DIVerse Families
Brown Girl Dreaming


Brown Girl Dreaming


Nancy Paulsen Books


336 pages

Publication Year







Racial Diversity; Race discrimination; racism; prejudice


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 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.

Grade Level

3-5; 6-8

Family Formation

mother and father

Main Character


Diversity Impact



African American


The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection ; John Newbery Medal, 2015, Honor, Children's Literature ; Battle of the (Kids') Books, 15, Nominee ; Claudia Lewis Award, 2015, Winner ; Coretta Scott King Book Award, 2015, Winner, Author ; Cybils Awards, 2014, Finalist, Poetry ; E.B. White Read Aloud Award, 2015, Winner, Middle Reader ; Goodreads Choice Award, 2014, Nominee, Middle Grade ; Indies Choice Book Award, 2015, Winner, Middle Grade ; International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor List, 2016, Honour List, Book ; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children's Literature, 2015, Honor, Non Fiction ; Los Angeles Times Book Prize, 2014, Runner Up, Young Adult Literature ; NAACP Image Award, 2015, Winner, Outstanding Literary Work-Youth/Teen ; National Book Award, 2014, Winner, Young People's Literature ; Norman A. Sugarman Children's Biography Award, 2016, Honor Book ; Ohioana Book Award, 2015, Winner, Middle Grade ; Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, 2015, Honor, Literary ; School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books, 2015, Nominee ; SIBA Book Award, 2015, Winner, Children's Book ; YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, 2015, Nominee, Young Adult. Alabama Camellia Children's Choice Award, 2015-2016; Nominee Arkansas Teen Book Award, 2016, Nominee ; Battle of the Books, 2015-2016, Nominee ; Battle of the Books, 2015-2016, Nominee ; Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 2015-2016, Nominee ; Garden State Teen Book Award, 2017, Nominee ; Georgia Children's Book Award, 2015-2016, Nominee ; Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 2016, Nominee ; Land of Enchantment Book Award, 2016-2017, Nominee ; Oregon Reader's Choice Award, 2016-2017, Nominee ; Quahog Book Award, 2015, Nominee ; Rhode Island Teen Book Award, 2016, Nominee ; Summer Reading List, 2015, Nominee ; Wisconsin Battle of the Books, 2015-2016, Nominee ; Distinguished Books, 2014 ; 10 Childrens Books with Black Girl Protagonists, 2016 ; 100 Magnificent Childrens Books, 2014 ; 20 Years of Dia, 2016 ; 30 Multicultural Books Every Teen Should Know, 2015 ; Best Children's Books of the Year, 2015 ; Best of the Best Books, 2014 ; Best Young Adult Book, 2014 ; Booklist Editors Choice: Books for Youth, 2014 ; Booklist Top 10 Biographies for Youth, 2015 ; Booklist Top 10 Multicultural Nonfiction for Youth, 2015 ; Bulletin Blue Ribbons, 2014 ; Choices, 2015 ; CSMCL Best Books, 2014 ; Guide Book to Gift Books, 2016 ; Horn Book Fanfare, 2014 ; Lasting Connections, 2014 ; New York Times Notable Children's Books, 2014 ; Notable Books for a Global Society, 2015 ; Notable Children's Books, 2015 ; Notable Children's Recordings, 2015 ; Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2015 ; NPR's Book Concierge, 2014 ; Poetry Essentials: Selected Books for Children and Teens, 2015 ; School Library Journal Best Books, 2014 ; Top 10 YA Book, 2014 ; Washington Post Best Kid's Books, 2014


identity; social conditions; children; Jim Crow; Civil Rights movement; South Carolina; New York; stories; poems

Item Type




Brown Girl Dreaming