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We Could Be Brothers Hardcover – November 1, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In after-school detention for the first time, high-achiever Robeson meets and bonds with a fellow eighth-grader, tough Pacino, who hides his good grades and laughs at Robeson’s geeky ways. They both hate their gangster classmate, Tariq, who threatens them, and tension mounts as they begin to wonder if Tariq has a gun. Weaving together the very different lives of three African American kids at school and home in their Kansas town, this fast-paced novel will grab readers with its anger, humor, and tenderness. Pacino has never seen his dad, and with his brother in prison, he cares for his little sisters while his mom works two jobs. In total contrast, Robeson lives in a huge, fancy house, while Tariq, shuttled between group homes, has almost nothing. Despite the many confrontations, there is no obscenity; in fact, Robeson is passionately against blacks using the n-word. The messages are occasionally heavy, and Pacino speaks for the reader when he tells Robeson to quit quoting his perfect dad. Still, even reluctant readers will be swept up in this contemporary teen drama. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman

About the Author

Derrick Barnes is the author of several acclaimed books, including the Ruby and the Booker Boys series: BRAND-NEW SCHOOL, BRAVE NEW RUBY; TRIVIA QUEEN, THIRD GRADE SUPREME; THE SLUMBER PARTY PAYBACK; and RUBY FLIPS FOR ATTENTION, published by Scholastic. Barnes’s YA novel THE MAKING OF DR. TRUELOVE was an ALA Quick Picks selection, and has been hailed by the New York Public Library as one of the 100 Best Books for the Teen Age. Derrick and his wife, Tinka, reside in Kansas City, MO, with their three sons.



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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545135737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545135733
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A. Mick on December 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Derrick Barnes's We Could Be Brothers is a quick read with good intentions. Unfortunately, the initial action that sucks readers into the first few chapters, gives way to a certain degree of preachy idealism. On the plus side, it's easy to sympathize with the young African-American characters, Pacino and Robeson "Crease" Battlefield in the opening chapters, as they deal with a variety of family and school conflicts, but much of their "hood" dialogue feels contrived. As the story unfolds, it's increasingly difficult to believe in them as real people. Moreover, Crease and Pacino, as disparate as tar and honey, seem linked only by the color of their skin, and their stereotypical differences (father vs. no-father, gated community vs. bullet-riddled hood, karate champion vs. boy who has to work to support mom and sisters ) are so diametric that the boys seemed to serve only as symbols for need for change in the Afican-American Male population, rather than as characters readers can really identify with.
However, the messages (about self-motivation, school, friendship, and coming of age) are relevant and timely. Despite these weaknesses, the majority of middle-grade students will still find themselves engrossed in the action. Though this reviewer wishes African-American boys could find novels that provided not just a (cliché) call to brotherhood, but storylines about characters who seem like real boys growing up in a real city seeking to enact real change on a less grandiose stage, the voices of Crease and Pacino will, at least, ring more true than that of Romeo's in the ears of kids who doen't usually read, but who are seeking high-interest novel. We Could Be Brothers is a start. It's a bright spot on a horizon that has been dark for too long.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book for my son at his school's book fair. He was not thrilled when I came home with it because he really enjoys non-fictions. He decided to use the book for a report he had to do for school & loved it! He was excited about the characters, he was able to find similariities between the characters, himself & his classmates, there was the right amount of action & even hopes for more novels from this author!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The characters are believable, the plot interesting and the conclusion provides a great lesson.
Great book for students in socioeconomically mixed schools.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 11 year old was bored with reading and wasn't interested in books, this book has peaked his interest and he's reading. Great find
!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book. I would recommend this to any middle school student. I am a Language Arts teacher and use this with my students.
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