Official book description:
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 unusual autobiography, written in verse, is absolutely lovely. I chose to listen to it in audiobook, narrated by Ms. Woodson herself, mainly because I find poetry is always more accessible when it’s read to me, rather than when I have to read it myself. Possibly my only complaint with this book is that it was much shorter than I was expecting, mainly because it’s by no means a full autobiography of Ms. Woodson’s life. It covers her childhood and adolescence and tells the story of how, although she had big problems learning to read, she found a love of books and stories and became determined to become an author.
A book written in verse may seem a bit daunting, but the language that Ms. Woodson uses throughout is descriptive, evocative, and in no way dense. Each chapter is relatively short, so you can easily break up your read if you want to. I found the short chapters made it even more tempting to keep going for longer, which made me finish the book sooner than I was expecting.
Full review on my blog.