Brown Girl Dreaming
This book recounts the first years of Jacqueline Woodson’s life through poetry. Going into it, I wasn’t so sure about how I felt about reading an entire book in that form. Poetry is wonderful and great, but personally, I’m not a huge fan. By the end of this book, I’m getting to be pretty good friends with it. It really adds to the story as a whole and gives you a real sense of who she is and how she came into herself.
This book takes us back to the time of the civil rights movement, and how it felt to be a child of color growing up in that. Born in the North, Jacqueline, or Jackie as she is better known as, moves with her family to the South. Two very different worlds in that time period. Through her poems, Jackie gives us eyes to that time. She brings the sounds, and smells of the South to us. She teaches us the proper way to talk, walk, and act. The eyes of a curious child, always watching and learning, she teaches us much about the past South and what it was really like to grow up there. But this book isn’t just about the civil rights movement. It’s much bigger than that. It’s about family. It’s about faith. It’s about being a kid and following rules, playing with the neighbors at dusk, and moving. It’s about finding out who you are, and where your roots are.
As a military kid, I could really relate to her struggle of knowing where “home” is. Home to most people is where they were born, lived, and most of their family still lives. But home to some of us is where we were born, where we lived for a few years, where our family lives, and where we live now. Each place takes up a space in our hearts as “home.” You want to be in all places at once, but can’t. You can’t walk the streets of New York, and have the pine http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/antibiotics.html tree smell of the south. Eventually Jackie, and most of us military kids come to find out, home is where your family is, and the place that takes up the most spaces in the home part of your heart.
This book goes on and deals with loss of family members through a young girl’s eyes. How it effects herself and everyone around her. But it also deals with new life, and how family dynamics change greatly when a new child enters the fold. It deals with dreams, hopes, and new life long friendships. Jackie takes us through every part of life we could possibly imagine a young girl to go through. All the while, she keeps us in her world and nothing is stale. Her words seem to become your thoughts after a while and it is like you are really there living every step with her.
I didn’t think I would like this book. I went into to hemming and hawing because it’s a poetry book, and how good could poetry books be? Well, it turns out pretty good. This is a book I’d recommend everyone to read, or at least try. It’s also a book I would love to see read in high schools across the country. It is a great piece of work, that gives an honest look at that time period from someone who was there. Brown Girl Dreaming is moving, touching, and everything you could want a book like this to be. This book has earned itself a spot on my bookshelf for life.
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The reblog book club is a reading group on Tumblr. Every quarter (or thereabouts) a book is chosen to read and discuss among the Tumblr users. Responses to the book range from normal reviews, to drawings, to poetry, to pictures, to even nail art. Click the link above to learn more and get started reading with the club!
Want to know more about the author Jacqueline Woodson?
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