Published by Penguin on 8/28/2014
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A middle grade memoir in verse
is nothing I typically read
(or write, save this leap,
which feels like the only way to share).
But the bookish brown girl with butterflies
in a swirl of yellow-blue
promises a unique perspective.
My instinct to devour,
slip through the verse like prose,
would be tangled here.
But Woodson’s speed bump passages
remind me of her purpose and
have me reading memorized lines
through closed eyes.
“How amazing these words are that slowly come to me.
How wonderfully on and on they go.
Will the words end, I ask
whenever I remember to.
Nope, my sister says, all of five years old now,
and promising me
Our lives decades apart
separated by miles and colors and memories,
but as Woodson’s family history unfolds
alongside her childhood dreams
we inch closer.
Brown Girl Dreaming
has a magic voice that speaks to girls
and women and boys, too.
A voice that finds itself in every reader,
a story more meaningful with every read.