ebookclassics

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)

brown girlBrown Girl Dreaming knocked me out! I loved this book with my whole heart.

THE BOOK
Jacqueline Woodson is an American writer and Brown Girl Dreaming won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2014.

THE STORY
Written in free verse, Brown Girl Dreaming is a touching account of Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood as an African American girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s amidst the rapid social change of the times. Caught between the worlds of laid back, yet racially tense South Carolina and energetic, progressive New York, she shares both the simple joys of a child embracing life and learning about herself, as well as the confusion and sadness of divorce, death, racism and how things in life inevitably change or stay the same.

THE GOOD
Brown Girl Dreaming made me smile, cry and laugh as it reminded me of the purity and innocence of childhood, and how life is both magical and enigmatic through the eyes of a child.

THE BAD
Free verse is defined as nonmetrical, nonrhyming lines that closely follow the natural rhythms of speech. Brown Girl Dreaming was easy and quick to read since it was written in free verse, but I have struggled to understand poetry and don’t quite get this poetic form. However, the book was still simply beautiful.

CONCLUSION
One reviewer on Goodreads said he was so touched by the book, he emailed the author in the middle of the night! This is a great example of the book’s potency; it’s a wonderful book full of love, hope and dreams. I couldn’t help thinking about my own childhood reading Brown Girl Dreaming and feeling regret over how I will never get it back again. I would love if Jacqueline Woodson wrote about her adolescence next. Maybe I will email her too and suggest it!

5/5 Stars

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16 comments on “Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)

  1. My Book Strings
    March 5, 2015

    Oh, I just put this book on my TBR two days ago. Now it has just moved up a few spots. It sounds like it is just as wonderful as I am hoping it will be.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 5, 2015

      I was really surprised by how much impact the book had on me. I hope you get the opportunity to read it soon.

      Like

  2. Naomi
    March 5, 2015

    This review makes me smile. The book is already on my to-read list, and on my possible-purchases-for-my-daughter list. I’m definitely looking forward to reading it! I like that you included the story about the Goodreads reviewer – sometimes those reviews are worth reading. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 5, 2015

      Goodreads reviews always make me laugh or smile. Finally, I can say this is a book I thing both you and your daughter will love!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. janceewright
    March 5, 2015

    I used to struggle with the idea of free verse. To me, it just seemed like prose in a different format, made to look like poetry. As I’ve read more and more though, I’m starting to understand it a bit better, and I usually really enjoy books that use this format. I keep meaning to give Brown Girl Dreaming a go, but so many other books, and I keep saying I’ll get to it and then life. Glad to hear it’s getting so much praise, though!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 6, 2015

      I think my view of free verse has been the same, but it’s so well-respected and written by famous poet,s so maybe I’m just not knowledgeable enough about poetry.

      Like

  4. lauratfrey
    March 6, 2015

    I really like free verse. The other novel that comes to mind is Karma by Cathy Ostler and it’s YA too (I think this is YA? Kinda?) Love this review, the impact this book had really shines through.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 9, 2015

      Thanks for the recommendation! Cathy Ostler sounds really familiar, I’m going to look her up.

      Like

  5. The format of this book does put me off a bit, but I am interested in the plot so I hope to pick it up sometime. It being a fast read is also a plus for me. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 9, 2015

      If you had time to sit down, you could probably read this book in a day!

      Like

  6. DoingDewey
    March 7, 2015

    I really must get to this! It sounds beautiful, I’d love to try a novel in verse, and it seems like a great book for a diverse year of reading 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 9, 2015

      The book is really sweet and beautiful. I did choose to read it for Black History Month and because it won the National Book Award.

      Like

  7. Karen @ One More Page...
    March 8, 2015

    I’ve heard so many great things about this! I think it sounds like something that I would love. Thanks for the wonderful review!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 9, 2015

      Thanks! I think you would really like this book. I hope you get to read it some day.

      Like

  8. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review
    April 4, 2015

    I was also not sure about the free verse format, but I listened to it as an audiobook read by the author and loved hearing her distinctive voice. I’m not usually one for audiobooks (too easily distracted!) but I highly recommend it in this case.

    Like

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