Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

Title: Brown Girl Dreaming
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Genre: Poetry, Memoir, Middle Grade
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Paperback: 337 pages

Rating: 5-stars – Damn near perfect. I loved it!


I don’t read a lot of books in verse. I have two poetry books that have been sitting on my shelf for a few years, with one or two poems read. Written in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of Jacqueline Woodson’s time growing up first in South Carolina, and then New York. It covers so many complex issues that are equally applicable today, such as race, gender, and crime, as young Jacqueline grows and figures out who she is. Told from the perspective of a smart, perceptive child, Woodson’s voice rings true as she travels through key moments of her life: From a sheltered, religious girl to a smart, city girl. Each word feels carefully selected, and the poems flow easily, as readers will fall into each setting of Woodson’s childhood.

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