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{November 23, 2019}   {Review} Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

From Goodreads: Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

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.


I’ve never read a novel that was written in poetic free verse before, but let me tell you, this was wonderful! Woodson paints pictures in the reader’s mind that allows us to see and feel alongside her in ways prose wouldn’t do it justice, and I was enamored by Woodson’s story as she pieced it together for us. It’s a quick read, one that details Woodson’s early life living in both Greenville, SC and Brooklyn, NY. The beautiful descriptions made me feel like I was there, smelling the cooking, sitting on the steps, turning the earth with “Daddy,” smelling the dirt, catching the fireflies, clamoring around the telephone to hear mother speak, visiting the jail… I believe this is one novel that all need to read; it’s accessible from middle grade onward, and will touch both child and adult alike, and to give yourself a real treat, listen to the audio version, which Woodson reads herself, to really feel at one with the author and her world. Four stars.

I borrowed the audiobook of this novel from the library.

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Kindle | Audible | Paperback | Hardcover



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