Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson @JackieWoodson inspiring & poignant account of growing up black in the 1960’s & 70’s

Posted: December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Brown girl dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson

ISBN 9780399252518

While Brown girl dreaming is a memoir written in verse form it still has power to move. Visually, verse novels have their own beauty, in the way words sit on the page and the way words ebb and flow. Jacqueline Woodson does this with precision.

This is a moving account of the author’s early life with her brother Hope, sister Odella and later, younger brother Roman. We witness what it is like to be growing up black in the 1960’s in a world of change. For some it is a world where the past haunts, always in the background. For others it is a time where the rise of the Civil Rights movement is making change and bringing hope. And always just on the surface is Jacqueline’s desire to write. Learning wasn’t easy for her and I was very moved when I read the reasons why she used the name Jackie instead of Jacqueline. At the heart of this novel is family.

This is not just a personal memoir but a view of the social and political times in which so many people grew up and for that it is a must read.
I am including a couple of quotes which will remain with me. I am sure you will find your own which impact on you as you read this wonderful novel.

“How can I explain to anyone that
stories are air to me,
I breathe them in and let them out
over and over again.” pg 247

“How to listen #7
Even the silence
has a story to tell yoy.
Just listen. Listen.” pg 278

The book is beautifully produced with a standout cover with a brown silhouette of a young pig-tailed girl with book in hand.

Enjoy this clip of Jacqueline reading from her book.

  1. Ali Hewett says:

    We have the book in our library and the highlight of my year was a Year 6 girl who really struggles with dyslexia being the first person to request it after my book talk. She not only read it within a week (which was a first for her for a book this size) but thoroughly enjoyed it. We have a massive list of kids waiting to read it. I also bought the audiobook via OverDrive and it is a delight hearing the verse read by the author.


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