My Little Pocketbooks: Review: Brown Girl Dreaming   

Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

 
Brown Girl Dreaming
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Range: 10 and up
Genre: Children's Poetry
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Audiobook: 3 hours and 55 minutes
Narrator:  Jacqueline Woodson
Source: Free from e-Library
http://amzn.to/1GDUsNN

Book Description

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.

Review

This book was a book club book of the month for April.  (Since April is National Poetry Month)  Last year was my first introduction to a full book written in verse with *Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes.  Unlike other books in verse this one was the authors memoir and I love the concept of a memoir all in verse.  
Jacqueline Woodson narrates her childhood, moving from the South to New York, her siblings, family and friends in beautiful verse.
One thing I really liked about this book was the fact the chapters were all timeline cohesive except for a few of them.  There are verses and haiku throughout the book.  I was a bit shocked that she had so many great memories of her childhood.  I am a bit jealous.  I would love to be able to remember some of my early childhood memories.  
The overall story was interesting but I thought there was something missing overall.  I am not sure if it was because I was listening to the audiobook and not reading the book but it was not as memorable as I hoped it would be.  But it was good.  I think the hype, awards and the beautiful cover set my expectations a bit higher than the book could meet.  There are a few really cute and fun chapters in the book but overall still something was missing for me.    
This is my first book by Jacqueline Woodson and I didn't realize she has written other books.  I will make it an effort to read another book by her for sure. 
I am not a huge fan of authors narrating their own work and this one is 50/50.  I loved hearing her voice and knowing she is reliving the situations as she is telling them.  But I think her flat poetic tone took away from the feeling of the book.  A professional narrator would have given the audiobook the emotional depth it needed.
 

Reviews by Other Bloggers

Recommendations

I recommend this book to all readers of all ages.

Challenges

This book is number 14 in my Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 10 in my Audiobook Reading Challenge
This book is number 16 in my New To Me Author Reading Challenge
This book is number 23 in my Goodreads Challenge 

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