What It Is About: Genie and Ernie are in for quite a summer. They are leaving the city of Brooklyn to spend time with their grandparents out in the country of Virginia. They realize there may be more than one reason why they are being "shipped" off to the their grandparents. Once they settle into the "farm life", each boy begins to explore the surrounding land and people. While spending time with his grandfather, Genie learns that his grandpa is blind. Genie can't quite believe this because he admires him so much and sees him as the bravest man he knows. Genie and his grandfather spend a lot of time together and begin to learn about each other in ways no one else knows. Genie also finds out new information about his own brother Ernie and the ways he is brave and even the ways he isn't. Both boys also have to adapt to their grandmother's strict ways. Life may have been a bit complicated in Brooklyn, but it gets even more so during a summer none of the family members will forget.
What I Thought Of It: Jason certainly has a way with words and telling a story. I appreciate his diversity in story telling and the way he weaves a plot that the reader won't soon forget. Genie and Ernie were unforgettable characters that wove their way into my heart and mind. I found myself thinking of these two young men even when not reading the book. The experience they had out in the country with their grandparents was unique, special, and heart-warming. I absolutely loved the relationship they had with both grandparents. The writing was eloquent, beautiful, and endearing.
Who Should Read It: In my opinion, this novel might be best suited with middle-school readers. I'm not sure fourth and/or fifth grade readers would be drawn into the story as older readers might be. I can see readers in grade six and above would be best. High school readers may even enjoy the journey of these two boys. Of course any fan of Jason Reynolds MUST read this middle-grade novel. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars