Monday, December 8, 2008

BRAVE: Be Ready and Victory is Easy, a Story About Social Anxiety

 

Marjie Braun Knudsen & Jenne R. Henderson, PhD
Summertime Press (2008)
ISBN 9780981575902
Reviewed by Matthew Feliciano (age 8) for Reader Views (11/08)

 

"BRAVE" is about a boy named Danny.  He has trouble with a lot of things at school and with life.  He is ten-years-old, but age doesn't matter because he has the same problems a lot of kids have.  His problems were that whenever he had a test or something, he either had a headache, or had a stomachache and tried to stay home from school.  He got bullied a lot and was pretty much afraid of everything.  One day, his teacher said that they had to give a speech and the only way to get out of giving the speech was to win the science fair.  Danny was really looking forward to being able to get out of the speech and was certain he would be able to win the science fair.
 
Danny was paired for the science project with the class clown, Jack.  Jack invited Danny to come over to his house and work on the project with Jack's grandpa.  He doesn't want to go but his mom forces him to because he has trouble making new friends.  When he gets there, Jack's grandpa tells him something that helped him a lot.  Grandpa tells Danny to be BRAVE: Be Ready and Victory is Easy.  Jack's grandpa noticed that Danny was shy and that is why he told him about BRAVE.  The characteristics of BRAVE are something that helped Grandpa as a kid and he thinks this will help Danny deal with things.
           
With the technique that Grandpa showed Danny, Danny was able to be ready for tests and other things in life that scared him. For example, he wrote the explanation for BRAVE on a piece of paper to remind himself of what to do.  He used this when his brother was being mean and instead of losing his cool, Danny said "So" or "Whatever" and didn't let his brother get to him.  The more he used BRAVE, the happier he became.  With the technique, he went on to work with Jack and win the science fair.
 
I would recommend "BRAVE: Be Ready and Victory is Easy" by Marjie Braun Knudsen and Jenne R. Henderson, PhD, for anybody who has trouble in their life.  I know that I have some struggles that are similar to Danny's and reading this book helped give me a new way to deal with things. This book was written to help and teach kids, but instead of sounding like a grownup telling you what to do, this book read just like a regular story with a regular kid showing the way.  Teachers and counselors at schools would also benefit from this book, too.  I liked it a lot and am going to bring it to share with my class.