Monday, March 9, 2015

Brown Girl Dreaming

Winner of the National Book Award and a Newbery Medal Honor, Brown Girl Dreaming has been one of this year's most talked about books. It is Jacqueline Woodson's memoir, written in verse, of her childhood - an African-American girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s between Greenville, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York.

I listened to the audio version of this book read by Jacqueline Woodson. It is amazing. Writing it through the medium of verse makes the book accessible to all - especially the middle grade reader.   Woodson is able to give detailed snapshots of her childhood that are both moving and succinct.

Brown Girl Dreaming tells not only of the discrepancies between black and white, but also of family and of dreams. Woodson's pathway towards becoming a writer is woven throughout the story - from writing that first letter J on paper to telling stories to friends and teachers and selling them as the truth to moving those words to paper with pen and ink - we see her struggle to become, to find her voice and her dream.

A book every middle grade reader (and beyond!) should read.