One Book Philadelphia 2018 - Another Brooklyn

Celebrating its 16th year in 2018, One Book, One Philadelphia is an event of the Free Library of Philadelphia that promotes literacy, library usage, and citywide conversation by encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. From January 17 to March 14, nearly 100 events and programs will center around a featured book, the 2016 National Book Award finalist Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.

For the first time, they have chosen two youth companion books. I purchased Brown Girl Dreaming for my 11-year-old Granddaughter to read. 

My friends and I will be reading and discussing this book, join us and add your comments here!

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. New York: Amistad, 2016. 175 pages. ****

August, runs into a long-ago friend, Sylvia, and is transported to 1970s Brooklyn, where friendship is everything. August ignores her mother's advice, "women are not to be trusted."

August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi shared confidences as they walk their neighborhood streets, a place where the girls believe that they are amazingly beautiful, brilliantly talented, with a future that belongs to them. They naively believe that they will transcend the drugs, sex, and violence that is so prevalent on those same streets. 

When her father dies, August revisits her past through her shared memories with her younger brother. 

Woodson has captured the angst of growing up and longing to belong and wanting something better. 

Having grown up in a city, I can relate to the smells, sounds, and heartache experienced by the girls and so aptly described by Woodson. 

My friends and I met to discuss this book and everyone liked it. My childhood friend of over 60+ years visited to join in the event. Each one of us remembered and personalized something in the story that spoke directly to us. We discussed our childhood, family and what it was like interacting with girls our own age. My friend told stories from our shared youth that I didn't remember and caused me to wonder, did that really happen? We theorized as to what caused August's mother to distrust other women and August's longing to be accepted by the other girls. As women are we trustworthy, have we evolved enough to have each other's backs? What part did the father play in how August matured and chose her career? Did their father know that his children were searching for their mother on the city streets? 

Some of the ladies in the discussion group are quilters and I found this wonderful video of Jacqueline discussing quilts and the Underground Railroad.

Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young-adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. She has won numerous other book awards. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. 

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