Check It Out: Another Brooklyn

Feb 28, 2017

Today, I am recommending Another Brooklyn, a new adult novel by Jacqueline Woodson.  Woodson has written more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children.  She was the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming--which also won the Coretta Scott King Award, the NAACP Image Award, and was a Newbery Honor book. 

In Another Brooklyn, our narrator is August, who returns to the borough of Brooklyn at the age of 35 for her father’s funeral, where she has a chance encounter with a friend of her youth that sparks a flood of memories.  August moved to Brooklyn in 1973-- when she was eight years old--with her father and four-year-old brother.  From their apartment’s third-floor window, August and her brother watch the kids of Brooklyn playing in the streets, wishing that they could join them.  Eventually, August befriends Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi, recalling the friends “sharing the weight of growing up Girl in Brooklyn, as though it was a bag of stones we passed among ourselves.”  With both grit and beauty, August shares the dangers and challenges of growing up as a brown girl in Brooklyn, moving back and forth in time from a young woman’s experiences to her adult memories.

With a poet’s prose, Woodson captures the isolation of moving to a strange city, the haunting absence of August’s mother, the ways in which these four friends strengthen and sustain each other, and the dreams that lead them in different directions.

In interviews, Jacqueline Woodson has said, “There are all kinds of people in the world, and I want to help introduce readers to the kinds of people they might not otherwise meet.”  I am grateful for having met August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi—a quartet of young women whose experiences are so very different from my own, yet familiar in ways. 

Check out Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson and other coming-of-age stories like it at the Sioux City Public Library.

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Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.