And that's what you call a book

Another Brooklyn: A Novel - Jacqueline Woodson

I picked this up as a freebie from the publisher at the 2017 MLA convention.  The main reason I picked it up was the raves that Woodson got from a panel about YA literature and race (which was literally the best panel I went to during that convention). 


Incidentally, this book has also been chosen for One Book, One Philadelphia.


                Another Brooklyn is about, well, death, life, poetry, and girlhood. 


                August is called back to Brooklyn for her father’s death.  The story opens shortly after his funeral, and Woodson writes a wonderful scene of two siblings who are different but who love each other and can tease though the differences.  On a subway ride, August sees a woman from her past and remembers her girlhood in Brooklyn.


                Her girlhood is adjusting to New York after moving from Tennessee.  Part of the story is adjusting a different environment and different type of life, once her father decides to convert.  She also adjusts to the changes in her body and how the people, in particular the males, around her react to that.  Her family is struggling financial at time when there is white flight in Brooklyn.  Part of what we see is how poverty and harassment do effect people’s live.  But that is the charm of the book, it is simple a section of life that does not get much coverage in the media.


                The book isn’t really for very young children, for rape and sex are addressed.  In some points, somewhat graphically, in others clearly.  Additionally, Woodson’s style might not be to everyone’s taste.  She writes in a prose poetry style.  In fact, my edition sets the prose up in an almost poetry style.  This means you will either love her style or it just will not be for you.