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August 27, 2013

ReaLITy Reads: Ashley’s Response to BROTHER, BROTHER by Clay Carmichael

Realistic fiction is a unique genre in YA because it illustrates challenging situations you may not have personally experienced but connects you to emotions you have. Whether it's uncovering life-altering secrets, making a tough choice, coming to terms with your sexuality or finding your voice, realistic fiction addresses themes relevant to real life. To highlight some of their fantastic realistic fiction, Macmillan established their ReaLITy program. Our Teen Board decided to check out these reads and respond to them in this blog series.

I can't remember a time when my little brother wasn't a constant annoyance. As long as I can remember, he's always had a reassuringly obnoxious part of my life. From pulling my hair to ruining my school projects (hence the nickname The Destroyer) he's had more than just an impact on my life. 

When Brother Grace, the protagonist of Clay Carmichael's BROTHER, BROTHER, pulls the newspaper article out and sees his twin brother's face, I immediately understood what Brother is looking for when he leaves his North Carolina town to find his brother, after losing his grandmother. After losing the most important family figure in his life, Brother is looking for a connection, a hint of a family relationship --- he's trying to fill the empty void in his life the only way he knows how: by finding his brother.
 
I tried to recall the first three and a half year of my life when I had been an only child, before my brother was born. As I sat there shuffling through my memories as far back as they would go, I realized that I didn't have any. Granted, I was probably too young to have remembered much, but as I was going through my memories, I realized those that have stuck with me, are the ones that I've shared with my brother. From sneaking chocolate when our mother wasn't looking to giving our Australian shepherd mix baths, my brother is a prominent feature in all my most treasured childhood memories. I can't remember a time when we weren't talking, whether about school, TV shows, movies or video games. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without my mischievous, clever little brother. As I leave for college this fall, I know his daily presence will be one of the first things I'll miss. Like Brother Grace, I, too, need my brother.
 
Can't wait to read this ReaLITy Read? you don't have to! BROTHER, BROTHER is already on sale.