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Brothers Below Zero

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    Brothers Below Zero is a great book! It is very suspenseful and has an interesting storyline. The story takes place in a small countryside three miles east of Burlington, Vermont. It is set in present time. It is about a boy named Tim who has a younger brother named John Henry. John Henry does everything better than Tim, even though he¿s younger. He plays football better and gets better grades along with many other things. The two brothers have a great aunt named Aunt Winnie. Tim loves Aunt Winnie very much. Tim always goes over to her house and she bakes cookies for him. He also watches her paint, which is her favorite thing to do. Then on Christmas, Aunt Winnie decides to start giving Tim painting lessons. Tim is really happy, and can¿t wait to start. It turns out that Tim is a natural at painting and catches on very quickly. This is the only thing that he does better than John Henry and John Henry isn¿t very happy about it. Then one day Tim goes to Aunt Winnie¿s house for a lesson, but she¿s dead. Tim is very, very sad. Next Christmas Tim painted a portrait of his parents that was really good. John Henry saw it and didn¿t want his parents to like it because it would make him jealous, so the night before Christmas he secretly ruined the painting. When his parents opened the present, they saw a mustache on the mom and a big wart on the dad. They were not happy and thought Tim did it and got mad at him. Tim knew he didn¿t do it, so he decided to run away. Since it was winter it was close to zero degrees. Tim wandered around in the cold trying to get to Aunt Winnie¿s house, but he eventually collapsed from the cold. His parents couldn¿t find him and were very worried. John Henry felt really bad so he set out for Aunt Winnie¿s house to find Tim. He found him, but then got too cold himself and collapsed. Finally, their parents found them with the help of a police helicopter. They said that a miracle had happened. The only way that they had found them was because a giant face of Aunt Winnie was imprinted in the snow around the two boys. The two brothers eventually got better and went home from the hospital. John Henry apologized for ruining the painting. Then their lives went on as usual. I recommend this book to young teens because it is about people around this age who can relate to their problems and to people who like a good suspenseful story about families.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    Sibling rivalry

    In a reversal of the usual sibling rivalry between brothers, John Henry, the younger brother, seems better at most things than his older brother Tim. The painful feelings this causes are the subject of the story, and the boys' parents don't do much to help them through this problem. Tim's love for his Aunt and her teaching him to paint (landscapes) are high points of the story. Other plot turnings don't ring as true. Most dissatisfying to me was the lack of character depth in the parents and the improbability of some of the action, such as the installing of a forty-one post split rail fence by the boys (aged 12 and 13?) in less than a single day. Also improbable is the strange denouement involving the 'accident' of the Aunt's portrait traipsed in the snow by the injured Tim. I found it an unsatisfying story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

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