Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson...

How I Heard About It:   Well if you follow any avid reader on Twitter, then you knew about this book well before it was released.  I attended a workshop by Donalyn Miller in August and she stated that if there was one book you had to read, it was this one.  It was quite exciting once I got this beautiful book in my hands.  

What It Is About:  Jacqueline writes this novel in prose.  It is actually an autobiography of her early years.  The writing covers her birth, growing up with her parents, living in different parts of the country, and experiences she had as a young girl.  She also includes stories about her siblings, her grandparents, and other family members that had an effect on her upbringing.  Several of the stories included are about her dreams and wishes as a young "brown girl" growing up in an ever-changing world.  She had the desire to write even as a child and was influenced by many adults, including some of her teachers.

What I Thought Of It: This was one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read.  Jacqueline has quite a "knack" for putting together some elegant words and creating flawless sentences and/or paragraphs.  I found myself rereading passages many times to take in the beauty of the words.  I loved how the format was in prose and each chapter was quite short, to the point, and an important aspect of her childhood.  This book lived up to everything that was said about it and I'm so happy that I read it.

Who Should Read It:  Even though this book is written for young readers, I'm not sure they would appreciate the beauty of the book like an adult reader would.  The story telling was a bit slow and took its time and because of that it may lose a middle-grade reader before they really get "into" the story.  If a middle school and/or high school reader needs to read an autobiography, then this is the book for them. I also recommend it to any adult reader that enjoys "memoir" type stories and beautiful writing.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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