RM Winter 2016 FLIP

Brown Girl Dreaming Woodson, Jacqueline. (2014). 337 pp. Nancy Paulsen/Penguin. 978-0-399-25251-8, $16.99 (Intermediate) --by Sarah Lawson & Rebecca Welch Through the use of free verse, award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of her childhood and the challenges she faced as an African American growing up during the 1960s and 1970s. Moving from place to place

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and torn between two worlds, Woodson paints an honest picture of what it was like feeling halfway home in the North and the South. Woodson takes readers back in time with her carefully crafted free verse poems and addresses difficult issues, including segregation, religion, and poverty. Woodson even allows readers to see and feel the pain that she and her family members experienced as their lives changed over time. Readers will be captivated by Woodson’s stories, as they reveal how she came to find her voice as a writer. Woodson gives readers a better view into her life by providing numerous family photographs at the end of the novel. Middle-grade readers will surely enjoy this memoir, as they, too, are searching for their place in the world. Woodson elegantly states, “When there are many worlds/you can choose the one/you walk into each day” (p. 319). Brown Girl Dreaming won the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and a Newbery Honor.  Jonda C. McNair is a professor of literacy education at Clemson University. She can be reached at jmcnair@clemson.edu .

Reading Matters | Volume 16 • Winter 2016 | scira.org | 73 |


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