Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)

                                                 lullaby

All night, every living thing competes
for a chance to be heard.
The crickets
and frogs call out.
Sometimes, there’s the soft
who-whoo of an owl lost
amid the pines.
Even the dogs won’t rest until
they’ve howled
at the moon.

But the crickets always win, long after
the frogs stop croaking
and the owl had found its way home.
Long after the dogs have lain down
losing the battle against sleep,
the crickets keep going
as though they know their song
is our lullaby.

Brown Girl DreamingTo date, I consider this the most distinguished children’s book of the year. Woodson’s biography captures with lyricism and poignancy the delicate early years of her life as well as the environs of three different American locations – Columbus, OH, Greenville, SC, and New York City, NY – during the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s.

It’s pacing is perfect, every word is essential, each character is vibrant and the perspective never wavers. I was entranced and delighted and moved throughout. Highly recommended.

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