Review: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

browngirldreamingJacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is an autobiographical YA book in verse about her experience growing up first in North Carolina, and then New York City, in the 1960s. Brown Girl Dreaming is a Newbery Honor book, a Loretta Scott King Award winner, and a National Book Award winner.

Jacqueline begins by painting a picture of her extended family and her birth in Ohio, and then branches out from there. I felt as though I got to know her strong mother, her loving grandparents, her book- and science-loving siblings. But most of all I felt as though I got to know Jacqueline: her talent for storytelling; her caring, creative child spirit; her love of her best friend Maria. She describes her experience as a young Black girl in the racist South, and then her pride and involvement in the “revolution,” as she calls it, as a girl in New York City.

The poetry of Brown Girl Dreaming is beautiful in its simplicity. Sometimes when I read books in verse, I worry that the story won’t come across as well as it could in prose, but Brown Girl Dreaming has a strong story—not a plot, per se, but the story of the Woodsons. I love reading about little girls with dreams (especially when their dreams are about books and writing). And I love knowing that they grew up and followed them.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Review: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

  1. I cannot believe I have still not read this book. It sounds absolutely wonderful.
    One of my goals this year is to read more YA/Children’s Lit as well as poetry, so this seems like the perfect fit!

    1. It is wonderful! Jacqueline Woodson is amazing. I watched an interview with her the other day where she talked about this book (it was on youtube–“Jacqueline Woodson Brown Girl Dreaming Author Video”) and I loved the way she talked about memory and representing memory in print.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s