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As Brave As You

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  6,228 ratings  ·  1,084 reviews
When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally.

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is
Hardcover, 410 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,228 ratings  ·  1,084 reviews

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Laurie Anderson
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Jason Reynold's middle-grade voice is every bit as strong as his YA voice! This book is about family and love and learning to make sense of the hard things that we all have to deal with as we come of age. I loved it! ...more
Nic Stone
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jason Reynolds has done it again.

Departing from the often gritty, urban-set YA contemporary he's known for, AS BRAVE AS YOU takes us south to Virginia where Brooklynites 11-year-old Genie and his big brother Ernie are set to spend a month at their grandparent's house in "the country". Despite it being as different from home as night is from day, the boys soon acclimate to their new surroundings, and in the process, learn things about their family members that alter their perceptions of themselv
Krista Regester
I am a HUGE fan of Jason Reynolds. I think that he is an incredible author with so much talent. As Brave As You just wasn't my absolute favorite. It is a heartwarming story that is also very approachable. There are laugh aloud moments and deafening serious ones.

One of my biggest issues with this book was simply how it is catalogued. For some reason in my library system (and others) it is considered a YA book. This book is so obviously for a middle grade audience, and is regarded as such from Boo
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
His books just keep getting better! I am a Jason Reynolds' fan and particularly loved this book. There are so many aspects that make it truly unique. Here's a short review that hopefully will intrigue you and not give away too much of the plot.

What I loved:
That it was a middle grade book about two brothers. We need more books about boys.
That it has terrific voice! The dialog and thoughts of the younger brother are contemporary and feel very real.
Genie's journal of questions - my absolute favori
Gretchen Rubin
More Jason Reynolds! I'm working my way through his entire list. I do love a book about city kids who go live with relatives in the country (see also Up Country). ...more
Hannah Greendale
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fiction
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my book channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

#489: Why is the world more interesting through the eyes of Genie Harris, questionnaire extraordinaire?

#490: How does Jason Reynolds manage to squeeze so many important messages into one little book? Bravery, forgiveness, honesty and much, much more.

#491: Why is poopity such a funny word? Poopity.
Carrie Gelson
Jason Reynolds writes incredible characters. Unforgettable believable characters. In this middle grade title, he delivers characters and relationships in a rich, quietly humorous story full of questions, wisdom and love.
Franki Sibberson
I loved this book. I loved the characters but mostly I loved the relationships. So very real.
Kelly Moore
I love Jason Reynolds' writing, and the characters in this book were as real and interesting as all of his others. The only problem I had with this book was that the story seemed a bit long and slow moving for the age of the reader it seems aimed at. I think it could've been two really great books about this family, but for kids who want to sink into a good, long family drama with a strong brother relationship, this is a fine book. ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eleven-year old Genie Harris is such a charming person. His constant logging of questions, in his notebook, prompted by events around him are often funny (e.g., does asking lots of questions make Genie a questionnaire?) but are also, at times, profound. Genie is a worrier, and the questions pour out of him when his parents leave him and his older brother, Ernie, at their grandparents' place in Virgina for a month in the summer. Ernie and Genie experience a variety of things over the month, inclu ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Genie and Ernie are heading to Virginia to stay with their paternal grandparents for the very first time. Though they have met their grandmother before, this is the first time that Genie has met him. The difference between their lives in Brooklyn and their grandparents’ home in rural Virginia are huge. But that’s not the only thing that surprises Genie. He is shocked to find out that his grandfather is blind. Genie is a kid who is full of questions to ask all of the time and so he immediately as ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
They were sent to their grandparents as their parents were having problems and they had planned a trip without Ernie and Genie. As they settled in for the month, these two brothers were finding that they enjoyed county living and that Virginia wasn’t so bad. Genie was worried that without internet service he would not be able to find answers for all the questions that seemed to pop up in his mind, questions that needed answers that he would find on Google. Ernie was more social and he liked girl ...more
Phil Jensen
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it and my students liked it, even though the plot's a bit odd.

Here's the mystery: Why won't Grandpa leave the house? No, they figure that out in the first 20 pages. Okay, what's behind the Nunya Bisness door? No, they figure that out in the next 20 pages. Why is Dad mad at Grandpa? Will Ernie fire the gun? Again, none of these is really the plot, because they all get resolved within about 20 pages of being introduced. So what's holding this book together?

*thematic spoiler*

Turns out it's
Read for Librarian Book Group
Oh, Jason Reynolds, when will you adopt a standard plot arc? Your characters are interesting, your settings are interesting, your episodes are interesting and unfortunately, there isn't anything that compels me to keep reading.

If you are looking for a nice meander through rural Virginia with two boys from Brooklyn staying with their grandparents for a few weeks in the summer this is your book. Stuff happens. And then some other stuff happens. And then the book is ov
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book made me laugh out loud and it made me cry. I loved every page of this heartwarming story of family, brotherhood, growing up, and what it means to be brave. Highly recommend. Jason Reynolds is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
I have a new favorite Jason Reynolds book. <3
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great audio with fun and relatable characters.

