Brown Girl Dreaming


Brown Girl Dreaming


Nancy Paulsen Books

Publication Year





336 pages





Item Type



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

Diversity Topics

Racial Diversity; Race discrimination; racism; prejudice

Main Character



African American

Family Formation

mother and father


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

Diversity Impact


Brown Girl Dreaming