As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds [in School Library Journal]
Jason 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. Equal parts adventure, mystery, and comedy, Brave is an ideal choice to add to all reluctant-reader shelves.
Readers: Middle Grade