As Brave As You
By: Jason Reynolds
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Published: Atheneum Books For Young Readers – New York, NY, May 3rd, 2016
Awards: Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book – 2017, Schneider Family Book Award – 2017, Kirkus Prize Winner
Themes: As the title tells, one of the major themes of this book for young readers is bravery. However, it takes a spin on the aspect of bravery – concentrating on the true meaning and who really is brave in situations. As well, the other themes that the text dapples with is friendship, family, and forgiveness.
Summary: For Genie and Ernie, they spend half of the summer with their grandparents – moving from the big city of Brooklyn, New York to the country in Virginia. The boys figure out a lot while they are away from their consistently fighting parents. The learn the truth about their family and secrets are revealed. Ernie thinks he knows what love is. They both learn to love and forgive their grandparents. How to shoot guns and come back from terrible accidents. Ultimately however, they learn how blood is much thicker than water.
Response: What values were conveyed through this book? How were these values or social views conveyed to the reader?
The true values of family resonate through this book is the boys attempt to understand bravery and how they are brave within each other, and how their family members also possess the qualities of bravery. Although the concept of bravery drives the story and theme – the value of family and the love for family members is ever present. This value is coupled with forgiveness of family members, and how family is one of the strongest bonds that one can have (what ever type of family that may be – blended, friend family, cat family etc). The author conveys this value of family through the entire text with first, fighting and potentially divorcing parents, the bond of brothers, getting to know grandparents and other close friends, and all that the boys go through. From birds, and inside-outside room, late night walks, rolling down hills, and shooting guns, and being scared the author conveys it all through the entire ride of the story.