'Another Brooklyn' Book Review: This Is Memory
***This review may contain some spoilers***
Another Brooklyn follows August as she tells her memories of living in 1970s Brooklyn, New York. It takes on a sobering effect when we realize that August’s life is turned upside down from her mother’s disappearance and how that impacts her with her relationships with her friends, family and religion all the way up to her adult life.
After her mother disappears she is moved to New York with her brother and father right before she gets to middle school. Brooklyn is where she meets Sylvia, Gigi and Angela. This is where they make a bond of friendship and love and support through life.This is where they must defend themselves from what others think and what boys and men might do to them if they are not careful. This story beautifully highlights how society expects young girls of color act like a child but are then sexualized before they even figure out what sex is. They are expected to protect their bodies when there is no one to protect them. They must fight together against the world, a place that can and could take anything from them. They are expected to grow in an environment that would rather see them as things to use and discard.
August talks about her memories with Brooklyn filled with some love but also with toxic relationships with family, friends and boys from around the way. Woodson puts a spotlight on these 4 girls living in a rough neighborhood and how they have to learn what the world is themselves and how they fit into it.
The thing about Jacqueline Woodson that I have always loved is that she doesn’t drop you into the story unannounced she takes your hand, sits you down and leads you through the story. She continues to have a calming aura when the characters tells their stories and that is something that few people can do without sounding faked or forced.
This story gives the reader reasons on why we need to treat people better when it comes to mental illness. And how this society needs to be better at realizing that everyone has problems and It is what we deal and respond to those problems is what matters most.
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