BROWN GIRL DREAMING
By: Jacqueline Woodson
Published: August 28, 2014
Publisher: Nancy Paulson Books
When you see a book full of these stickers on the cover, you know it must be something great. I snagged it during our school’s Scholastic Book Sale this fall and figured I could read it and so could our daughter. But, I set it aside, as I do with many of the books I purchase because review books tend to come first. But, then I saw a couple recent reviews of this book and decided I needed to read it now.
Jacqueline Woodson writes of her life growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, first in the South, and later in New York City. She shares her deep love for her grandparents, who raised her for a bit of time. She writes of the pain she feels being away from her mom and not really knowing her dad since he left when she was young. She tells of stories with her siblings during the carefree hot summers of South Carolina. But what is unique about this book is the way Woodson tells her stories….through free verse poetry.
I am the first to admit that I typically do not like poetry. Often I don’t understand it, I can’t write it, and it just doesn’t connect with me. So, I was hesitant to read this book, but I figured it would be a quick read and I would know pretty quickly if I was going to like it or not.
I was blown away. This book is amazing and I’ve already personally told several people to read it.
Woodson has a way of telling a story with very few words and yet with so much emotion. She could have easily described her days as a child in a story with dialogue, but it definitely wouldn’t have had the impact that her poetry would have on a reader. Her style of writing reminded me of that challenge to write a story in just six words, “For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” The words she chooses in the telling of her story leave a dynamic impact on the reader. When Woodson is describing a shopping trip with her grandmother, she doesn’t need to explain the racism they experienced in each store, but instead, this tells it all:
|Jacqueline Woodson – source|