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Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Hardcover, 328 pages, Penguin Group USA, List Price: $16.99 |

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Title
Brown Girl Dreaming
Author
Jacqueline Woodson

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Book Summary

In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.

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NPR stories about Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys. Marty Umans/Courtesy of Penguin Group USA hide caption

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Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers

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Get To Know The Finalists For The 2014 National Book Award

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Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15. Kat Chow/NPR hide caption

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Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: Brown Girl Dreaming

February 12th 1963

I am born on a Tuesday at the University Hospital
Columbus, Ohio
USA?
a country caught

between Black and White.

I am born not long from the time
or far from the place
where
my great, great grandparents
worked the deep rich land
unfree
dawn till dusk
unpaid
drank cool water from scooped out gourds
looked up and followed
the sky's mirrored constellation
to freedom.

I am born as the south explodes,
too many people too many years
enslaved then emancipated
but not free, the people
who look like me
keep fighting
and marching
and getting killed
so that today?
February Twelfth Nineteen Sixty-three
and every day from this moment on,
brown children, like me, can grow up
free. Can grow up
learning and voting and walking and riding
wherever we want.

I am born in Ohio but
the stories of South Carolina already run
like rivers
through my veins.