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As Brave As You

Cover: 'As Brave As You'

Staff Review: "As Brave As You" by Jason Reynolds

★★★★★

Eleven-year-old Genie is nervous to be spending a whole month of his summer vacation (with his older brother, Ernie, Jr.) at his paternal grandparents’ house. Not only is this Brooklyn native unprepared for life in the country (no cell signal or internet?!), it’s the first time his family has seen his grandparents in ten years, and there’s a lot of information to process. His parents are taking time away from Genie and Ernie, Jr. to sort through their issues. How did he not know Grandpop is blind? What's going on with his dad and Grandpop? Why is the tea so sweet? Genie is fond of questions in general and has a habit of writing them down (and numbering them) to be answered at the next opportunity. Some questions can be answered with a skilled Google search (oh wait—no internet!), but he’s old enough to learn that some questions cannot be easily answered with a fact or two in this thoughtful, engaging book that explores the intergenerational bonds of family and the power of family secrets. I appreciated the fact that this story is rooted in circumstances specific to the African American experience in the U.S. but will resonate thematically with audiences of all backgrounds. The tone of the book is often humorous, but it’s not afraid to tackle serious topics. This book is appropriate for tweens who enjoy realistic fiction with complex characters that centers on family. The audiobook, which is available on OverDrive, is also excellent!

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction

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