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Publisher's Summary

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

©2014 Jacqueline Woodson (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Swimming up the stream

The characters were human, believable, personally, easy to relate to, and overall fabulous. I enjoyed the first third of the story and excitedly continued the second third, with characters whom I had begun developing a connection. I enthusiastically continued the book but it began to deflate in the middle. The interesting characters were abandoned to just the social issues. I had already invested too much time into the book and hated the thought I had wasted my time. I wished I had quit because the final third was created in me a feeling of drudgery.
I’m of the opinion children’s books should make the reader want to continue reading the book and other books with similar genera. I wish the author had stayed focused on the characters and weaved the social issues within the characters’ stories. The end of the story just appears to be the author’s “Soap Box”, and pushing her social opinions/beliefs, onto the young readers. The focus should have stayed on the characters and how the social issues of that era changed their life, for the better.
My title of this review is swimming against the stream. My review of this book goes against the other reviews. I’m sure I will hear several nasty comments regarding my statements, but I too have a right to voice my opinion.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brow Girl Dreaming

This is such a great book!!!!
I love this story and recommend it!
It's about how a black girls life was growing up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • luvstoread
  • Cleveland, Ohio United States
  • 01-29-15

Wonderful!

What a interesting and lovely novel in verse biography. I'm crossing my fingers and hope it wins the Newbery Award.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding book!

I don't usually like books of poetry but Jacqueline Woodson's book Brown Girl Dreaming captivated me and hooked me from the very first poem. I really enjoyed that she narrated her own book because it made me feel even more connected to her. It is definitely worth a lesson!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ginger
  • Pelham, AL, USA
  • 01-03-15

Awesome poetry/storytelling!

Hope the Newbery panel reads this wonderful offering from Jacqueline Woodson! Inspiration for us all. Teachers should love this one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow!

Amazingly poetic read!! A must for anyone craving unique and long-lasting imagery! A book for the senses.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 02-12-15

Inspiration in a Come of Age Poem

I do love poetry but I don't give it the time I should because I'd rather have a story. This is a story in poetry, a powerful, sometimes difficult to face, sweet, thought filled, poetic stream by a girl whose young life was a study in opposites, and who believes in opposites coming together some day. I do, too. Thank you Jaqueline with a J and a Q for inspiring me to keep on believing and for taking me through your journey with such grace.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Autoiography!

Beautifully told autobiography about Woodson's youth. I loved the use of prose form to paint the picture of a youth growing up during Jim Crow and discovering her passion for writing.

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  • CMW
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 07-22-18

Vivid and gorgeous

I really enjoyed this book. Jacqueline Woodson’s ability to weave together such a rich and vivid tapestry of what it was like to grow up as a brown girl dreaming is what I have been wishing for, myself a brown girl dreaming. Her narration was very enjoyable. Highly recommended!

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Best narrator is the author!

To hear this memoir in Ms Woodson’s own voice is a true gift of storytelling.