Monday, July 27, 2015

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Kinda Like Brothers

Summer is speeding by! Even though I was hoping to catch up and even get ahead on my Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts, I find I'm doing more writing than reading. This book appealed to me because I didn't know much about what it would be like to be part of a foster family.  

Here’s the Amazon description:

Jarrett doesn't trust Kevon.

But he's got to share a room with him anyway.

It was one thing when Jarrett's mom took care of foster babies who needed help. But this time it's different. This time the baby who needs help has an older brother -- a kid Jarrett's age named Kevon.

Everyone thinks Jarrett and Kevon should be friends -- but that's not gonna happen. Not when Kevon's acting like he's better than Jarrett -- and not when Jarrett finds out Kevon's keeping some major secrets.

Jarrett doesn't think it's fair that he has to share his room, his friends, and his life with some stranger. He's gotta do something about it -- but what?

From award-winning author Coe Booth, KINDA LIKE BROTHERS is the story of two boys who really don't get along -- but have to find a way to figure it out.

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth, published by Scholastic Press, New York in 2014.

My Take:

This is a strong contemporary novel with realistic characters and problems. The characters came alive for me, especially the main character, Jarrett. I really enjoyed his project of making a horror movie trailer. Since I have two brothers, I could relate to the struggles he had to get along with Kevon. It was fun reading about his attempts to impress Caprice. 

For writers, this is a great example of a novel with an authentic voice. The author blended in real world issues in a very natural way.

Opening Line:

“He’s leaving. Kevon. He’s in the corner of the room, throwing stuff in that stupid army bag he got, trying to be real quiet.”


“I wished they would let me read the kinda stuff I wanted to read. Like, if I could have a book about horror movies or something like that, I would do good on all the tests.”

“Sometimes a guy had to do big things for the girl he loved.”

 “The truth is, my brain was spilling over, like lava coming outta a volcano, all because of what I’d heard on that laptop.”

Other Info:

Coe Booth is a full-time writer and part-time writing teacher, living in the Bronx.

Kinda Like Brothers is her first middle grade novel, but she has written three other YA novels.

In an interview at EI Space – The Blog of L. Marie, Coe Booth says: “My hope is that I can write something that can grab kids who don’t like to read and possibly change the way they think about books, too.”


  1. I really enjoyed this one, and it's done very well in my library. Booth's YA books have some salty language, so I was glad that she did something just for middle grade. Hope she does more!

  2. There's not many middle grade books about foster care. This sounds really intriguing! I'll definitely check it out.

  3. Since I am just entering the writing world, I would love to read an example of authentic voice.

    I love the idea the author is still passionate about teaching writing to young students.

  4. Such a great concept with so many kids these days in foster care. Can't wait to get a hold of this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Hope to get to it before this summer disappears.


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