Title: Brown Girl Dreaming
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Genre: Middle Grade, Memoir, Book In Verse
Awards: National Book Award, Newbery Honor Book
About the book (Taken 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.
When I picked this book up at the library, I was surprised to find it under the non-fiction category. It is in-fact, a memoir. A memoir written in free verse: what a beautiful concept!
Woodson writes with a deep sense of purpose as she takes you on this unique journey through her childhood. Each poem immerses you in a part of her life. You can feel, smell, and touch every moment. The poems run like little streams into each other, forming a river of words, through which Woodson’s childhood becomes a clear pathway to her future.
As much as I enjoyed this book, the sad truth is I probably would not have read it as a MG reader. There is a certain lack of “story.” Imagery, setting, and characters are all brilliantly crafted and flowing with purpose, but without a plot to pull me through, I don’t think I would have finished it.
Most of the people who seem to be enjoying this book are teenagers and adults, and I think that’s okay. It’s a story of such warmth and beauty that it should be read by all ages.
My Rating: Four stars.