by Jason Reynolds
Genie's summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia — in the COUNTRY The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck, Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he hides it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).
How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he's ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house — as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into — a room so full of songbirds and plants that it's almost as if it's been pulled inside-out — he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.
Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It's his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie's reluctance, Genie is left to wonder — is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won't do?
Target age: 9 to 12
"A novel in the tradition of Curtis’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 (rev. 3/96), with deft dialogue, Northern/Southern roots, and affecting depth." -- Horn Book
"...a multifaceted story that skillfully blends light and dark elements while showing children and adults interacting believably and imperfectly." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author:
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds is also the 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series ( Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor.