Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 5 - 10n/a5.330318
A New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Winner

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of
Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

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.

A National Book Award Winner
A Newbery Honor Book

A Coretta Scott King Award Winner

Praise for Jacqueline Woodson:
Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published on August 28, 2014 by Nancy Paulsen Books
ISBN-10: 0399252517
ISBN-13: 9780399252518
40 Book Reviews
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  • zzayumi
    zzayumiMonday, May 27, 2019 at 7:18 am55 stars
    This book is full of poems. Jacqueline is born on February 18, 1963, in the city of Columbus, Ohio, and named after her father, Jack. While Jackie’s first year is spent in the North, several trips are made to the South for Mary Ann (her mother) to visit her parents, Grandpa Gunnar and Grandma Georgiana, who live in the Nicholtown area of Greenville, South Carolina. The region is segregated and Jackie doesn't understand why she always goes. Her parents' very different feelings about the South causes arguments between them. Eventually, Jack and Mary Ann split up, and Mary Ann and her three children, Hope, Odella, and Jackie, move south to live with Grandpa Gunnar and Grandma Georgiana. Jackie comes to love Greenville. While racism and segregation exist there, the place is still home to her and her grandparents. They believe in peaceful marches for civil rights. They know that God will bless them for doing the right thing. Despite the widespread animosity, there are white people in Greenville who are respectful and treat Jackie and her family like actual human beings, rather than dirt. One such woman is the owner of the local laundromat store, who has known Grandma Georgiana for years. Mary Ann, however, wants to move back North. So, she travels to New York City to get settled. Jackie and her siblings stay on with their grandparents, relishing the time they have with them until Mary Ann comes to retrieve her children, with a brand new baby boy named Roman in tow. They move in with Mary Ann's sister Caroline Irby (Aunt Kay), but Aunt Kay dies and the family of five is left alone. In New York, Jackie becomes best friends with a girl from Puerto Rico named Maria. She also decides that she wants to become a writer after encouragement from her teacher. Each summer, Jackie and her siblings return to South Carolina to visit their grandparents. However, each time they find Grandpa Gunnar, a heavy smoker, sicker and sicker. Mary Ann's brother gets sent to prison after getting in trouble with the police, during which time he converts to Islam. About the same time, Jackie and Maria start to love Angela Davis of the Black Panther movement. They imitate Angela, though they have no real idea about the revolution in which she is involved. Not long after, Grandpa Gunnar dies of cancer, and Grandma Georgiana moves up to New York to be with Mary Ann and the grandchildren.
    • peanutrules
      peanutrulesWednesday, March 8, 2017 at 5:33 pm44 stars
      Very nice story and well written!
      • dancegirl_j2006
        dancegirl_j2006Friday, January 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm55 stars
        I love this book. I have read it so many times
        • ready4anything
          ready4anythingMonday, January 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm
          A really good book. An autobiography of the author herself, what her childhood was like.
          • baby-emily
            baby-emilyThursday, November 10, 2016 at 10:46 am55 stars
            It is about her life and how she sees the world, and her wishes, and dreams that she wants to happen. Also about her life and her family as a black family living in the 1960s and 70s. I would recommend this book to Arrianna and jakaeyla because I think it is interesting and I see them read books like this one so I would recommend it to them.
            • hummingbird1
              hummingbird1Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 5:43 am33 stars
              Thus would be a good book for someone who likes poetry and historical fiction. I love historical fiction, but don't like poetry so this wasn't a great book for me.
              • cocoisdaboss
                cocoisdabossWednesday, March 8, 2017 at 8:44 pm
                i feel the same
              • yellow43528
                yellow43528Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 4:55 am55 stars
                This book was very good. I read it and I loved it. I loved hearing stories from historical times.
                • readwriter
                  readwriterSunday, September 18, 2016 at 5:36 am55 stars
                  This touching book is full of poems about Jacqueline Woodson's childhood. They express heartwarming and heartbreaking feelings that are so real you know they're not made up. You can't just pick up this book, read it, put it down, and walk away the same. After you start reading, you've entered a new world and you can't leave, no matter how hard you try.
                  • emoo601
                    emoo601Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm55 stars
                    If you are one for poetic language and moving life stories, this book is for you. I simply could not put this wonderful book down. This book functions as both a collection of poems and an autobiography. Woodson utilizes her flowy style of writing to conjure a classy, yet deeply touching story of hope, hurt, laughter and struggle as not only a female, not only a black American, but also a human. No matter who you are or where you come from, this book is sure to give you the feels.
                    • memoiloveit
                      memoiloveitFriday, August 26, 2016 at 9:16 am44 stars
                      Brown Girl Dreaming is like an autobiography, except each chapter is written in a poem. This book gives a detailed perspective of what happened during that time period in the U.S.

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