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Everyone needs to read Brown Girl Dreaming. It is beautiful. It is touching and heartbreaking and real. It is the memory of a girl growing up in Ohio, South Carolina and New York. It is about family, friends, religion, life and becoming a writer. It is from Jacqueline Woodson’s point of view as a young black girl in America, yet so much of it is universal. It is written in a poetic style which makes it quick and easy to read. But the messages are so poignant, it made me cry.

Here are a few of my favorite passages (I could have quoted the whole book, but I won’t).

Welcome home, my grandparents say.

Their warm brown

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arms around us. A white handkerchief,

embroidered with blue

to wipe away my mother’s tears. And me,

the new baby, set deep

inside this love.”

And:

“For now, my parents stand hugging

in the warm Carolina rain.

No past.

No future.

Just this perfect now.”

Another:

“You don’t need words

on a night like this. Just the warmth

of your grandfather’s arm. Just the silent promise

that the world as we know it

will always be here.”

One final piece:

“We look at the picture without talking.

Sometimes, I don’t know the words for things,

how to write down the feeling of knowing

that every dying person leaves something behind.”

 

 

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