Brown Girl Dreaming

By: Jacqueline Woodson

“Our feet are beginning to belong / in two different worlds—Greenville / and New York. We don’t know how to come / home.” In lucid verse, the author depicts her fractured youth. Author’s note.

ISBN: 9780399252518

JLG Release: Oct 2014


Sensitive Areas: Corporal punishment
Topics: Jacqueline Woodson (1963-) , Poetry , Twentieth-century American authors , Autobiography , African American women authors , Social issues , Prejudice and racism

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Awards & Honors

2014 Children’s History Book Prize finalist
2014 National Book Awards Finalist for Young People’s Literature
SLJ Best Books 2014, Nonfiction
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014, Middle-Grade Books
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year 2014, Nonfiction Children’s Books
PW’s Best Books of 2014, Middle Grade
Bulletin Blue Ribbon 2014, Nonfiction
Booklist Editors’ Choice 2014, Nonfiction, Middle Readers
Booklist Lasting Connections 2014, Language Arts
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature, Best Multicultural Books of 2014
New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014, Nonfiction
Winner, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, 2015
2015 Newbery Medal Honor Book
2015 Coretta Scott King Award Winner, Author
2015 Robert F. Sibert Medal, Honor
Booklist Top 10 Multicultural Nonfiction & Biographies for Youth, 2015
ALA Notable Books for Children 2015, Middle Readers
2014 L. A. Times Book Prize Finalist, Young Adult Literature
2015 CLA Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
BuzzFeed 2014 Best Books, Young Adult
2014 Cybils Awards Finalist, Poetry
New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2014, Middle Grade
Horn Book Fanfare List: Best Books of 2014, Nonfiction
2015 E. B. White Read Aloud Award Winner, Middle Reader
Capitol Choices 2015
2015 Robert F. Sibert Award Honor Book
2015 Claudia Lewis Award, Older Readers

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
I am born in Ohio but the stories of South Carolina already run like rivers through my veins” writes Woodson as she begins her mesmerizing journey through her early years. She was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1963, “as the South explodes” into a war for civil rights and was raised in South Carolina and the
[STARRED REVIEW]
I am born in Ohio but the stories of South Carolina already run like rivers through my veins” writes Woodson as she begins her mesmerizing journey through her early years. She was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1963, “as the South explodes” into a war for civil rights and was raised in South Carolina and then New York. Her perspective on the volatile era in which she grew up is thoughtfully expressed in powerfully effective verse, (Martin Luther King is ready to march on Washington; Malcom X speaks about revolution; Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat only seven years earlier and three years have passed since Ruby Bridges walks into an all-white school). She experienced firsthand the acute differences in how the “colored” were treated in the North and South. “After the night falls and it is safe for brown people to leave the South without getting stopped and sometimes beaten and always questioned; We board the Greyhound bus bound for Ohio.” She related her difficulties with reading as a child and living in the shadow of her brilliant older sister, she never abandoned her dream of becoming a writer. With exquisite metaphorical verse Woodson weaves a patchwork of her life experience, from her supportive, loving maternal grandparents, her mother’s insistence on good grammar, to the lifetime friend she meets in New York, that covers readers with a warmth and sensitivity no child should miss. This should be on every library shelf.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Here is a memoir-in-verse so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. It starts out somewhat slowly, with Woodson relying on others’ memories to relate her (1963) birth and infancy in Ohio, but that just serves to underscore the vividness of the mater
[STARRED REVIEW]
Here is a memoir-in-verse so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. It starts out somewhat slowly, with Woodson relying on others’ memories to relate her (1963) birth and infancy in Ohio, but that just serves to underscore the vividness of the material once she begins to share her own memories; once her family arrives in Greenville, South Carolina, where they live with her maternal grandparents. Woodson describes a South where the whites-only signs may have been removed but where her grandmother still can’t get waited on in Woolworth’s, where young people are sitting at lunch counters and standing up for civil rights; and Woodson expertly weaves that history into her own. However, we see young Jackie grow up not just in historical context but also—and equally—in the context of extended family, community (Greenville and, later, Brooklyn), and religion (she was raised Jehovah’s Witness). Most notably of all, perhaps, we trace her development as a nascent writer, from her early, overarching love of stories through her struggles to learn to read through the thrill of her first blank composition book to her realization that “words are [her] brilliance.” The poetry here sings: specific, lyrical, and full of imagery: “So the first time my mother goes to New York City / we don’t know to be sad, the weight / of our grandparents’ love like a blanket / with us beneath it, / safe and warm.” An extraordinary—indeed brilliant—portrait of a writer as a young girl. martha v. parravano

Book Details

ISBN

9780399252518

First Release

October 2014

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

811/.54

Trim Size

Page Count

336

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.3; Points: 5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 8.4; Points: 9;

Lexile

Level 990L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Nancy Paulsen

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Corporal punishment

Topics

Jacqueline Woodson (1963-), Poetry, Twentieth-century American authors, Autobiography, African American women authors, Social issues, Prejudice and racism,

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