In beautiful poetry, Newbery honor winner Jacqueline Woodson narrates the story of her childhood as an African-American girl in the south. In the sixties and seventies, when the Jim Crowe laws were still in effect in many places in the south, the author was told not to simply accept that way of living. Instead, during her journey from Ohio to South Carolina to New York City, she’s taught to stand by her beliefs and learn who she is.
In Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson combines lyrical poetry with an incredible autobiography. Each poem is like a tiny work of art, a glimpse into her life, scraps of stories which sweep together into a moving, mesmerizing narrative. It tells not just the story of a girl discovering who she is but also what it was like as a Jehovah’s Witness, as someone who never felt quite at home, as a young writer discovering the power of words. It doesn’t have to be action-packed, like many books are today, to be impossible to put down. Jacqueline Woodson’s poetry—and the story she tells in it—is truly incredible. Even though this book is an autobiography, it reads like a story, which is why I placed it under the fiction tab. I would highly recommend Brown Girl Dreaming to readers ages ten and up.