Review: Brown Girl Dreaming


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

7 word summary: Columbus. Greenville. Brooklyn.  Jackie’s family, life changes.

Autobiography, free-verse poetry.  337 p.  b/w photographs.  Share with ages 10+.

Acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson shares her story in sparse, resonating prose.  Born in Ohio, her mother moves her and her siblings to South Carolina, where her grandparents live.  And it’s fitting: family – those indestructible bonds – is what rules this autobiography and gives it deep roots.  An added bonus is an honest history lesson on what life was like in the 1960’s and 1970’s for a young black girl searching for her place in the world.  Highly recommended and worthy of all the starred reviews it’s received.  An excellent adult book club read.

Resonating words:

Maybe I should go there, too, my mother says.

Everyone else, she says,

has a new place to be now.

Everyone else

has gone away.

And now coming back home

isn’t really coming back home

at all. (p 46-47)

Poem: stevie and me (p 227-228)

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