Place
ISBN: 0374335737

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 2010

DOES FITTING IN HAVE TO MEAN SELLING OUT?

In October 1975, while most teens are worried about their Happy Days Halloween costumes,
Tiphanie Jayne Baker has bigger problems. Her parents have just decided to uproot the family to the ritzy suburb of Brent Hills, Colorado, and now she's the only Black girl at a high school full of Barbies. But the longer Tiphanie stays in her new neighborhood, the more her ties to her old community start to fray. Now that nowhere feels like home, exactly where does she belong?

Silhouetted by the Blue
ISBN: 0374369143

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 2011

Seventh-grader Serena Shaw is trying to keep up at school while rehearsing for the lead role in the spring musical and dealing with a father so "blue" he is nearly catatonic. With the aid of a not-so-secret admirer as well as a growing sense of self-confidence, she faces the challenges of caring for herself and her ball-of-charm younger brother, all while attempting to lead the life of a normal pre-teen. Readers will be drawn into this convincing portrait of a vivacious young person who is on a path to discovering that taking on responsibility sometimes means finding the best way to ask for help.


Awards

-- 2006 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award for Standing Against the Wind