What I'm Reading: March 31

Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson

Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson

I'm just coming out of a monstrous reading slump—it was only about a week long, but it felt much longer?—and Another Brooklyn is the book that did it:

Somehow, my brother and I grew up motherless yet halfway whole. My brother had the faith my father brought him to, and for a long time, I had Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi, the four of us sharing the weight of growing up Girl in Brooklyn, as though it was a bag of stones we passed among ourselves saying, Here. Help me carry this.

It's a beautiful book on every level—story, character, narrative voice, dialogue, emotion—it's beautiful as a portrait of a specific group of Black girls in a specific place at a specific time, and it's beautiful as a story about adolescence and memory. 

It looks back at childhood with an adult's understanding—but, crucially, it looks back with truth and clarity, not through a nostalgic haze. I read the entirety of this book with my hand pressed—not rested on, pressed—to my chest, because Woodson's story and words made me feel like my heart was in danger of pushing its way out of my body.