Book Review: The Things A Brother Knows

The Things A Brother Knows CoverBook: The Things A Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt

Published September 2010|Published by Wendy Lamb Books

E-book|Borrowed from the library|166 pages

Series Or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Goodreads|Barnes And Noble|Amazon|Dana Reinhardt’s Website

Summary: The story of a young marine’s return from war in the Middle East and the psychological effects it has on his family.

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero.

But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.

Maybe things will never return to normal. Then Boaz leaves again, and this time Levi follows him, determined to understand who his brother was, who he has become, and how to bring him home again.

Award-winning author Dana Reinhardt introduces readers to Levi, who has never known what he believes, and whose journey reveals truths only a brother knows.

There are so many things I liked about The Things A Brother Knows!  I liked that it focused on the relationship between two brothers, and how Boaz joining the military has affected his family.  You definitely hear about how war can and does affect soldiers, but I kinda feel like you don’t really hear about their families and how their loved one going off to war affects them.  Growing up in a navy town- but with no connections to the Navy, other than knowing my grandpa was in the Navy- you do hear about navy ships being deployed and their families seeing them off and welcoming them home.

I liked that you saw things through Levi’s eyes, and how he struggled with his own feelings about his brother joining the marines and how that compared to what other people thought.  That other people thought Boaz was a hero, while Levi sometimes seemed to wonder what was so great about his brother joining the marines.  It wasn’t what I was expecting from Levi, but I can imagine that there are people out there, who just want their loved ones, home and safe.

I loved how Levi followed his brother on his journey to D.C., and how Boaz’s family wasn’t quite sure how to help him.  They definitely have an interesting relationship, which has changed over the years.  It even changes a bit throughout the book, but I wish we got to see a little more of their relationship before the start of the book.  You get enough to see the difference, but a little more would have been nice.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked The Things A Brother Knows.  It’s a great look at how families deal with a relative going off to war, and a really great look at the relationship between 2 brothers.  It wasn’t completely amazing, but I still thought it was a great book.  It gets 4 stars.


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