Sunday, March 29, 2015

BROWN GIRL DREAMING is even better than they said

When I picked up Jacqueline Woodson's BROWN GIRL DREAMING at the library I was apprehensive. I don't always love the things that the larger book world loves including many National Book Award winners. I decided to give it a go anyway and I'm so glad I did.

Woodson uses stunning free verse to take us on a journey, to help us bear witness to a life. I don't think of this book as a story in the traditional sense. It is an experience. The milestones, the family, the religion, the race, the time period. All these things so vivid in her poetry that I feel as though I know her neighborhood, her family, her friends. I could feel the heat of south and hear the rush of the NYC.

When I read a book, I generally walk away with a few big ideas or themes. For this book, that idea was identity. What makes us who we are, and how people, ideas, and places shape our development. I finished the book and I felt more attuned to the world around me and to myself.

My only complaint about this book was that I could'e kept reading. I wanted more of the story. I wanted the next chapter of Woodson's life told in aching poetry that awakes my head and heart together.

If you haven't read this book yet, DO IT NOW! Happy Reading!

L.S. Mooney

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