Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This is yet another autobiography! This one is about the childhood of Jackie Woodson. These stories are told in a poetic prose that has a certain rhythm and doesn’t follow the conventional style of paragraphs as it seems to have stanzas instead. This memoir follows Jackie through her childhood, as her parents divorce, as they move from Ohio to the South, as they leave her grandparents for New York and details the tragedies and triumphs along the way. It has a sweet voice that shares the pain and joy as only a child can. She explains the racism, the violence, the anger and the stop signs she encountered with an openness and lack of bitterness that is interesting and insightful. She balances the negatives with her family experiences and the love she experienced. I loved this book with the soft rhythm and veins of racism, strength and vitality but I wonder how much of it is lost on a younger reader? They would have no problem “reading” it but would lose so much of the underlying meaning that I’m not sure it’d be worth the read. 

Ages 12-15