ANOTHER BROOKLYN by Jacqueline Woodson: A Review

The thing that made me check this book out from the library was that Ann Patchett recommended it on the cover blurb.  It is a 2016 publication, and I had never read Woodson before.  Set in Brooklyn during the 1970’s “where friendship was everything,” this coming of age novel features August, Sylvia, Angela and Gi Gi. Yes, it is a coming-of-age novel, but the way it is written makes it much more. Brooklyn, itself is a character, “…a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways.”

Sometimes the writing is like reading poetry, and this “gifted novelist,” a very young writer, is better known for Brown Girl Dreaming, a 2014 National Book Award winner. Woodson was also named “Young People’s Poet Laureate” by the Poetry Foundation, and her writing has been deemed “of literary quality.”  

Not only was Another Brooklyn a darned good story and a literary experience to read it, 1970’s Brooklyn is depicted accurately, yet sympathetically. After I read the book, I felt like I had been there.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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