Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

Written by Jacqueline Woodson

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014

ISBN: 9780399252518

Format: Memoir; Print Book

336 Pages ~ Ages 10+

Brief Summary

In Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson poetically tells the story of her childhood. Recalling memories of her time in South Carolina and New York, Woodson passionately expresses how she felt halfway “home” in each place. In this verse memoir, readers get a glimpse of lingerings of the Jim Crow Era, family dynamics, and how Woodson knew she would become a writer.


This is absolutely the first book I’ve ever connected with. I’ve read and enjoyed many books, but this one reached out and touched me. I am not the biggest fan of poetry, but this verse experience is one I will never forget. Absolutely amazing! Jacqueline Woodson’s words so eloquently describe her childhood. Although I’m an (early) ’80s baby, so many of the stories and memories shared in Brown Girl Dreaming were relatable. I’ve relived my childhood in these pages! Some of my favorites were “faith” and “bubble-gum cigarettes.” Favorite book in 2015.

Excerpt from “faith”

After my mother leaves, my grandmother
pulls us further
into the religion she has always know.
We become Jehovah’s Witnesses
like her…

Let the Bible,
my grandmother says,
become our sword and your shield.
But we do not know yet
who we are fighting
and what we are fighting for.


  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson


  • National Book Award (2014)
  • Newbery Honor Book (2015)
  • Coretta Scott King Award (2015)
  • E.B. White Read-Aloud Award (2015)

Listen to Jacqueline Wood talk about Brown Girl Dreaming

Watch the Brown Girl Dreaming book trailer


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