I picked up this book expecting a cheesy, overstated, overdramatized teen tale of "heroes" and PTSD. Thankfully, my expectations were not met. Reinhardt is a great writer, and I couldn't put the book down from when I picked it up til it was done. It's a great story. I reread it several times, and it still has me thinking weeks later. While I don't always like Levi, his character is completely believable and convincing. And his relationship with Boaz is shown well. A really good read. One of the best stories I have read in a very long time.
"Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has finally returned home to Boston after a three-year tour of duty in "some desert country half a world away." While it's been tough being golden-boy-Boaz's kid brother, Levi is glad to have him home... except he can tell immediately that Boaz isn't quite right. In this moving, thoughtful story, Levi does everything he can to help his big brother recover from his combat experiences -- including following Boaz when he takes off on foot, supposedly to hike the Appalachian Trail. Touches of humour and romance lighten the mood of this powerful tale about the very personal after-effects of war." Teen Scene November 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/e82b84f8-f906-46f6-88d9-57054db0fdf1?postId=e7c750f1-bb4c-4e2b-b0ab-52217560040c
I would just like to agree wholeheartedly with the other two reviewers. Excellent read about a touchy topic.
"I used to love my brother. Now I’m not so sure." So starts Dana Reinhardt’s The Things A Brother Knows. This might be a normal feeling for a teenage boy to have for his older brother, but for seventeen year old Levi, this is a source of shame. His brother, Boaz, has just returned from three years fighting as a marine in the Middle East. Though everyone in town raves about Boaz’s heroic sacrifice, Levi can see that war has changed and damaged Boaz who now rarely leaves his room. When Boaz announces that he is leaving home to hike and find himself, Levi knows his brother is lying, and he resolves to follow his brother and find out what Boaz is hiding.
Reinhardt has crafted a gripping and emotional novel. This work functions as a coming of age story, a story of brotherly bonding, and an exploration of the damage that war can have on young soldiers and their families. The story moves at a surprisingly fast pace and captures many of the insecurities, fears and perceived obligations of everyday adolescent life without every feeling mundane. Readers should be aware that the book contains some profanity.This book could be especially helpful to those who have older brothers or sisters who are serving or who have served in the armed forces, but it is thematically universal enough to also appeal to other teens. I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up
Wow! It's been a long time since I've read a "war story". This is well worth taking the time to read. Neither specifically pro or con, it lays out the impact of conflicts across the board in a direct but not heavy handed way.
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