Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

In this exceptional book, Woodson tells the story of her own family and growing up years in the crux of the civil rights movement, and she tells her story in a series of free verse poems. Her writing is lyrical and lovely – a very accessible read for young people and adults who don’t normally consider reading poetry. We meet her father, who leaves their family early; her South Carolina grandfather, who steps into the father’s role in her life; her siblings; her extended family; her Latina best friend when they move to Brooklyn. The chapters are almost short stories, and they evoke the era and the world around young Jackie. A gem. For age 10 and up.

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