Dana Reinhardt's THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS (Wendy Lamb Books 2010) is a revelation. Thanks heavens that as I weed my shelves, I rescue some from send off to a school now pile and return them to my already overcrowded shelves. I would have hated to miss this book. Levi's older brother Boaz is back from Iraq, safely. Levi has mixed feelings about his brother's return. While the two were close when Levi was younger, he and his brother grew apart and Boaz has been out of touch with the entire family for some time. Levi hopes for a reunion of some sort but is ill-prepared for the Boaz that does return only to burrow into his room and not come out much. He seems distant, secretive. Levi longs to reconnect with his brother but it not certain how to proceed. When Levi discovers Boaz's plans to take a journey on foot, he decides he will join his brother even though his company is not welcome at all. It will be a journey that will open Levi's eyes and, perhaps, strengthen his ties to Boaz as well. <237
Reinhardt carefully crafts characters who are uniquely themselves. Boaz, Levi, Dov (their grandfather), Pearl and Zim (Levi's best pals) are all fully human with all that entails. There are few novels about the topic of those returning from the wars now, and this is an important contribution to that as well as an important book that examines families and friends and relationships.