2021 Popsugar Challenge - A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child)
Kari Yergin
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, childrens
3.75 stars. This man can write! And I think the reader made it even better with the best voices and timing.
Aj Sterkel
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
The Good: This is my first Jason Reynolds book, and I have to confess that I mostly bought it because of the cover. If you look really close, the scene on the cover is actually kind of terrifying. A kid is running away from a creepy old house. But, the bright colors make it not-creepy. I love it.

Jason Reynolds is a strong writer who definitely remembers what it’s like to be a kid. The voice in this novel is spot-on. I loved the narrator, Genie, right away. His curiosity and nerdyness are relatab
Sarah Krajewski
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jason Reynolds knows how to create realistically beautiful characters. Once again, I loved them all! Genie and Ernie are two Brooklyn brothers that get stuck with their country grandparents for a month while their parents iron out some issues. Though Ernie is fourteen and Genie is eleven, they get along pretty well. As they get to know their grandparents, they start to learn about the importance of telling the truth. Their blind grandfather still has old skeletons in his closet he needs to rid h ...more
Lekeisha The Booknerd
As Brave As You is a wonderfully crafted MG novel about brothers, fathers & sons, forgiveness, love, coming of age, and the inquisitiveness of young minds. It's about grief and the need to hold on to things. I was so awed by the seriousness of it all, but was also happy to note the hilarious moments throughout that made it the perfect read. I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for my feelings getting all bent out of shape at Grandpa Harris. I know it's just a story, but I tend to get emot ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, I am on a Children's/Young Adult fiction kick these days...…. I have a huge pile of books to review, this was read several weeks ago, just getting around to this one.

11 year old Genie, and his "big" brother, Ernie, are spending a month with the grandparents in rural Virginia, no big deal if you are used to rural life, but a REALLY big deal if you have always lived in the Big City, have access to the internet, all those video games, television, etc., however in the rural Virginia community
Leslie Bryan
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-reader
I can’t get enough of Jason Reynolds’ characters. Seriously. How is his story-telling so good?? This book was sweet and perfect for the young reader audience.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really 3.5. I wasn't blown away by the book, but I loved the uniqueness of the book- very interesting characters and odd but compelling events. There were some parts I wasn't crazy about (the poop flinging) but I think middle grade students would find them hilarious. ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

What a wonderful coming-of-age book! I really enjoyed this, and I was surprised since I just picked it up at a library after seeing the beautiful cover. I fell in love with Reynolds's pitch perfect depiction of country summers with Black grandparents. This book really took me back to visiting my grandparents in North Carolina as a child and learning how to get up early and do chores even during summer haha

I also really adored the empathy and compassion Genie showed throughout the novel
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Read as part of the Washington Post's KidsPost Summer Book Club for 2017.

What I liked about it:
- middle-grade boy main character
- the relationships between Genie and Ernie, Genie and Grandpop, the boys and Grandma, the boys and Tess
- the theme of making mistakes and seeking forgiveness

In addition, I identified with Genie's "worrier" personality and desire to make things just right, and I liked this book better than "Ghost" by the same author, which I read earlier this year. Some reviewe
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Probably the slowest moving of all of Reynolds' books, this one has a rich setting and some great characters but needed to be tighter in terms of execution. The brothers going to live with their grandparents for a period of time while their parents work things out leads to discoveries and conversation with their grandparents that are rich, but again, slow moving. The discovery by the brothers that their grandfather is blind is a bit of curiousness that Genie gravitates toward and is fascinated b ...more
Clare Lund
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Brothers Genie and Ernie live in Brooklyn, but go to spend the summer with their grandparents in the country. I really like Jason Reynolds, but I had a hard time getting into this one. I think I would have connected with the characters more if it was written from a first person perspective. Ages 10 and up.
Alison Strandell
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
- Maybe a little too long, maybe not enough action, BUT
- Still a beautiful family story of triumph and tragedy as two teen brothers spend the summer with their grandparents :)
Emily Waller
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was one I’ve been reading off and on for a while, and there are so many things I love about it. I’m really grateful for the voice that Reynolds has once again given to his readers. We see “country” folks in this book, not in a stereotypical way, but in a way that I think would resonate with many young people I work with. There’s definitely lots of moments of middle grades humor, but the end of the book is actually pretty intense with family drama, missing teeth, and dead birds. I was d ...more
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Lane Middle School: ABAY 3/12 1 3 Mar 12, 2021 10:13AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Fiction book about boys who visit their grandparents over the summer. [s] 5 36 Jun 10, 2019 06:20AM  
The Bee's Bookshelf: As Brave As You 12 22 Sep 07, 2018 10:21AM  

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After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, Jason Reynolds moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it al ...more

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