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4352343,489 (4.22)9
In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different--math is hard, getting along with friends is hard...Even finding a partner for the class project is a huge problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure's on even more once the school newspaper's dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen has always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone's cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real-life problems? The charming world of Berrybrook Middle School gets a little bigger in this highly anticipated follow-up to Svetlana Chmakova's award-winning Awkward with a story about a boy who learns his own way of being brave!… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Oof. Lots of feels. Loooootttttttsssssssss of feels. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Jensen Graham is a kind boy who's just trying to save the world and survive middle school (as a video game) from bullies, extra math homework, and sunspots. Through plenty of drama and realizations, he realizes that there's a lot of people who want to change the world that he can help with. This book goes over topics that most authors would be afraid to let children of all ages read, which is what makes brave a must-read. ( )
  missolei | Apr 6, 2021 |
Authentic characters and powerful messages about bullying and being empathetic to others without being didactic or heavy handed. Chmakova knocked it out of the park with this one. ( )
  scout101 | Sep 15, 2020 |
In this volume, we focus on one of the supporting characters from Awkward, Jensen. He did a lot of yelling about SUNSPOTS!! in the first volume, but now we see that he is a truly sweet and complex character.

Brave deals with bullying in a way that Awkward didn't: it actually addresses the issue. In Awkward, Penelope gets embarrassed and shoves a kid to avoid getting teased, but the main focus of the book isn't on bullying in general. Brave focuses on Jensen, his inability to see that he's being bullied (by actual bullies and "friends" alike), and his struggle to fit in while trying to please everyone.

I'm not sure if I liked Brave or Awkward better, honestly. I liked the contest and the craziness of Awkward, and the fact that Penelope learned several lessons throughout the book. But Jensen is just so lovable. His space fantasies and his earnest disposition really sold him as a solid character. ( )
  Octjillery | May 5, 2020 |
Charming, well thought out and it's heart is in the right place. The drawings match the material well. It's not a brilliant book (more like 3.5 instead of 4), yet it thoughtfully and deliberately addresses real struggle that people have in a sincere and direct way. You can experience and feel the discomfort of the antagonist in a real way. I hope it changes some people's outlooks and maybe even behavior. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different--math is hard, getting along with friends is hard...Even finding a partner for the class project is a huge problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure's on even more once the school newspaper's dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen has always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone's cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real-life problems? The charming world of Berrybrook Middle School gets a little bigger in this highly anticipated follow-up to Svetlana Chmakova's award-winning Awkward with a story about a boy who learns his own way of being brave!

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