Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Things a Brother Knows” as Want to Read:
The Things a Brother Knows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Things a Brother Knows

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,649 Ratings  ·  412 Reviews
The story of a young marine’s return from war in the Middle East and the psychological effects it has on his family.

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled h
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Wendy Lamb Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Things a Brother Knows, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Rahul Yes - it has some swearing and a bit of inappropriate language.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've always been interested in how the relationship between guys works, especially brothers. It's a relationship I can't experience myself, so my interest is peaked when I see a book about brothers.

In this story we have two brothers, Levi and Boaz. Boaz is the older brother who is perfect in every way, well at least in Levi's eyes. Their family is surprised by Boaz's decesion to join the Marines and fight in the Iraq war. They plead with him not to go, but his mind is set, he's going. It's been
I could easily read another couple hundred pages of this, but at the same time I think it's just long enough.
It's concise, but beautifully written in its dryness - the kind of writing that once in a while just hits you with a particularly piercing and visual sentence.
It tells the story it wants to tell - nothing more, nothing less - in about three hours of reading. It's complete, but clearly, tangibly just a beginning.

The relationship between siblings is something that's always fascinated me, an
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Boaz is coming home. That's what the reader learns early on. Boaz is everything that the narrator, Levi, is not. Boaz was the star athlete at school. He could have his pick of colleges and scholarships. And (at least according to Levi), he had the most gorgeous girlfriend in the world. But against everyone's wishes, especially their parents', Boaz enlists in the Marines.

The Katznelsons had relocated to the United States from Israel. Boaz's parents can't und
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Riley by: Jennifer
I am currently on page 46 of 242 in The Things a Brother Knows. So far I have enjoyed the book since it fits my tastes and is a realistic fiction book. I will give a brief idea of the book so far without any spoilers. This book is about a boy whose intelligent and successful brother enlists in the marines rather than going to any high level college of his choice. The book doesn't show what happened durring the war, but what happened after. His brother won't leave his room and has changed a lot s ...more
Elizabeth B
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books I think everyone should read. As a wife of a military man and coming from a long line of military folks, I’m already biased toward this book. That said, I’ll admit that this book was hard to get into at the beginning. It moved slowly, was a bit confusing and aggravating the way nothing seemed to happen or change. BUT, thinking back on the times I’ve faced similar circumstances of soldier homecomings, this is exactly what it is like. The author has done an amazing job o ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A well-written teen novel about soldiers returning home and the families who await them. Boaz left home three years ago to enlist and fight in an unspecified foreign war. His 17 year old brother Levi is struck by how different the returned Boaz is from the outgoing, popular boy that left. Written from Levi's perspective, the author explores multiple relationships in order for each brother to realize what they know about each other and themselves. This isn't a long book, and much of the story is ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ls-583
Jamie Poorman

APA Citation: Reinhardt, D. (2010) The Things A Brother Knows. New York: Wendy Lamb.

Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction.

Format: Print (Hardover, 245 pages)

Awards: Recipient of the Sydney Taylor Book Award

Recipient of the California Book Award

Named one of Kirkus 2010 Best Books for Teens

School Library Journal 2010 Best Books of the Year

Booklist Children's Editors' Choice List

One of NPR's five best teen books of the year

ALA Top Ten Best Fiction for Teens list

Selection Process:
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teenbooks
Summary: Levi’s older brother Boaz has returned from a tour of duty in the “war on terror.” Levi and his family are puzzled by his behavior; he is remote and uncommunicative, shutting himself up in his room all day and refusing to rejoin family life. Levi is frustrated with his brother and feels anger and dislike towards him for acting this way. Luckily he has the support of his friends Pearl and Zim. Levi sneaks into his brother’s room and finds maps with mysterious markings. When Boaz announce ...more
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing

Levi is a junior in high school, and as the novel opens, his older brother, Boaz, is returning home from his tour of duty with the marines, in Iraq. Boaz has been gone for a long time (after enlisting right after high school), and has effectively cut off communication with his family. Upon his return home, those communication lines are still cut. Boaz spends all his time in his room, and Levi knows that he's working on a plan involving the computer and maps, but has no idea what it could be.

May 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I very much wanted to give this book a higher rating, but I think couldn't because some parts of it annoyed me.

I've read Dana Reinhardt's other books and thought they were really good (of course, I read them back when my taste wasn't so good, so you never know), and already got used to the author's strong female main characters. I feel like because this book was narrated by a guy main character, Reinhardt changed up her style to "fit a guy's point of view." While I'm okay with the change, I didn
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • God Is in the Pancakes
  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
  • Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto
  • The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
  • I Wanna Be Your Shoebox
  • Bamboo People
  • Purple Heart
  • 13
  • Stumptown Kid
  • The Big Game of Everything
  • Jump
  • Frannie in Pieces
  • The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker
  • Brutal
  • Lola: A Ghost Story
  • Crossing the Tracks
  • Badd
  • Strings Attached
Why don't you have a bio section?

Because I hate writing about myself.

But wouldn't that be easier than answering a whole bunch of FAQs?

Maybe. Probably. Go on...

So where are you from?

I'm from Los Angeles, but now I live in San Francisco. Except for the summers where I go back to Los Angeles in search of the sun.

What are you doing when you aren't writing?

Laundry, usually. Sometimes dishes. And I re
More about Dana Reinhardt...
“My brother, he says. My brother is dead.
"And again he asks me to kill him. One more time before he falls to his knees and sobs. And i get it. I do. Because i have a brother too.”
“Don't worry about the finish line. Don't question what you're doing. Just quiet your mind and keep up the pace.” 9 likes
More quotes…