76 pages 2 hours read

Jason Reynolds

As Brave As You

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2016

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Chapters 12-15

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 12 Summary

Genie and Ernie get up early the next morning to sneak the dead bird out of its cage and throw the body into the woods. They go to the old house in the woods. The house has a massive tree growing in the middle of it, and many birds live inside it. The boys are revolted to see some birds eating the corpses of other birds and the copious bird droppings all over the house. Genie realizes that none of the birds could replace Brooke’s dead bird—none of them is a swallow. Brooke would hear the difference in birdsong, so the boys decide not to attempt to catch one. The only signs of people in the house are old beer cans, cigar stubs, and some birdcages that look like the ones Brooke currently has in the sunroom.

When the boys get back to their grandparents’ house, their grandmother asks where they were. They tell her about the old house. Genie thinks the beer cans and cigars were from Crab, which angers their grandmother—the old house belonged to Brooke’s parents. Brooke’s father was affected by his service in World War II, eventually committing suicide in a nearby river.