Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

BrownGirl DreamingOne of my goals this year was to read a book a week (or 52 books in the entire year). It’s obviously 4 months into the year now, but I have been reading and want to do reviews of the books I have read! I will write reviews for books all the way up to this point, and then I will write them as I read them. So– here is my first book: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.

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I actually got to meet author Jacqueline Woodson in 2011 (I believe) at the Sigma Tau Delta conference. She was a speaker there. I had never heard of her before then, but I was inspired by her perspective as a black, lesbian female and eager to read her books. I’d read several of her books since then, but I was especially excited about this one because it won the National Book Award.

Brown Girl Dreaming is a children’s/young adult book that is compiled of a series of poems that tell one story. The story is autobiographical, sharing what it was like for Woodson to grow up as a black female in the 1960s and 1970s. As a child, she spends time living in both South Carolina and New York, and these experiences help shape her awareness of civil rights and the civil rights movement. The use of poetry throughout the book also allows Woodson to share with the reader her development as a writer and storyteller. Considering the beautiful prose in this book, I find it difficult to write about with justice. So, I will share with you an excerpt:

“When there are many worlds you can choose the one you walk into each day.”

My rating: 5/5 stars This is a lovely book that explores the shaping of one’s identity and the reflection of one’s youth. This book will appeal to younger and older audiences alike, perhaps offering each reader something different.

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