Brown Girl Dreaming

Winner, National Book Awards 2014 for Young People's Literature

ISBN 9780399252518
Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Group (USA)
Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of many books for young people and adults. She is the recipient of a number of awards including a 2023 E. B. White Award, a 2023 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, and a 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award. More about this author >

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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.

Judges Citation

Using words that sing with both the complexity and simplicity of a symphony, and memories that both sting and inspire, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is an intimate journey of victory, sorrow, and discovery. Sharp social commentary of a country’s struggle to live up to its ideals, an honest portrayal of the strength of family, and the delicate blossoming of a young writer make this memoir in verse a gift to all who read it.


Jacqueline Woodson accepts the 2014 National Book Award in Young People's Literature for Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson reads from Brown Girl Dreaming at 2014 NBA Finalists Reading

Jaqueline Woodson speaking about writing her book in verse