Tuesday, January 13, 2015


In her very rich free verse author Jacqueline Woodson shares in her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming the story of what it was like to grow up as an African American child in the both the North and the South in the 1960s and 1970s. Her very accessible and eloquent poetry draws the reader into the world of her childhood. Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1963, the same year Martin Luther King lead the march on Washington and not many years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, she eventually moves to the South when her parents separate to live with her mother’s family. It is there that she intimately experiences the still in place Jim Crow culture of that era alongside the warm and loving support provided by her family and community well. 

The author shares images of that warmth in small details from time spent with her grandfather in the garden to catching fireflies with her brothers and sisters. She also shares her sense of loss when her Mother ultimately moves the children to New York City. But it was there that the gift of a composition book and her love of stories made her realize that her true talent was to write. Fortunately for the reader she developed this gift and ignored her mother’s advice not to write about her family. 

For readers in 5th - 8th.

No comments: