Friday, November 26, 2010

The Things a Brother Knows

This new book by Dana Reinhardt was really good.  I got into really quickly and I really wanted to know what was going to happen as I kept reading.  There was a sense of mystery in the book that kept me reading.

This book tells the story of Levi, who's a high school student, and his family.  Levi's brother announces to the family that instead of college he'll be enlisting to fight in the war and be a marine.  The family was shocked and none of them wanted him to go.  But he did.  The book is about what happens when after over three years, Boaz, the brother, finally comes home.

Boaz is clearly not ok and not the same.  Levi struggles to understand what's going on, and the family doesn't really know how to deal with having Bo back home.  Each family member "handles" it differently.  But when Bo tries to leave home again - Levi is determined to follow him and see what is up with his brother.

My students have really been interested in war books this semester.  The guys in my freshmen class have liked Sunrise Over Fallujah and Purple Heart this semester.  The war in Iraq is something that the students know a lot about and many of them know people, family, or friends who are serving.  I haven't read either of those two books, but the students have told me all about them.  What I like is that we have some good books like those that deal with what it's like over there and now we have some books like this one, that deal with what happens when these soldiers come home.  It's important for the kids to read about.  Another good thing about this book is that it doesn't pick a side.  It's not a pro or con book - it's just about the two brothers.

I liked the supporting characters in this book, too.  Zim and Pearl, Levi's two friends from school are great, and fun characters.  The family members all made sense to me as well.  I liked going on this journey with Levi and Boaz.  Good book.  I am going to see if my guys who have read the other two will like this one too.

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