Teen Volunteer Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

This year, Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers share their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. In today's post, Westford Academy student Mia Ikeda shares her opinions on Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Brown Girl Dreaming happens to be the July teen community read for Boston Public Library's 2021 Reading Together Challenge. If Mia's review grabs your attention make sure to join us for an online book discussion of this poetic memoir on July 15!

Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir Brown Girl Dreaming recounts Woodson's childhood. It focuses on her experiences as a young African American girl during the 1960s and the height of the Civil Rights Movement. After her parents’ divorce, Woodson moved from Ohio to the South where racism and segregation were even more prevalent. As her family settled in their new home, they endured more hard times. These included the illness of her youngest sibling and the arrest of a family member.
This story of finding one’s passion through struggle is told similarly through a collection of poems. This was an interesting way to tell a memoir. Each small poem represented small snapshots and memories in the life of a growing child. I have read this book twice. I enjoyed it as an elementary schooler, but only when I reread this memoir as a teenager did I notice the power and extent of the lyrical phrases that carried through the simple verses