February 4, 2015
CapRadio Reads book review meetings are always terrific conversations. We discuss the author, we discuss the plot and, of course, we discuss the words. Our meeting on February 10 (6:00 p.m.) will be about the writing. Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming, has a way with words. She chooses them so carefully, as if she has promised to use only a small number. They must be perfect, and they must be words that convey feeling, color, size and space all in one.
I am so anxious to hear what struck you about this book and why you were happy to have read it. What makes it a book for Young People, or is it? Will you read more of her work or other writers in her genre?
We'll talk about all this and more next Tuesday night, so make sure you have reserved your place at the table.
Thanks for reading.
January 28, 2015
We won't have Jacqueline Woodson with us when we discuss her book, Brown Girl Dreaming, but we may feel as if she's here for our meeting on February 10, at 6:00 p.m.
When asked recently about her life, Ms. Woodson gave some very candid answers. For instance, her favorite color is green, but it used to be blue, and she really likes stripes. Her favorite book is The Selfish Giant by Hans Christian Anderson, and her favorite authors are Carson McCullers and Raymond Carver. This accomplished writer, who has written almost too many Young Adult books to count, loves pizza but doesn't like mushrooms.
So, what do all these amazing facts tell us? I think, after devouring Brown Girl Dreaming, and wallowing in her poetic voice, that Jacqueline Woodson allows all her senses to work through her writing. Her love of certain foods, certain colors and certain people comes through loud and clear.
For her readers, the best part, in my opinion, is her completely obvious love of words and of writing. It is not surprising at all that when asked, "Do you think you'll ever stop writing?" she answered, "When I stop breathing."
Come join the conversation. Sign up now, and we will see you at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday February 10, at Capital Public Radio.
January 21, 2015
While reading this magnificent book, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, I realize it is about all girls dreaming -- dreaming of what could be, what could happen if their own dreams could be recognized.
Once I was able to get beyond the immense beauty of the language in this book, I was immediately drawn to actively hope that little Jacqueline's early writing talent would be noticed. Noticed maybe by her teachers, or her grandmother, or even her dear grandfather. I wanted to imagine that she was heralded early on and given wings. The love she was shown, but the pain she had to endure, was so clearly written. Her strength, coming straight from her grandmother, was a wonder to behold, and her words made it sing.
I hope you are reading this award-winning book and that you join me in wishing little Jacqueline everything she hopes for.
Join our conversation about Brown Girl Dreaming on Tuesday, February 10, at 6:00 p.m. at our studios on Folsom Boulevard.
As always, thank you for reading.
January 16, 2015
In a departure for our group, our Face To Face meeting will discuss a book written primarily for young readers. Truly, Brown Girl Dreaming is a book for everyone. Written in free verse, Ms. Woodson shares with the reader her time growing up in the 60's and 70's in the North, (Brooklyn) and the South (South Carolina). We will follow her through the end of the Jim Crow Era, and watch her grow with the Civil Rights Era.
Our group has read several books about slavery in the South. This will give us some new perspective on how far we have, or have not, come.
Please reserve your space at the table. Tuesday, February 10, at our new time of 6:00pm.
As always, thanks for reading.