Brown Girl Dreaming is a recently released book by Jacqueline Woodson. The book is autobiographical, detailing the early parts of Woodson’s life in the South, Ohio, and New York alike. This year this book won multiple awards including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. On Monday it won another slew of awards and I decided it was time to read my advanced copy.
Told in verse and haiku, Brown Girl Dreaming is a portrait of a changing time in America’s history; a time when the social bedrock of America was reforming. Jacqueline grew up a young African-American woman during the 1960’s and 1970’s, an unwitting witness to the shifting sands. Among tales of double dutch and penny candy, Jacqueline observes desegregation and bi-racial relationships, new siblings and new possibilities. Through it all Jacqueline fosters a love of knowledge and writing quickly becomes her passion and her dream for the future.
Sweet and simple, beautiful and lush, Brown Girl Dreaming deserves the buzz. It’s touching and endearing and whimsical and rough, but just the perfect amount of each. It’s the perfect book for young, starry-eyed hopefuls who want something fast and memorable. Ideal for younger readers as well as older.
4 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –