I’ve passed up Lisa Schroeder books before. I never really thought I would like them because she writes a whole novel in verse. That didn’t appeal to me at all.
I was wrong.
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder is a beautifully written story of a teenager who loses her boyfriend, Lucca, in a car accident and, a year later, still can’t climb out of the sadness. Her mom leaves her dad and takes her brothers with her and Brooklyn’s left to take care of her dad. Then Gabe, the kid driving the car that killed her boyfriend, who also can’t escape the sadness, dies of an overdose.
Soon after Gabe’s death, Brooklyn begins having nightmares about Gabe. Feeling like she can’t talk to anyone about what is happening, she withdraws from life even more. Then Nicco, Lucca’s older brother, starts dreaming of Lucca and it seems Lucca is trying to send him a message about Brooklyn.
It sounds very weird when I try to explain it. It took me a little longer than normal to start enjoying this book. I tend to rush through novels and because this was written in verse, I had to slow down. Once I did that, I appreciated the book a lot more. The story is told from journal entries alternating back and forth between Brooklyn and Nicco. They are short, but powerful poems. I’ve marked many of them to use as examples for my students next year when we do our poetry unit. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading this whole novel out loud to my kids and using the journal entries as lessons. It’s that good. And that my students will be able to hear a whole story through poetry and realize the power in it will be a pretty powerful lesson.
To satisfy Lucca, Nicco reaches out to Brooklyn in hopes of helping her. In the end, they both help each other and learn to live in their new world without their friends.
Multiple times while reading this, I found myself thinking about specific kids that should read this. This book could help some kids. I can’t wait to introduce it to them.