Running into a long-ago friend sets memories from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything -- until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant -- a part of a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
Like Louise Meriwether's "Daddy Was a Number Runner" and Dorothy Allison's "Bastard Out of Carolina," Jacqueline Woodson's "Another Brooklyn" heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood -- the promise and peril of growing up -- and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
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This book made the 2016 National Book Award longlist for 2016. It's not a long book, but Ms. Woodson packs a lot into the 96 pages or so. It's about growing up as a young black girl in 1970's Brooklyn. August and her three friends Sylvia, Gigi, and Angela walk together around the streets of Brooklyn; together always and forever they think. The girls thought that they were invicicible, beautiful and could conquer all, but underneath that childhood veneer there is another Brooklyn - a seedy underworld of drugs, prostitution, starvation and want. It was very easy to get lost inside Ms. Woodson 1970's world. She transports you body and soul back to her time and place. This is a coming-of-age novel like none other.