Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


This month’s book review is an autobiography children’s book that uses verse form to engage its readers on the significant roles that family and the community play when helping individuals persevere especially doing the trials of life. Jaqueline Woodson’s describe a tale of her journey from childhood, teenage, and adulthood during some of the most pivotal moments in African American history and just in history in general. Sometimes as adults, we oftentimes dismiss children’s books as not pertaining to us, but it is imperative to read all types of books to gain perspective that may not have been in your intellectual repertoire. I also find that children’s book often are straight forward with the end goal. They have one time to get to the point, when the minds of children are often easily swayed elsewhere.  

Woodson is impeccable with her ability to be composed and give assurance when undertaking extreme and difficult topics. Brown Black Girl is no exception as she highlights history, genealogical and emotional narratives that leaves its readers breathless, determine and optimistic.    Brown Girl Dreaming focuses on Woodson’s childhood memories of growing up in the iconic 1960s and 1970s. She moved from Ohio to South Carolina and then eventually to New York. The backdrop of this migration from one location to the next is the Jim Crow laws, Civil Rights Movement, Black Panther Movement and etc. Throughout these iconic movements, Woodson’s first discovery of writing starts to weave an impressionable impact on her. She endured the loss of family members while trying to maintain her need for activism in the fight for equality.  Woodson encapsulate her readership in Brown Girl Dreaming that you feel as if you are under the table with her little sister reading and munching on peanuts. You feel as if you are with them during their ice cream trips with their grandfather.  



You are not just a reader in Woodson’s narrative, but a character.  

If you like to be challenged, driven beyond measure than I suggest you to read anything from Jacqueline Woodson and start with this book. Brown Girl Dreaming is a telling book that gives observation of these movements from the eyes of a child. It reminds me that children may seem small, but these see life and things in a variety of ways that are sometimes limited by adulthood. What inspired me the most is the fact that these are poems and though some are long or short, they are still gripping enough to evoke a promise of hope. I was deeply overcome when she spoke about the first time she realized the power of creating words on page. The power of creating stories, songs that flow so eloquent from within is a feeling that I personally can relate to. It’s something that I thought I could never describe, yet here she is doing it for me. That was a very central and fundamental moment that I will cherish forever.

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