Between Two Brothers (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

13-yr old Isaiah ("Ice") looks up to his brother Seth, who is about to be a senior in high school and a long distance running star with a scholarship to run at A&M. They live in rural Texas and their father is a supervisor at a local meat processing plant, BMP. Ice is looking forward to one last year together before Seth heads off to college, with Seth helping him with his confidence and learning how to stand up to a bully. Ice has joined the yearbook staff at school and loves to photograph and record the world around him, and also loves caring for his animals on their farm, hoping to be a vet one day. When Ice finds out Seth is leaving early for college and skips an important competition they signed up for together, he is furious, and punches Seth. Before he can apologize the next day, Seth's car is hit by a speeding delivery driver from BMP. With Seth in a coma and significant injuries to overcome, Ice must learn how to be the one who helps his brother and stand up for their family.

— Aerie


Inspired by real events, Between Two Brothers is a powerful and uplifting story about forgiveness, brotherhood, and the power of a family’s unconditional love, from Crystal Allen, the acclaimed author of How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy and the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series. Perfect for readers who loved Fish in a Tree and Out of My Mind.

Isaiah "Ice" Abernathy has always worshiped his older brother, Seth. For years they’ve been not just brothers but best friends—and as Seth starts his senior year, Ice is eager to spend as much time with his brother as he can, making memories before Seth goes to college.

But when Seth announces he’s leaving much earlier than expected, and then he misses an important event—one he'd promised to attend—it causes a major fight.

Filled with regret, Ice plans to apologize to Seth later the next day, but later never comes, as he finds out Seth was in an accident—one that leaves him in the hospital. And the doctors say he may never recover.

Racked by fear and guilt, Ice chooses to step up, defy the experts, and help Seth recover in a way only he can—by trusting in their bond and the undying love between two brothers.

About the Author

Crystal Allen is the author of the middle grade novels How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy, The Laura Line, and the three books in the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series. Her many accolades include the Sid Fleischman Humor Award for The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game and induction into the Texas Institute of Letters. Crystal is also a committee member of The Brown Bookshelf, the codirector of Kindling Words East, and a faculty member of Highlights for Children. She lives in Texas with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua. Visit her online at

Praise For…

“A moving and uplifting exploration of sibling bonds.”  — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Crystal Allen delivers an emotional triumph in Between Two Brothers. The bond between the Abernathy boys is tender, and the riveting plot doesn't side-step the pain of dealing with a life-changing accident, or the difficulties of navigating the medical system. Allen deftly illustrates how life may alter a family, but cannot change who they are at their core.”— — New York Times bestselling author Tracey Baptiste

"This book... these brothers... how is it possible that my heart is filled to the brim even as it breaks wide open? In Between Two Brothers, Crystal Allen takes broken-hearted gut punches and crafts real, truthful, lovely hope. Sometimes, the biggest gift life can give you is the realization that life is a gift. Crystal knows that truth, and now you will, too."-- — K.A. Holt, author of House Arrest

“Tenderly told with voice and humor, Between Two Brothers is a beautiful story of love, perseverance, and hope. It’s a tale of family, community, and a bond between brothers that even the most devastating circumstances cannot destroy.”—  — Rajani LaRocca, Newbery Honor-winning author of Red, White, and Whole 

Hope is something sweet that grows on the Abernathys’ family farm. Seth promises to nurture his younger brother. Ice roots for his older brother no matter what. The Abernathy family shows readers that bonds between two brothers can’t be broken.”— — Alison Green Myers, Schneider Family Book Award winning author of A Bird Will Soar

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: MYA IN THE MIDDLE: “Allen lassoes another terrific tale for the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series.” — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: THE WALL OF FAME GAME: “Hilarious...with a charming cast of characters that readers will be eager to follow.” — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “Nuanced depictions of friendship coupled with larger-than-life and fully three-dimensional characters make this delightful book at once thoughtful and a riot to read.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “[A] winning series debut.” — Booklist

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “Endearing” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “A big-hearted, high-spirited, cowboy-booted heroine…The story’s vivid small-town setting and memorable characters will have many readers looking forward to more Mya.” — Publishers Weekly

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “Spunky, sweet hearted, and full of fun, Mya will have readers everywhere yelling ‘Yee-haw’!” — Varian Johnson, author of The Great Greene Heist

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “Looking for a book that sparkles with laughter and heart? Yippee kai-yay-here it is! Mya’s search for a true, not-fake friend will tickle your giggle bone and lasso your ticker. Everyone but everyone should have a friend like the magnetic and magnificent Mya Tibbs.” — Tricia Springstubb, author of Moonpenny Island and Cody and the Fountain of Happiness

Praise for THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN: “In Spirit Week Showdown, earnest Mya, with her Texas charm and mounting friendship problems, kept me turning the pages all the way to the boo-yang cool finale. Trust me: you’ll want all your friends to read this one!” — Tracey Baptiste, author of The Jumbies, a School Library Journal selection

Praise for THE LAURA LINE: “The protagonist’s emotional transformation will resonate with readers. Generational bonds, notably the growth of the relationship between Laura and her grandmother, are beautifully depicted. With its humor and deep reverence for history, Allen’s novel is an engaging treatment of the oft-told tale of looking within for beauty and strength.” — School Library Journal

Praise for THE LAURA LINE: “This is a lively approach to an issue that’s come up recently in the news...and the historical aspect could help readers consider their own family lore that may not have made its way into written accounts.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for THE LAURA LINE: “Laura Dyson’s sweet, sassy voice draws you into this delightful story of self-discovery and acceptance, unwavering friendship and the deep roots of one amazing family.” — Donna Gephart, author of Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen

Praise for THE LAURA LINE: “Crystal Allen shows us how our relatives, even the ones we’ve never met, sometimes have a way of gently weaving a path to exactly who we’re meant to be, our truest and best self.” — Kathryn Fitzmaurice, author of The Year the Swallows Came Early

Praise for HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY: "Under all the braggadocio is a boy with a big heart, and from the first sentence Lamar will have readers hooked." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY: “This stands out for its unusual setting and smooth integration of friendship and family concerns. ” — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY: “The powerful mix of sibling rivalry, revenge, and hard-won redemption strengthens the perennial appeal of the naïve-underdog-makes-good plot; readers will come for the laughs and stay for the laughs.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY: “Crystal Allen has the rare ability to make you laugh out loud one minute and swell with tears the next. The tween book world has a new hero—Lamar Washington —as well as a brilliant new author who’s bound to win a Bubba-sized trophy herself!” — Neal Shusterman, author of THE SCHWA WAS HERE and BRUISER

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063047297
ISBN-10: 0063047292
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English