Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
This beautiful and lyrical memoir is written in verse by one of our finest Young Adult writers. In it, Woodson vividly recollects her upbringing both in New York’s Brooklyn and the deep south. Both of these homes informed her childhood, where she was raised by a loving family and experienced a huge sense of community in South Carolina. Born in 1963, the author lived through the Civil Rights movement as a child and young adult, and her personal insights into the politics of the time are compelling.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it both YA and adult readers looking for a memoir of a self-aware young woman who grew up as an African-American in the 60’s, both in rural and urban environments. This would be the perfect title for any of our Berkeley High students in the Short Story course and are looking for a great memoir. Woodson has written many, many books for young adults. I’ve loved all the ones I’ve read, finding them realistic and poignant. That they’re usually less than 200 pages makes them a quick read, which is sometimes just what I’m looking for. She has also written some thoughtful picture books, which are illustrated with beautiful water color images. Ask either of the librarians for advice if you’re just starting out reading Jacqueline Woodson.