Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

Book - 2014
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May 26, 2019

I was primarily interested in her idea of writing a memoir in free verse. Wondering how well would that work in practice.

I concluded--very well indeed.

Her « versifying » stayed close to the narrative story... for continuity’s sake... and yet it also gave her the freedom to make some very complex points... succinctly.

Her person life story was of substantive interest to me, too. And the whole of the book, therefore, a delightful experienc.

JCLMeganK May 09, 2019

Brown Girl Dreaming is such a beautifully written book. Through this story I was able to understand Jacqueline's life, as well as perspectives on what it was like for black Americans living in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. I found myself wanting to read a similar book from the perspectives of Jacqueline's family members- especially her grandfather, siblings and mother. This is the first book I have read by Woodson, and I was blown away. Somehow she brought together humor, beauty, emotion, education, and wonder into this book written in verse. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone that is interested in not only children's literature, but anyone that is looking for an easy read involving a perspective different from their own.

May 02, 2019

In this children's book, author Jacqueline Woodson has written a delicate, touching autobiographical collection of poetry. Though they together document her childhood years as an African American child living both in South Carolina with her grandparents and in New York with her mother, each short poem also stands comfortably alone.

This was my first work by Woodson, and though I'm generally a hard sell for poetry, this was excellent and has piqued my interest in sampling more of her writing.

Feb 19, 2019

Memoir of growing up in 1960s and 1970s in South Carolina and Brooklyn. Enchanting. Her birthday is February 12, 1963, the day I started reading. Although I’m years older, my own writing dreams and similar memories of those years made me give this high marks. Loved reading her book 'Another Brooklyn,' too.

JCLHeatherM Feb 12, 2019

Woodson's memoir acknowledges the sometimes painfully unspoken dreams that are deep inside, burning like a candle, pushing us forward.

Dec 09, 2018

The book is a little slow. I finished the whole things, but nothing was very exciting so I didn't really enjoy it.

May 23, 2018

Avail at NKC

Mar 14, 2018

Loved reading Woodson's story in the context of her gift of storytelling through poetry. Even thought her family life was a big disjointed in her childhood, there were people around her who loved and valued her. That is a gift! My favorite selection was the one about music and her mother's aversion to any song with "funk" in it. As I think about the songs that were flourishing in that time I can see why their mother had to switch them over to the likes of John Denver and The Carpenters. Gave me a good laugh!

ArapahoeLaura Feb 07, 2018

A writer's account of growing up in South Carolina and Brooklyn in the 60s, told in verse

Jan 09, 2018

Jacqueline Woodson has quite a way with words; 'Brown Girl Dreaming' is written uniquely and beautifully, giving insight into her life during the 60s and 70s.

While our own beliefs (on religion, for example) may differ widely, I still appreciated her take on life and thoughtful presentation of her experiences growing up.

I was surprised that 'Brown Girl Dreaming' was presented as a children's book, as it's a free-verse memoir. Still, an interesting, thought-provoking read.

Nov 18, 2017

I've read novels in verse before, but this is the first time that I've read a memoir in verse. Poetry is a suitable vehicle for conveying the impressionistic quality of childhood memories, making it a great choice of format for this memoir of Woodson's early years.

Born in Ohio in 1963, author Jacqueline Woodson later moved to South Carolina and then to New York City, so she experienced some interesting places and times. She brings them all to life deftly in her poetry.

One interesting thing about Woodson is that she struggled to learn to read and write. So many authors were gifted readers and writers from an early age. It's refreshing for us "mere mortals" to see that hard work and motivation can also be paths to success.

The poetry in this book is filled with the music of Woodson's memories. It will send you scurrying to look up old Soul Train clips and dance along with them.

Overall, this is a positive, optimistic book about family, friendship, and dealing with life's challenges. I would recommend it for all ages.

blue_dog_1998 Jul 25, 2017

From the summer reading book list, I decided to read the book titled, " Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jaqueline Woodson. This book was a bout Jaqueline Woodson's life and all the challenges she overcame. One of the main reasons I chose to read this book was because during the school year my library teacher took us to the central library near prospect park to meet the author of this book, Jacqueline Woodson. Ms. Woodson explained how the book, and many of her other books, was structured and what they were about. She also explained what inspired her to write specific sections of this book. While reading this book I witnessed many of the things which Jaqueline had talked about in her speech. One thing that caught my attention in her speech and the book was the structure of the book. This book was made up of many short stories and poem, put together as 'chapters', to show a specific memory in her life. My library teacher explained to us that Jaqueline Woodson said that she created her book in this format because it shows that you don't remember every detail about your past. You can only remember certain moments that stood out. Hearing this reminded me of how much work goes into writing a book. Final thoughts? Well I really liked the different techniques Ms. Woodson use, such as foreshadowing. one example of this is that she had said her grandfather was constantly coughing and out of breath, foreshadowing that he was sick and would soon die. the book was so well written that I felt as sad as Jaqueline did when her grandfather passed away.

