As Brave as You

by Jason Reynolds

Eleven-year-old Genie and his older brother, Ernie, are visiting their Virginia grandparents.... read more

Eleven-year-old Genie and his older brother, Ernie, are visiting their Virginia grandparents. It’s Genie’s first time meeting his grandfather, and he’s fascinated to discover the older man is blind. In a story full of small dramatic arcs and ongoing mysteries—of the door the boys aren’t supposed to open but that Genie does, of a room full of swallows, of the yellow house in the woods, of the unexplained tension between his father and grandfather, of the effect of the girl down the hill on his brother—Genie, a quiet, curious observer, deepens his understanding of himself, his grandfather, and the joy and pain and love that is family. Genie, so keen in his wondering; his grandfather, full of poignant regret, fierce pride, and barely acknowledged fear; his grandmother, all bustling efficiency and loving control; and Ernie’s alternating confidence and caution are exquisite characterizations gracing a novel both funny and tender (poop patrol in the yard; their grandfather teaching Ernie to shoot; Ernie not wanting to fire a gun). It also beautifully captures the way summer days can feel shapeless, while forming themselves into a season of growth and discovery. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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