There are very few Middle Grade books similar to the one I am writing. This one has some similarities, so I decided to share a little about it.
Brown Girl Dreaming is the life story of Jacqueline Woodson, told in verse. She tells of being shuffled between family and never really “belonging.” he talks of the relationship with her grandparents, her mother and others family members. The similarity to the book I am writing, Don’t Call Me Boy, is evident as she shares about growing-up as a Black girl in the 1960’s and 70’s. She talks of her feelings about the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement. She also talks of her struggles with learning and how she was able to overcome some of those barriers, a subject which comes us in my book, as well.
Woodson also talks about her experiences in the Latter-day Saints denomination. The Church, in various modes, is a common thread in Black memoirs and autobiographies throughout history. It held a very powerful and important part in joining and connecting the Black community throughout the years. Sadly, Woodson has a very different experience, as her church was not a gathering of the Black community, rather it became another place to be “different”.
Woodson does a beautiful job of sharing her experiences, her feelings and her understanding of a unique and different childhood from what most of us may have experienced. Her story-telling makes it easy to empathize with her, and the memories of various characters who influenced her life, make for interesting and informative reading. The reader will find that the emotions and insecurities of children are the same, regardless of color; we are all human.
Brown Girl Dreaming has won over 30 awards, including the Coretta Scott King Author Award and the NAACP Image Award, which suggests this is a great read. I would highly recommend this book, for it’s educational value in helping our youth understand happenings in our country’s history, and to build compassion for those in every walk of life. This is and important lesson every generation must learn and remember. If you are interested, you may purchase Brown Girl Dreaming HERE.