Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Rating: 4.5 of 5

One of the best memoirs I’ve read! Woodson lays bare her childhood, her dreams, her soul and she does so freely, for the world to see and read. Such an inspiration for any budding scribbler who longs to hear those magic words: “You’re a writer.”

Woodson touched my heart repeatedly, from the first time she saw the possibility of people like her in books (Stevie by John Steptoe) to the relationship with her Daddy to her recollection of going from home to home, to the revolution. Over and over I was moved by the simplest memories that had such lasting effects. I even cried when, in the Author’s Note, she mentioned Maria, her Forever Friend.

I’ll admit, though, selfishly, I wanted to know more: why her parents split, why her father stayed away so long, who was Roman’s father, what happened to the boy with the hole in his heart (did he ever get to go to NYC?!), what was her life like as a teenager / high schooler in NYC, did she ever join protests, and on and on.

But I don’t think I would have cared as much to ask those questions if every single one of her poems, her memories, hadn’t wrapped around my heart like they did.

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(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

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