Jun 29, 2017

A beautiful biographical book, written in poetic form. It gives younger readers a peephole into the past, viewed from a girl "of color" who relates to her world from her family's pride and her country's prejudice and history. A telling with truth, but not the usual spot-on, plotted story that Woodson is noted for.

Jun 25, 2017

I picked it for the read harder challenge category of a YA book by an author who identifies as LGBTQ. It is memories of her childhood in the south and new york written in verse, It is wonderful.

BPLpicks May 03, 2017

This very special book will be found in the children’s section of the library but will have huge appeal to adults who will enjoy it on a whole different level than a child.
Brown Girl Dreaming is the story of the author’s childhood written in free verse. It touches on her ancestry and describes what it was like growing up as an African American in the 1960’s and 70’s. It is a book about family pride and community and belonging and sometimes not belonging. It is whimsical, funny and occasionally sad. A beautiful joyful book that is a treasure to read. Brown Girl Dreaming has won The National Book Award along with too many other awards to mention. Clear an afternoon and plan to read it from cover to cover, as there is no easy place to book mark this delightful memoir.

Mar 03, 2017

Brown Girl Dreaming is a wonderful collection of poems which tell the moving, beautiful and sometimes tragic stories of Jacqueline Woodson's childhood. The poems in this book display the innocence of the children growing up in Jim Crowe USA. They include the pain of losing those you love, the strength sisterhood gives you and the power of literature, all through the experiences of a child. This is a beautiful book of poetry that touches the human soul and speaks to our best and worst memories. Some of it you will be able to relate to, some of it you won't, but nonetheless, this book takes you on a journey unlike any you've ever been on before. 4/5 stars
- @activistreader of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Feb 19, 2017

Jacqueline might just be the greatest living American author. She's certainly my favorite. Her silky, smooth writing style reminds me of the Grateful Dead on 5/8/77 in Ithaca, New York. She is perfection personified and like Ithaca you just know even the angels and Lord Krishna are smiling when she sits down to write each masterpiece.

Oct 07, 2016

Woodson's experience as a brown girl pulled between families in Ohio, South Carolina and Brooklyn is so intimate and so moving. I "lived" her personal story, and the more general struggle of African-Americans in the 1960s and 70s.

Jul 09, 2016

Recommended for ages 10 - 16 but anyone can read and enjoy this book. It's one of the 75 Best Books in the last 75 years.

Jun 17, 2016

"Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson, a gorgeous memoir written in poetic voice. This book has won nearly every literary award out there, and for good reason. It's mesmerizing. A fluid read, Woodson shares her story of growing up black in the South and NYC during the era of MLK. A book of such beautiful insight, I'm thinking about purchasing a copy for our home library.

Jan 14, 2016

The best book I've ever seen!

vpl_childrens Nov 19, 2015

From the first page, where the author speaks of her ancestors who “looked up and followed/ the sky’s mirrored constellation / to freedom”, the reader is gripped by the beauty of this book. In an utterly mesmerizing journey, we are shown the author’s experience of growing up African American in the 60’s and 70’s.

This award winning memoir tells younger readers about what it was like growing up during the upheaval of Civil Rights movement of the 60's and 70's in South Carolina and New York. Woodson weaves stories of her upbringing in verse, sharing stories of segregated communities and diverse urban streets. The universality of her experiences of coming of age will connect young readers to this complex era in history.

Sep 09, 2015

It's rich; in images, emotions, tastes and love. An extraordinary read. I am so glad she fulfilled her dream and put pen to paper. We, the reader have much richer lives because of it.

Aug 08, 2015

Beautiful memories of the author's childhood. This is the kind of book that just makes you feel warm and happy inside. A really lovely read.

redraspberry Jul 23, 2015

A very moving memoir that is written in verse. The author tells us about her childhood growing up in the South during the 1960s and 1970s during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. We learn about racism, courage, love, and hope. It's also a trip down memory lane on how things used to be before the Internet and computer games. Highly recommended; the book is geared towards tweens and teens.

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