Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins), hardcover (January 2024), ISBN-13: 9780063047297

Between Two Brothers

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.


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

“Rendered in touching prose via Isaiah’s empathetic first-person voice, this tender ode to siblinghood showcases the occasional precarity of life’s best-laid plans and emphasizes that compassion and familial support can imbue one with the strength and resilience to overcome any obstacle.”
Publishers Weekly

“A powerful testament to the unwavering bond and unbreakable love between two siblings.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“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