A memoir of the author’s childhood that details her life, loves, and losses. Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of an America young readers will never truly know and a girl trying to find her place in it.
Brown Girl Dreaming is a powerful story that is both similar to and different from many children’s coming-of-age books. Of course, this is in part because it is a memoir – but it also contains elements that most of these books lack. Having a Black protagonist is one of these elements. It’s nice to read a story about a Black girl growing up whose main struggle isn’t with racism. Instead, Woodson writes of her struggle to find a home in both her northern home and her grandparents’ in the south. She tells of the comparisons made between her and her siblings, the gentle urging for her to find a passion other than writing, the relationship she builds with religion. Every poem is incredibly raw and real.
I think it’s important that young readers experience books like this. The way civil rights history is taught in schools makes it seem like it was ages ago. However, reading books by authors who lived through those events and are still living shows how recent this history truly is. Brown Girl Dreaming shows an America that is both similar and different to the one we live in now. Reading this book was truly impactful. I would recommend that every young reader experiences it to bring some perspective to their perception of history.
Yours in love and literature, Page.
Content warning(s): prison, racism, death, illness
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