Kinda Like Brothers

by Coe Booth

Eleven-year-old Jarrett and twelve-year-old Kevon are thrown together when Jarrett’s... read more

Eleven-year-old Jarrett and twelve-year-old Kevon are thrown together when Jarrett’s mom becomes a temporary foster parent to Kevon and his two-year-old sister. Kevon is cool in a way Jarrett isn’t, inviting easy admiration from other kids. In Jarrett’s mind, that makes Kevon a potential threat socially, not to mention someone with whom he has to share his room. Meanwhile Kevon resents the implication that he can’t care for his sister — a responsibility he’s used to — and worries about his mentally ill dad. He has no time for Jarrett’s jealousy. Author Coe Booth’s characters are likable, genuine, and flawed in all the ways that make us human, with adults and kids alike in her story well-rounded and wonderfully real. The two boys have good hearts but their treatment of each other ranges from bright moments of generosity to indifference to cruelty. The larger African American community — from Jarrett’s mom and her boyfriend to teachers at school and adults at the community center — strives to make a difference in the lives of these boys and other children, preparing them for a world that is not always fair or just. But for Jarrett and Kevon to make peace with one another they must let go of anger and hurt, and acknowledge the bond that has developed between them in spite — or because — of everything. (Ages 9–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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