I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Published: August 9th 2016 by Amistad
Genres: Fiction (General)
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Another Brooklyn by writer and poet Jacqueline Woodson is a new novel about a girl and her friends in 1970s Brooklyn. The story begins when August returns to Brooklyn for her father’s funeral. Seeing an old friend on the subway sparks her memories of childhood, told through Woodson’s ethereal and poetic language. It feels as if you’re reading a dream.
August initially moves to Brooklyn with her father and brother after a family tragedy, and at first leads a sheltered life looking out the window of her apartment. But gradually she gains her freedom and makes friends with three girls, who become inseparable despite their differing family circumstances. There’s Sylvia, whose family pressures her toward law as a promise of a better life, and Gigi, who dreams of being an dancer. Angela has a largely absent mother, and yet still manages to look forward. Each of the girls faces her own challenges while also having fun playing double dutch or sneaking off to smoke in the park.
And yet beneath the hopeful veneer of childhood exuberance, there’s a darker side to the city. There are men who are willing to take advantage of little girls. There’s the challenge of navigating young relationships and not being pressured to trade one’s future for short-term gain. There’s August’s budding realization of the poverty around them, and there’s the loss of innocence as August and her friends realize that they are growing up in the ghetto and that the rest of the world may think less of them because of it, even though they have so many rich experiences of their own. But the fact that there are both painful moments and joyful ones is what makes Another Brooklyn shine. Brooklyn is multifaceted and can be both beautiful and sinister. It’s not the kind of place that can be easily pigeonholed.
Another Brooklyn is an exquisite novel. It captures both the innocence of childhood and the dawning realization of tough realities like race, class, and sexuality. I highly recommend it.
About Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.