Cornelia's Reviews > Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
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's review
Jan 01, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2015, diverse-books, strong-women-protagonists, poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming is a beautiful, rich and vivid memoir-in-poetry. Woodson's memories of her childhood leap off the page and dance before the reader with earnestness, grace and passion. There is heartbreak, humor and that beautiful wonder that only children truly have. Woodson's young girl world is also populated by unforgettable and instantly likable characters, flawed as some may be.

One of the reasons this book worked so well for me is its poetry format. Since memory is such a fickle and slippery thing — more often bursts and snapshots than full narratives — the looseness, ephemerality and imagery of poetry seems just perfect for weaving Woodson's childhood onto the page.

Brown Girl Dreaming is eye-opening to the sometimes awful and daunting experiences of an African American girl growing up in the 60s & 70s. There are sad moments, shameful moments, cringe-worthy moments. There's fear and injustice and disillusionment. Ultimately, though, it is an uplifting and empowering book. There is so much love, warmth, beauty, hope and triumph.

Though Woodson's upbringing, family, era and culture are different from my own, I found the book immensely relatable and a little bit nostalgic. Her closeness with her grandparents, her writerly dreams, the making of new homes at a young age, all really resonated with me.

I went through the gamut of emotions while reading Brown Girl Dreaming. It's a great book. I'd recommend it to anyone, of any age.


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Reading Progress

January 1, 2015 – Shelved
January 1, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
January 2, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
January 2, 2015 – Finished Reading
January 6, 2015 – Shelved as: diverse-books
January 6, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry
January 6, 2015 – Shelved as: strong-women-protagonists

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