Brown Girl Dreaming (hardcover)
by Jacqueline Woodson
AR Level 5.3, 5 points
Brown Girl Dreaming is an award-winning book by a poet I’d never heard of. I picked this book up, because I have to read all of the Newbery Award-winners and honorees. It is autobiographical and follows the life of little Jacqueline from when she was a little girl in Ohio to her time in South Carolina with her grandparents, and then her life in New York. Most takes place during the 1960’s when the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, The Black Panthers, etc. were in the news, and we get to see her perspective as a young black girl with roots in the north and the south. In addition, we get to read about Ms. Woodson’s evolution as a young writer. While this book delves into race and discrimination, it is very much about hope and faith and acceptance.
What I liked about this book was that it is written in poetry form. I know my students will also appreciate that. I will include it as a recommended read during my poetry unit at school, because while it tells a story, it is also a great example for figurative language and imagery. I also like that the main character tells her story in a hopeful way, rather than being negative. She doesn’t see her friends or others in terms of color, but she understands that she is isn’t treated equally, and has hope that she will someday.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it got a little slow at times. I thought it would be a quick read, but it took me longer than expected. I can’t really say it was the book’s fault. Maybe I just lost focus in my pursuit of a lazy summer.
Book 8 of 40 (year 2)