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 Allen Reads  
ALLen Reads is a one-book program under the leadership of the Friends of the Allen Public Library.  It is unique in one-book programs in that related books are chosen as “companions” to the main book to promote families and all generations reading and talking together.
Visit the ALLen Reads website for more program information. You may also download a brochure. Thank you for participating in ALLen Reads! 

Main Book

brown girl dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
brown girl dreaming by jacqueline Woodson  

This year’s selection as the Main Book for grade 5 through adult is brown girl dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson.

In vivid poems, Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow laws 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 and joyfully finds her voice through writing stories, even as she struggled to read 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.

Teacher resources for brown girl dreaming are available on  Ready to discuss the book? Take a look at these discussion questions!

Companion Books

 Each Kindness
(recommended for grades 3rd - 4th)
 The Other Side 
(recommended for grades K - 2nd)
written by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Illustrator, EB Lewis

Each Kindness

            Each kindness makes the world a little better.

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually, Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya. Recommended for Grades 3-4.

Teacher resources are available for Each Kindness on Ready to discuss with your class? Check out these talking points!

The Other Side

            Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. However, the two girls strike up a friendship and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.  Parents will recognize the symbolism of the fence between the yards.  Children will love the story of how a new friendship is built and the beauty of the watercolors illustrations. Recommended for Grades K-2. 

Teacher resources for The Other Side are available on Download these talking points if you're ready to discuss with your class!

Jacqueline Woodson discusses her motivation for writing brown girl dreaming
Hear an excerpt from brown girl dreaming read by the author. 
Last Modified on February 8, 2017