Book Review

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

4/5 very very powerful starts!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow what a special special book indeed. I will keep my review short as this is a book which has won enough awards to fill this entire page, so there really is no need for me to convince you to pick up this book and read it. All I will say is, read it.

This is a book written entirely in verse. There may be fewer words but the messages are powerful. This is about the author herself, this is about her story of being a person with color, this is about her growing up in the 60s in America, this is about her family, her religion, her friends, this is about the sweet memories of growing up down south and the confusing but purposeful period of being a teen in NYC in the 70s. I LOVE the parts where the author wrote about her grandparents, those moments were so tender and precious. It reminded me of my own.

Even though it is written in verse, like I said before, the messages from the book are powerful:

“My fingers curl into fists, automatically.

This is the way, my mother said, of every baby’s hand.

I do not know if these hands will become

Malcolm’s – raises and fisted

or Martin’s – open and asking

or James’ – curled around a pen.

I do not know if these hands will be


or Ruby’s

gently gloved

and fiercely folded

calmly in a lap,

on a desk,

around a book,


to change the world…”

I had chills when I was reading this part of the book and this is what it often made me feel, striking and powerful.

The only reason I have not given it 5 stars is because I don’t often read poems or books written in verse. It did take me a while to get used to it but as soon as I was there, my perspective was forever changed.

You can purchase the book on amazon via this link.


Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

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