By Jaqueline Woodson
This beautiful book in verse weaves an immersive tale of what it was like for Jaqueline Woodson, the author, to grow up amidst the Civil Rights Movement and Jim Crow laws.
Genre: Nonfiction (memoir)
Recommended Age Level: 10+
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.
This was, quite simply, a beautiful book. It is written for younger audiences, but it is written in a way that can genuinely be enjoyed by anyone of any age. A lot of the stories told about the Civil Rights Movement are told by people who were adults (or at least teenagers) living in the South during the movement, but Woodson's perspective is unique, considering she is telling a story from her childhood and also has experience living in the North, where Jim Crow laws were not running as rampant.
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