Book - 2017
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Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.
Publisher: [Toronto] : McClelland & Stewart, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780771022906
Characteristics: 180 pages ;,21 cm.


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Finalist - Defended by Lisa Ray.

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Apr 20, 2019

For teenage reader; more popular than literary.

Feb 13, 2019

Canada Reads 2019

Covers the visible minority experience in a rough neighborhood in Toronto.

Feb 02, 2019

This was well written and the author nailed the sense of place and time.

Jan 25, 2019

While it's true that this book is sad, it's an essential read to understand what life might be like for those living in less privileged conditions. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for something light and uplifting, but if you're looking to expand your horizons and step out of your comfort zone, I'd highly recommend this book. It's about loss and hopelessness, but it's also about family, love and the power we have to overcome great suffering.

That being said, I didn't find the ending of the book that sad. Without spoiling the plot, I felt it ended on a hopeful note.

Jan 15, 2019

Clearly should have been shortlisted for the Giller. This portrayal of
brotherly love, and of the despair and hopelessness of marginalized communities is fashioned with honesty and delicacy. This author holds great promise!

Jan 13, 2019

This is quite a perfect book about "complicated grief", systemic racism and brotherly love.

Jan 12, 2019

Nov 06, 2018

powerful, emotionally charged and beautifully written. Although I'm not from that world I can't help but have tremendous empathy and more understanding of the plight of the at risk youths and their parents struggling to provide a better life for their children but fail nonetheless.

Jul 02, 2018

I personally did NOT enjoy this SAD, pessimistic, book; set basically in the poorer parts of the ghettos, which told scenes of many gang fights, racism and much young street violence - not a healthy way to spend ones time and mind in reading about, "Boyz-of-the-hood". Book is basically directed to youth, poverty, and their daunting struggles to survive in life while facing their hardships and many misfortunes. This book did NOT hold my interest long - which I lost towards the latter 1/2 - felt like a chore to finish. Skip it unless u like violence and street gang fights which doesn't go anywhere but towards death n destruction, in the end. Thx

Powerful novella. I too was sucked into the hopelessness of life in a poor neighbourhood. Mother had her religion for support but even her family back in Trinidad believed she was 'lucky' because she had escaped. Mother's overwhelming grief in the loss of one son is beautifully drawn by the surviving son. Is this the "Ford Nation" Toronto is seeking?

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Jan 24, 2018

Sexual Content: sexual awakening and homosexuality

Jan 24, 2018

Violence: fight scene, and violence/ murder

Jan 24, 2018

Coarse Language: various swears

Age Suitability

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Jan 25, 2019

Sarah_R33 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 24, 2018

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary
Jan 24, 2018

Michael and his older brother Francis live in Toronto with their single mother. They are from Trinidadian decent. The story begins with a grown Michael welcoming a visting friend into their home, you can tell from the beginning that somthing is not right in the home. There are various stories relayed from the boys youth. Discussing when they used to play by the creek, a trip to the mall gone wrong, Michael going with his brother to the barber shop, fights and some abuse from their mother, the sexual awakening of Michael, two boys afraid of criminals, a one time trip to Trinidad, a failed reunion with their father, and a failed audition resulting in a brawl. There are also glimpses of the present. Michael talking with his friend Aisha, a rememberance party stopped abruptly, the injury of his mother and her hospitalization. The story comes to a close when the reader learns of Francis' death at the hands of the police. The death of her son causes the mother to have a mental break, and Michael to shut himself off from the world. The ending is quite abrupt as we dont see how the mother copes with the death and what happens to Michael.


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