Category: Memoir

Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, by Mara Wilson

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This slight book of essays covers quite a bit of ground, from Wilson’s childhood movie acting and her neurotic childhood, to her teen dating and her increasing interest in storytelling as an adult. She writes most clearly of her growing understanding of who she is and how she becomes at peace with her life and her choices.

Overall a really lovely memoir both for those who remember Mara’s youthful fame and also for those who don’t. Her work is specific to her life, but it would be a jaded reader indeed who would not find resonances in his or her own life. For 18 and up.

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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.