Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
Written in beautiful prose, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir. Woodson describes her life from the moment she was born and beyond in free verse.
We get a closer look at her life, the ups and downs, the special moments and the not so special moments. We follow her as she moves from one place to another, the relationship between her and her family is uncanny.
Woodson was very observant as a young girl and learned a lot from her family and the world around her. She makes a big point to mention that she’s black, as is basically stated in the title, and how she lived in the era where black people were fighting for their own rights.
There is so much love and hate in this story and so much history behind it all. We’re not just learning about Woodson’s childhood, but we’re also learning a little bit about the world in 1963.
I would highly recommend reading this novel to anyone. It’s quick, beautifully written, and teaches us a lot. I even had a hard time picking a favorite quote for this one and ended up going with one of the Haikus in the story.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson gets 5 out of 5 stars.
“Even the silence has a story to tell you. Just listen. Listen.”
–Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming