cover image As Brave as You

As Brave as You

Jason Reynolds. S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy, $16.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1590-3

Reynolds (All American Boys) aims for a younger audience with the story of Genie and Ernie, two Brooklyn boys spending a month with their grandparents in North Hill, Va., while their parents try to mend a frayed marriage. Eleven-year-old Genie is most concerned about the lack of Internet access: how will he look up answers to the questions that constantly come to him? Ernie, nearly 14, is happy enough when he meets Tess, a neighbor who gives them the lowdown on North Hill, but neither brother has any idea that their stay will involve picking peas in the hot sun and, for Genie, keeping secrets%E2%80%94both his and those of his blind grandfather. Genie's efforts to fix his mistakes (including accidentally killing one of his grandfather's beloved birds), his realization that the Web doesn't have all the answers, and Grandpop's struggle with guilt and forgiveness after he pushes Ernie to participate in a dangerous family tradition create a multifaceted story that skillfully blends light and dark elements while showing children and adults interacting believably and imperfectly. Ages 10%E2%80%93up. Agent: Elena Giovanazzo, Pippin Properties. (May)