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Another Brooklyn Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The following questions can help you guide your students through a class discussion on Jacqueline Woodson's novel 'Another Brooklyn' as they explore their reactions to the story and its themes.

Another Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn is a 2016 novel by Jacqueline Woodson that explores the many dimensions of mourning and loss through the eyes of a woman who has studied mourning academically as a way to understand it personally. This novel contains many mature themes about growing up, betrayal, loss, and death, some of which may be difficult for certain students. For that reason, this discussion is intended for high school students.

Questions about Plot and Characters

  • In one sentence, can you describe the plot of Another Brooklyn? In your opinion, what is the book about? How would you explain it to a friend?
  • Who is the main protagonist of this novel? How are we introduced to August? How would you describe her personality at the start of the novel?
  • What is August doing at the start of the novel? How does she relate to people? How does she handle her father's death? Why do you think the encounter with Sylvia shakes her so much?
  • What was August like as a child? How is young August presented as similar to the adult August? How is she different?
  • How does August come into contact with Sylvia, Gigi, and Angela? What do these girls represent to her? What do you think she represents to them?
  • How does August's reflections on her past clue us into her relationship with death and mourning? Why does she decide to study these things?
  • What do you think were the biggest moments in this story that influence August's interest in death and mourning? What is she trying to find by studying these as an anthropologist? Does it work?
  • By the end of the novel, how has your view of August changed? How has her view of herself changed?

Questions about Structure

  • What did you think about the way this story was structured? How would you describe it? Have you seen a narrative presented like this before?
  • Were there times that it was challenging to understand the organization of events in this novel? Why? How did you start to make sense of it?
  • What does it mean for a story to be nonlinear? Is this an example of a nonlinear narrative? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story like this? What does this structure contribute to the story?

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