As Brave As You

by Jason Reynolds

Paperback, 2017

Call number



Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (2017), Edition: Reprint, 432 pages


"When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires--literally"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member fingerpost
It's only June, but I'll predict this to be the 2016 Newberry Award winner.

Genie and Ernie, brothers from Brooklyn, go to spend the summer with their Grandparents in rural Virginia. They're in for a lot of changes. No cell phone reception, chores, and getting to know their grandparents who they
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only know from phone calls before. Ernie, the elder, is brave, confident, and cool. Genie is intellectual, perpetually anxious, and afraid. The biggest change is perhaps dealing with their grandfather, who is (to their surprise) totally blind, and perhaps a little crazy. But Genie quickly makes a close bond with his Grandfather, while Ernie is bonding with the pretty girl down the hill.

The plot explores fear and bravery, guilt and forgiveness. Every little element of the book has meaning. Jason Reynolds crafts a beautiful story, perfectly paced, with likable and believable characters. Though written for young adults, I would think most adults who enjoy good fiction would love it as well. I certainly did.
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LibraryThing member Debra_Armbruster
Sweet, heart-felt and evocative. Jason Reynolds does it again!

Recommended for 5th-9th grade readers.
LibraryThing member Brainannex
Gene asks a ton of questions and, while living with his grandparents with no Google, he has to find a different type of answers.
LibraryThing member lilibrarian
Genie and Ernie are sent to stay with the grandparents down South so their parents can take a much-needed vacation. Grandpa is blind, and spends most of his time in a room with birds. The two brothers enjoy their time, but on Ernie's 14th birthday, when grandpa pressures him to take part in a
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traditional celebration, things go wrong. Both boys learn a lot about their family, its secrets and what being brave actually is.
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LibraryThing member sgrame
Ernie and Genie are sent to stay with their grandparents for a month in Virginia- a long way from the city, and lifestyle of Brooklyn. Genie has a million questions, including why does Grandpa always wear glasses and why does he disappear into that secret room every day? Why doesn't he ever go
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outside? Why does he carry a gun?
As Genie gets to know his grandparents, he discovers his grandpa has gone blind, and there are some things he does anyways, and a few things he's afraid to do now. Genie's brother Ernie is celebrating his 14th birthday while they visit- will he become a "man" while they are there by learning to shoot a gun? Genie wishes he were turning 14, but finds out there's more to bravery than meets the eye. This would make a great book discussion book for grades 4-6.
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LibraryThing member jothebookgirl
Two brothers, Genie and Ernie, set out to prove how brave they are, but as things go, everything backfires.
Ernie and Genie are from a Brooklyn. Now thy are headed to the countryside in rural Virginia to spend the summer with their grandparents.

Genie is shocked and surprised when he figures out
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that their grandfather is blind due to a later in life condition. Thunderstruck and--being a curious kid--Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he's ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house--as in NEVER. One day Grandpop reveals a secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into--a room so full of songbirds and plants that it's almost as if it's been pulled inside-out. Is this where grand pop goes to be outside?

During their visit Ernie turns fourteen. Grand pop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. . Confused by Ernie's reluctance, Genie is left to wonder--is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won't do?
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LibraryThing member lydia1879
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds features two young brothers, Ernie and Genie who go to their grandparent's house in Nebraska, away from their Brooklyn home in the summer.

I listened to this on audiobook and it was perfect. Guy Lockard added so much humour and energy to the reading that it really
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enhanced the whole book for me. The banter between the brothers is perfect and Genie, a young boy who just can't stop writing down and asking questions, is the perfect balance of reflective and cheeky.

As Brave as You deals with some seriously big issues of masculinity, being a man and even trauma. The thing that I like about middle grade is it is able to touch on really big issues without being made too serious or inaccessible. Kids are emotional and deserve to have their experiences and others' experiences reflected in books.

What I liked about this book was it touched on so many thoughts about masculinity and being a man through topics like fatherhood and familial responsibility. Genie's grandfather, who's blind, owns a gun and regularly takes out every night to clean it. Genie, of course, has many questions. Why does he own a gun if he's blind? How does he know he's putting it back together correctly? What kind of gun was it? etc. etc. etc.

This book wasn't perfect by any means -- the dovetail ending didn't feel all that great, and it felt a little rushed. Sometimes I had a few problems, but overall, I seriously enjoyed it.

Authentic, funny and sometimes sweet, As Brave as You drips with black boy joy, as it well should.
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LibraryThing member DrFuriosa
An achingly lovely but funny middle-school book about family and growing up. 4.5 stars.
LibraryThing member bookwyrmm
I loved how realistic this book was and that it didn't shy away from how messy family relationships can really be.




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