Brown Girl Dreaming
By Jacqueline Woodson
Hi! Have you ever felt left out or lonely? Well, Jacqueline Woodson has. This book is non-fiction. It’s an autobiography. This book is about Jacqueline Woodson when she was a little girl.
Jacqueline Woodson is a brown girl in a white world. A lot of people she knows are white. She writes about growing up during the Civil Rights movement. The Civil Rights movement is when black people started marching for their independence. This book is written as a book of poetry.
Jacqueline’s (Jackie’s) father left her when she was very young. They then started calling her grandfather “Daddy.” Jackie was born in Ohio. When she was older, she moved to South Carolina, where she lived with her grandparents. Her grandmother got a second job just because her grandchildren were staying with her. Jackie has an older brother named Hope and an older sister, Odella. They get comfortable with their life in South Carolina. Then, they have to move to New York.
After Jackie moves to New York, she goes to school. She has two other brown people in her class. All three are Jehovah’s Witnesses (that is their religion) and because of that, they always go outside of the classroom during the pledge of allegiance. During that year, Jackie also makes a friend. Her name is Maria and she is from Puerto Rico.
Soon after, Jackie’s family figures out that their uncle Robert is coming to stay with them in New York City. Uncle Robert is their favorite uncle (but he’s their only uncle). Uncle Robert has a bad habit – he steals things from people. And the bad thing was that he was giving the things that he had stolen to Jackie and her sisters. One day, he came back with some gifts when Jackie’s mother saw him with a shiny bracelet. She asked him where he had gotten it and he told her it was none of her concern. A few days later, Uncle Robert was arrested for stealing. He had to spend some time in jail. The girls weren’t allowed to visit often but when they did, he wasn’t the same as before.
In New York, Jackie’s mother has a new baby. His name is Roman. When Roman gets older, he starts to pick paint off the walls and eat it! In the end, he gets so much of it in his stomach that he has to go to the hospital. While Roman was sick, Maria and Jackie met a new girl in New York named Diana. Maria became friends with her immediately. Jacqueline’s mother wouldn’t let her go outside when it was raining, and it was then that Maria started to bond with Diana. Jackie didn’t like it when Maria and Diana started getting close.
What changes will Jackie’s life take now? Will Maria stay with Diana forever? Will the world always have something against brown people? As I always say, read the book to find out!
I recommend this book to readers who like non-fiction stories and poetry. This book is both. It is also very interesting and I would recommend it to a lot of people. I felt that Jackie wasn’t angry with the white people but did wish that they would show just a little bit of respect towards the brown people. It makes me think about how often people are not kind to people just because of their differences. I think that the whole wide world could improve on that.
This book has won at least three awards. The three that I know of are the Newberry Honor Award, the Coretta Scott King Award and the National Book Award. The author is the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. That means that she travels to many different places and reads aloud books to children. She also plans to head down to rural parts of Southern states, where authors rarely visit.
A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:
“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor): There were a few scary parts, but none were too scary.
“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor): A few.
I give this book 4 wands.
I loved this book, but I would have preferred a little less poetry. It made it harder for me to understand the story. But if you’re a poetry type of guy (or girl), then this book is for you!