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As Brave As You

by Jason Reynolds

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Reynolds makes his middle grade debut with a multigenerational story featuring two Brooklyn brothers sent to stay temporarily with grandparents in rural Virginia. While their parents take some time to salvage their fraying relationship, 11-year-old Genie and his almost 14-year-old brother, Ernie, are expected to spend a month obeying their strict grandmother, surviving without cellular service or the Internet, and helping with any chores that need doing. Genie, always asking questions, is especially curious about Grandpop, whose sunglasses initially hide his blindness. Nervous fear aside, Genie manages to learn surprising family stories and secrets-including the truth about a model fire truck that seemingly belongs to no one, what's behind the "nunya bidness door," and why Grandpop carries a gun. With compassion and humor, Reynolds deftly explores life lessons about family bonds, growing up, and the meaning of true courage. Narrator Guy Lockard embodies Genie's curiosity, excitement, and well-earned wisdom with pitch-perfect accuracy. VERDICT Equal parts adventure, mystery, and comedy, this is an ideal choice to suggest to middle grade listeners. ["A richly realized story about life and loss, courage and grace, and what it takes to be a man": SLJ 6/16 starred review of the S. & S. Atheneum book.]--Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-When 11-year-old worrywart Genie and his big brother, Ernie, leave Brooklyn and go to their grandparents' home in rural Virginia, it seems as though they have been dropped on another planet. The city boys are introduced to another way of life and to their blind grandfather, who goes to extreme lengths to conceal his disability. A rich and rewarding coming-of-age story about family and courage, told with laugh-out-loud humor and a great deal of heart. Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Reynolds' first foray into middle-grade fiction follows the path of other stellar writers like Christopher Paul Curtis and Rita Williams-Garcia, who have brought their young protagonists home to meet the family. Our narrator is 11-year-old Genie, a worrier from Brooklyn who's headed, along with his older brother, Ernie, to his grandparents' home in backwoods Virginia. There's culture shock aplenty (no Internet, no TV), plus the more visceral earthquake of learning Grandpop is blind. And the aftershocks keep coming: Grandpop carries a gun. Genie's notebook of questions a wonderful literary technique opens wide this thoroughly realistic narrator's world of concerns and brings readers closer to him. The story's richness comes in part from its evocative descriptions of place, with every sense invited to the party. Readers don't just see the dog poop that covers the yard; they feel the weight of it as the brothers shovel it into the woods and can smell it all over the boys. But it is the intricate lacing of relationships that makes this so remarkable. There are second-, even third-generation problems being worked out between fathers and sons. A Jim Crow history has had a hand in shaping the issues, but there are also personal trials, hurt, and despair that hinder resolution. Yet through his inquisitive young protagonist, Reynolds movingly shows that although sometimes love hides, it still abides. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Reynolds comes off the one-two punch of the 2015 award winners The Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys as a newly branded kidlit superstar.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.