Monday, April 11, 2011

Arlington Reads: The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt

This is one of Kady's favorite books of last year and it definitely ties into the Arlington Reads theme:

The Things a Brother Knows
Dana Reinhardt 

This is what Levi knows:
Ever since his older brother shocked everyone by turning his back on college to join the Marines, his house is a miserable place to be. Boaz was a star in high school, an all-state athlete with a beautiful girlfriend and his choice of schools. His father and grandfather, both veterans of the Israeli army, understand and respect his decision, even if it means they speak in hushed Hebrew a whole lot more than they used to. His mother, a liberal American, is heartbroken and barely leaves the house anymore, blaming her husband, her father-in-law and Boaz for his decision. At this point, Levi is just trying to keep his head down and make it through high school.

This is what Levi doesn't know:
His feelings about the war his brother is fighting in. People keep telling him that Boaz is a hero, but Levi just isn't sure. Because when Boaz comes home he won't step into a car, he won't talk to anyone and he spends all day in his room, only coming out to ask Levi to fix his computer. Their mother doesn't know how to help him and is devastated all over again. Is that how a hero is supposed to act?

When Boaz finally leaves his room, with the plan to hike the Appalachian Trail, Levi knows something isn't right. After all, he's been helping Boaz with his computer; he's seen his brother's maps and the path that Boaz is charting doesn't lead to Georgia. But he can't let Boaz just walk out of his families' lives again. So even though he knows Boaz won't want him, Levi decides to find him, help him finish the trek and bring Boaz home for good. On the journey Levi learns more about what his brother saw and did in Iraq, the personal cost of war hits home in a real way, and Levi begins to understand the things a brother should know.

For more information on Arlington Reads 2011, click here.

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