So, you know I have been following along with 2, sorta 3, book challenges this year, right? Today I’m sharing the latest children’s book that I’ve read (actually still reading) for the “Book Girl Magic Reading Challenge” (#BGRChallenge). Check out last month’s update, here.
Discovered this challenge through my friend Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks and her friend Carla at Rae La Soul. Decided to try to use (preferably new) children’s books whenever possible to satisfy the prompts for this challenge. That way I am keeping up with current titles in children’s literature. And keeping the dust from settling on my elementary school librarian shingle.
BOOK GIRL MAGIC READING CHALLENGE, 03.2018
The March prompt is “true story”. I searched Amazon for best-selling children’s nonfiction and came across Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.
I recognized the author’s name from another book of hers, The Other Side. I had enjoyed reading that title over a dozen years ago when it was a Texas Bluebonnet Reading Program nominee. Was drawn to Brown Girl Dreaming as it is a collection of poems recording the author’s childhood during the tumultuous early days of desegregation in the deep south. It didn’t hurt at all that Woodson has been awarded the Coretta Scott King, Newbery Honor, the NAACP Image and the Sibert Honor Awards. Or that the author was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. And it has earned starred reviews among some of the literary world’s weightiest journals, among my fav, “School Library Journal” which said:
Mesmerizing journey through [Woodson’s] early years. . . . Her perspective on the volatile era in which she grew up is thoughtfully expressed in powerfully effective verse. . . . With exquisite metaphorical verse Woodson weaves a patchwork of her life experience . . . that covers readers with a warmth and sensitivity no child should miss. This should be on every library shelf.” — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
So, Brown Girl Dreaming became my title for this month’s “Book Girl Magic Reading Challenge” and for “Title Talk, 03.2018”. When I ordered this book for my Kindle, thought it would be a picture book like some of the other Woodson books I was familiar with. But this book is over 300 pages. Which explains why I am still reading it.
The poems are free verse vignettes of Woodson’s childhood. In her early years, the family bounced between Ohio and South Carolina. Even as a young girl, the author was aware of the differences experienced by a black family living in a northern state versus that of the deep south. Her poetry examines the ways the Civil Rights movement was changing her corner of the world and the country as whole. And it is illuminated by the love of family and the stories that inspired her interest in writing which helped a young Jacqueline find herself.
Always thinking of how I would use a book with my students in the library. I think this book would lend itself well to encouraging children to write their own autobiographical poems. It could also be used to inspire research on desegregation and the Civil Rights movement. Or just to be enjoyed as an example of beautifully written verse.
Read some of the poems from Brown Girl Dreaming, here.
Then meet Jacqueline Woodson and learn more about her life and writing on her website, here. Hope you will find Brown Girl Dreaming at your local library or bookstore. And while you are there, look for The Other Side, too.
What are you reading these days? Do you ever sample children’s literature or read the books with your children that they are assigned to read for school? I know Carrie at Curly, Crafty Mom and Laura at The Horton Family both read with their children (who are no longer littles!). That’s some great parenting my book. Yay for them! I remember reading to high school students visiting the library. They loved it. And there are so many wonderful children’s books these days.
Heading up to Albuquerque for Lucia’s second birthday, tomorrow. Can’t decide whether to take my kitties or not. Just hate leaving them again so soon. And Lauren has invited them.
I am going to be starting a new monthly series about the benefits of and my attempts at doing something that scares me once a month. Taking Purrsimmony and Purrsnickitty for a road trip might be just that. Also have a “Tasty Tuesday” post in the works for 03.20 and a Pinspiration post that day, too. And on Wednesday, 03.21, the gang and I will be sharing our spring bucket and activity lists!! Hope you will come back by. Enjoy a warm, wonderful weekend doing something you love to do.
Hugs and kisses,