Thursday, February 25, 2016

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

I bought Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson when it was recommended to me for the #Diversiverse reading challenge, which I completely failed. But, when I realized it's Black History Month, I thought, "Yes! Another excuse to read Brown Girl Dreaming!" Not that I needed an excuse but it's kind of fun to read thematically, isn't it?

Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir written in verse and it tells the story of the author's life, from her birth in Ohio to her move to South Carolina and then to New York City (and onward).

What I loved about Brown Girl Dreaming:

  • It is written in a way that places you squarely in the author's shoes, so that you really get an understanding of what it's like to experience racial prejudice.
  • There are many people to absolutely fall in love with. I adored Jacqueline's South Carolina grandparents. She described them with genuine affection; you can't help but love them as much as she clearly did. I also loved her best friend in New York and her best friend's mother.
  • I loved reading about the differences in culture between the three places that the author lived in her youth and how they shaped her.
  • The story of her childhood writing and how she grew in her writing parallels my own writing experiences in many ways, except, of course, for the fact that she is a very successful author and I'm not. I have to say Brown Girl Dreaming stirred up that yearning to try harder in a way very little has, in recent years. 
  • The author is also much like me in having experienced a great deal of loss. She's so positive, though, never maudlin but simply grateful for the ways her loved ones have contributed to making her the person she is. 
  • She has such a friendly, upbeat voice that you can't help but come out of the book wishing you knew the author. 

What I disliked about Brown Girl Dreaming:

  • Nothing. It's a 5-star book.

A favorite excerpt:

Highly recommended - An absolutely perfect choice for expanding your reading by people of color, a wonderfully-written memoir that evokes time and place brilliantly, and a good read for anyone interested in writing, as well.

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  1. I love this book too. I wanted to go find her childhood home as I read it.

    1. The home in the South? I'd love to see that, too.

  2. i had this book out from the library but did not get toit before it had to go back. I am thinking that I should get it out again.

    1. Definitely, go forth and check it out. You won't regret it.

  3. I have heard really good things about this. Now to actually read it! I have read Woodson before and really liked her.

    1. Brown Girl Dreaming was my first Woodson book but it won't be my last. And, I have a feeling I'll reread BGD several times. Such a good book!

  4. Tippy top of my wishlist. I might just break #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks for a minute to read this one.


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