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What does it mean to be brave?

Cover of Braver Than Brave
A review of Braver Than Brave by Janet Sumber Johnson
Eunji Jung

Wanda's big brother is the bravest kid she knows, but when her turn comes to match his feats of bravery, things are a lot harder than she thought. The monkey bars don't agree with her, the giant hill he biked down is a LOT bigger now, and forget about going to camp. 

When Wanda's friends cajole her to join them on the Coaster of Doom, she is relieved that she is still too short to ride. She wants to be brave though, so she spends all year practicing. She bikes and sleds down hills, tiptoes into the dark basement, and even tries out a climbing wall with a look of determination. 

By next spring, Wanda is the Queen of Brave and sets off with her friends for their return to the Coaster of Doom, determined to conquer anything! When they get there though... Wanda no longer looks sure of herself - I could see my own fear of roller coasters mirrored on Wanda's face.

Her friends turn on the pressure, and Wanda IS finally brave - brave enough to stand up to her friends and stay true to herself. 

What a great story about a different way to be brave by not giving into peer pressure and sticking with what you know is right for you. 

Jun 11, 2024