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Brown Girl Dreaming: Book summary and reviews of Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson X
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
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About this book

Book Summary

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Awards, 2014

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Woodson's ability to listen and glean meaning from what she hears lead to an astute understanding of her surroundings, friends, and family. Ages 10–up." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.For every dreaminggirl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. 8-12." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. With exquisite metaphorical verse Woodson weaves a patchwork of her life experience, from her supportive, loving maternal grandparents, her mother's insistence on good grammar, to the lifetime friend she meets in New York, that covers readers with a warmth and sensitivity no child should miss. This should be on every library shelf." - School Library Journal

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Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Reid

You are loved
"Maybe the truth is somewhere in between
all that I'm told
and memory."

Oh, my, what to say about this beautiful book? Because of the beauty of its prose, any words I might choose will perforce be entirely inadequate to the task. Because of the heartfelt story it tells, any comment I may have upon it will no doubt appear petty.

This is a memoir from the renowned author Jacqueline Woodson, written in prose poetry and a testament to her strong, loving family. Though she, like all of us, had her disappointments, Woodson has clearly been surrounded by love her whole life, and she makes this clear as still water in every page of Brown Girl Dreaming. Her portrait of her grandfather (with whom she had a special affinity) is especially affecting. He was a very special man and dear to her heart.

The language here is magical and lulling at once, a sweet flow of prose that carries us along in its flow with gentleness and only a very few moments that felt a bit forced, only noticeable because they are such aberrations. But these are barely a blip in the overall joyous flow.

"When there are many worlds, love can wrap itself
around you, say, Don't cry. Say, You are as good as anyone.
Say, Keep remembering me. And you know, even as the world explodes
around you—that you are loved..."

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Author Information

Jacqueline Woodson Author Biography

Photo: Marty Umans

Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books including the 2016 New York Times-bestselling National Book Award finalist for adult fiction, Another Brooklyn. Among her many accolades, Woodson is a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award Winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award Winner. Her New York Times-bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, received the National Book Award in 2014. Woodson is also the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children's Literature Legacy Award. In 2015, she was named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She lives with her family in New...

... Full Biography

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