"I read Waking Up White in one sitting. To say I loved it is an understatement. It's such a raw, honest portrait …. Irving's experience on display – warts and all – will help white people, who haven't noticed the role systemic privilege has played in their lives, start to see the world in a new way."

Jodi Picoult, author

“With exquisite metaphorical verse Woodson weaves a patchwork of her life experience, from her supportive, loving maternal grandparents, her mother's insistence on good grammar, to the lifetime friend she meets in New York, that covers readers with a warmth and sensitivity no child should miss. This should be on every library shelf."

School Library Journal, Starred Review



Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving invites 

readers to explore race, culture, and diversity through the personal story of a 

New Englander whose move from suburbia to the city unravels her understanding of who she was raised to be. Irving's story takes readers through the challenge 

and complexity of social constructs persistent in America, offering an engaging 

way to bridge racial divides and unite diverse perspectives.

Read, listen and share 

with your family, friends, and neighbors!

Whether it's in your own book club, at one of our public reads, or at one of the many free lectures, workshops, or facilitated discussions, join the conversation through Oyster River Community Read.

Check out our 2018 book selection and read along with your community!

Jacqueline Woodson's poetic autobiography, Brown Girl Dreaming, shares Woodson's story of life as a young African American girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, with  the vestiges of JimCrow laws and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement. Her childhood spent in New York and South Carolina presents two very different snapshots of American history. This is a perfect book choice for middle school grades and older.

2018 Book Selection

  • Oyster River Community Read
  • Oyster River Community Read