|Links for East Side Readers discussion|
- Meet the Author on YouTube (4 min. video)
- Article about Woodson in Brooklyn Magazine
- Jacqueline Woodson Is Named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
- Interview at Atlanta Magazine
- Quotes Compiled by Bustle
- Reader reviews at LibraryThing
- Woodson at the National Book Awards through the years.
- She was at the Miami Bookfair Nov. 2018
Publisher's Questions for Discussion
1. In her narration throughout the novel, August repeats the phrase, ‘This is memory’. Can
August’s memory be trusted? What does ‘memory’ mean to her?
2. How does Jacqueline Woodson portray female friendship? What difficulties do August, Sylvia,
Gigi and Angela face?
3. As the novel progresses, we see August’s father and brother become increasingly religious.
How can August’s reluctance but engagement with the family’s new religion be understood?
4. Death is a recurring theme in the novel. In what ways does August deal with death, if at all?
Does she ever confront the subject?
5. What role does race play in the lives of the four friends? And in the wider neighbourhood?
6. The novel sheds light on the experience of growing up. How does August describe the
treatment of children in her neighbourhood, including herself and her brother?
7. August and her brother are initially very close. At what point in the narrative do they seem to
grow distant, if at all? Why do you think this might be?
8. The structure of the novel is retrospective, but features flashbacks throughout. What is the
effect of the overlapping recent- and distant-pasts in the novel? How does August come to
understand her own past?
9. How does Jacqueline Woodson create a sense of place in the novel? What makes her portrayal
of the setting ‘another’ Brooklyn?
10. How can gender relations be understood from the perspective of the four friends?