BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
Kirkus Star

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

Age Range: 8 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” 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 dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2014




BEST MIDDLE-GRADE NONFICTION OF 2014:

ChildrenEL DEAFO by Cece Bell
by Cece Bell
ChildrenANIMALIUM by Jenny Broom
by Jenny Broom
ChildrenTHE PORT CHICAGO 50 by Steve Sheinkin
by Steve Sheinkin

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for WHY THE RIGHT WENT WRONG
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for THE BANDS OF MOURNING
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for WARRIORS OF THE STORM
VERDICT:
BORROW IT

MORE BY JACQUELINE WOODSON

ChildrenTHIS IS THE ROPE by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Woodson
ChildrenEACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Woodson
ChildrenBENEATH A METH MOON by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Woodson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenBECOMING MARIA by Sonia Manzano
by Sonia Manzano
ChildrenPOEMS IN THE ATTIC by Nikki Grimes
by Nikki Grimes
ChildrenHOW I DISCOVERED POETRY by Marilyn Nelson
by Marilyn Nelson