Saturday, August 13, 2016

Brave LIke My Brother

Brave Like My Brother. Marc Tyler Nobleman. 2016. Scholastic. 112 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Dear Joe, If there wasn't a war on, you'd kill me for this. I know I'm not supposed to touch your stuff without asking.

Premise/plot: Brave Like My Brother is an epistolary novel for young readers featuring an exchange of letters between Joe and Charlie. Joe is the older brother who's off to fight in World War II. Charlie is the younger brother who stays at home trying not to fight the bullies picking on him. Mainly readers here from Joe who is first stationed in England. The letters are somewhat realistic but not really considering that all letters had to pass through censors. A LOT of detailed information reaches Charlie that would never have really made it through. But a book is a book is a book.

My thoughts: This one is definitely an early chapter book of sorts. I'm thinking primarily for second to third graders--maybe fourth graders. It seems perhaps even for a younger audience than Number the Stars. I do like it. It's historical fiction with a strong family focus. The relationship between Joe and Charlie remains the central focus throughout. He wants to be there for his little brother without actually being there. He wants to be honest and encouraging. The fact that he resists being his little brother's hero and wants his little brother to see him and love him for who he is--makes him even more of a hero. Charlie does seem a bit wise for his years. That's not a bad thing really. He makes the observation that no one really wins a war because war means death---a lot of death for both sides. Who wins when so many lives are cut short? But the epilogue aside, this one gives young readers some basic facts about World War II in an age-appropriate way.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Suz Korb 6:48 AM  

Thank you. I've been looking for books for my 9 year old.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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