Remember Us

Listening Library. Oct. 2023. 253p. $15. ISBN 9780593795149.
Gr 5 Up–Over the last decade or so, Woodson has chosen to narrate her own books—either hauntingly solo or in a notable ensemble, gifting audiences with gratifying aural enhancements of already gorgeous text. For Sage, “the world I had known so well the year I was twelve” means the Bushwick section of 1970s Brooklyn. She’s recently lost her father, a fireman killed in the line of duty; local conflagrations continue, enough to earn the neighborhood the dangerous moniker “The Matchbox.” While her mother works hard to move them out, Sage spends that summer before seventh grade hanging with neighborhood newbie Freddy and playing basketball. A teen’s aggressive taunt on the court, “What kind of girl are you, anyway?,” triggers Sage’s growing insecurities about gender, identity, families, friendship. The author’s note is a moving ode to being “able to go home again.”
VERDICT Woodson lyrically, empathetically presents another feelings-full coming-of-age treasure.

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