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Brave

(Berrybrook Middle School #2)

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  11,707 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews
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 big problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure's on even more once the school newspaper's dynamic ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by JY
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  11,707 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews


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Jacob Proffitt
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Just as good as Awkward, maybe better. Jenson is so sweet and trying so hard and I love how well Chmakova pulls us into his perspective and why he doesn't even realize he's being bullied, even as he adopts patterns and mechanisms to avoid the pain. Chmakova is a talented artist and storyteller and does such a fantastic job depicting the protohumans of middle school in all their messed-up glory. And I'm really glad she chose a graphical format for theses stories. She says at the end that "express ...more
Melody
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is crazy good and crazy important. It made me giggle. It made me tear up because Jensen's journey was so real, and so honest. Chmakova does an excellent job of portraying her characters and I want all of them to have their own books. These are GREAT stories for middle schoolers that never feel like they're talking down to them. ...more
Melki
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Take the survey:

Do you have someone who will save a seat for you?
Or do you feel isolated/left out?

o yes / o no / o maybe


For Jensen Graham, the answer is a definite maybe.

He does what he can to fit in, but it's hard to find your niche among all the cliques in middle school. And, between his after-school math tutoring, hiding from bullies, art club, the newspaper, and all his daydreaming, Jensen is one busy kid.

On the whole, I liked him, though I got kind of annoyed that he never did his "homewor
...more
Melissa McShane
I was deeply impressed with Awkward and expected to love Brave as much. It was even better than the first. Featuring Jensen, a very minor character from Awkward, this story about bullying is incredibly powerful because it gets to the heart of what it means to be bullied--and how victims can lie to themselves about even being bullied at all. Jensen is sweet and ordinary, with dreams of becoming an astronaut and a love of drawing, and at first the reader doesn't realize just how alone he is. The g ...more
Erica
This is incredibly good.

Because I'm not a fan of Chmakova's Dramacon, Vol. 1 series, I didn't read Awkward but am now on hold for it and am #3 on the holds list. I hope to get my hands on it soon because this one impressed me tremendously.

Here's what I loved most about this book: it feels natural. Maybe not fully realistic - the malicious bullying probably doesn't look quite like real-life bullying and the perfectly diverse crowd is far too beautifully perfect to be real life and everyone is obv
...more
mira〔 hiatus 〕✧
i related so much to the protagonist here <3
not to be uber personal, but i kinda got (and still do) bullied constantly for being "ObSeSsIvE aNd HyPeR" by everyone at my school. the part that hurt about it the most was that these girls would be considered nice because they were kind to all of my friends (who i don't talk to much now, but still.) i honestly had terrible anxiety which didn't get treated until like two years ago, so i would yell and cry and scream out loud if i found something about
...more
Mikayla
TEN MILLION STARS GUYS.
No really, ALL THE STARS!

I cried. Like. Actual-Facts tears.
Amber
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty good graphic novel about a boy named Jensen who tries to survive middle school and be brave so he can fit in at school and more. Check it out at your local library and wherever books are sold.
Mir
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, realism, school
I really liked this [although/because] it was very optimisitic. It was a realistic depiction of middle school kids, albeit one that assumes most human being are basically good. If you're one of many kids who suffers bullying and tries futiley to improve the situation, it might make you feel worse, like why are your efforts not working? On the other hand, the stuff about changing culture might be encouraging? I don't know. It probably depends on the individual and circumstance. ...more
steph
Jensen is the best. Seriously. I loved seeing his drawn on the page, his facial expressions, body language, daydreams. He is really just a character that is so well written, drawn, etc.

I read Awkward last year when I was interviewing for a children's librarian position (I had to recommend a few books and Awkward was one of those recs) and I really liked it. It had a positive message intersected between all the middle school drama and Brave follows the same format. But, I think I liked Brave more
...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Trigger Warning: Bullying, fat shaming

This was such an insightful graphic novel about one boy's experience with bullying, isolation, making friends and just not feeling adequate enough.

I adored Jensen and completely related with all of his struggles—and I loved the way that he coped with everything by turning it into a video game.

One of the things that resonated most strongly was how he rationalized and normalized the world that he lived in. He just...shrugged off or tried to pretend things were
...more
Jenna
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great, and even better than Awkward. Fans of Raina Telgemeier's work will definitely enjoy this book that discusses not only bullying, but standing up for yourself and others, and finding a place where you belong. An adorable drawing style with a hero that reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes' sense of wonder and ability to daydream. Just a wonderful book all round that I will definitely tout to my patrons. ...more
Taylor Ramirez
This is a spin off book from Chmakova’s other book Awkward, which I enjoyed. I didn’t really like this book, the art was fun but Jorge and Filipe were the only characters that I really liked. I didn’t like Jenny from the last book and Akilah was meh. The message was too preachy and I didn’t really have that much. It felt like Chmakova was trying to push her own agenda rather than tell a good story like she did in Awkward.

~Spoilers~

Okay, a teacher wouldn’t give the entire class extra homework bec
...more
Christina
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A graphic novel aimed at middle school readers, I found this to be a great read. Technically the second book in the Berrybrook Middle School series, but it works really well as a stand alone. I read book 1 when it came out and I don't remember it well, but do remember enjoying it. I wasn't sure I'd like BRAVE because I didn't think I'd identify enough with the main character, a middle school boy. But I found him to be very likable and I was quickly invested in his story. The author has created a ...more
Alison McKinnon
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best graphic novel for tweens that I have read all year!
Georgia
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really loved all of the characters in this book! They had such great personalities!
Mississippi Library Commission
If you loved Awkward, you're going to adore Brave. (Didn't read Awkward? That's okay; Brave is completely stand alone.) Jensen, a minor character in Awkward is going to save the world: from sunspots, from zombies, from whatever it needs saving from. Can you tell he's a bit of a dreamer? Constantly picked on by bullies and friends alike, Jensen doesn't even realize he needs to stand up for himself until he begins to expand his horizons and try new experiences. As he braves (see what we did there) ...more
Chi
(I read this out of order - oops!)

Guys! GUUUUUUUYS! This was such an amazing book! As someone who stood out for not being one of the "normal" kids, this book is so important!

Jensen is definitely one of those kids who stood out! He was overweight, comfortable in his daydreams, and trying so, SO hard to fit into middle school. Oh, and let's not forget to mention that he was also being bullied.

He was being bullied by people who were out to get him from the very start, as well as those he should've
...more
Molly
A sweet follow-up to Awkward, focusing on the previous volume's weird "sunspots!!" kid. Valuable lesson about bullying and what it is/can be, a detour through a disagreement over dress codes, and some practical information about how bullying happens and how students and teachers can work to change a school's culture.

...more
mytaakeonit
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book. It's better than Awkward, in my opinion. The main character Jensen warms and breaks your heart all at the same time. While this story drawn in a really cute style, the story is deep. It's about bullying on the surface, but even more than that, it's about how we change the culture of our school or workplace to move beyond bullying. I can't wait for my students to read this book! ...more
Gracie
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because like it talks about like if your being bullied then stand up for your self!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Darcy Roar
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So. Frikin. Cute. Also I maybe cried a little. It's a very realistic and relatable view on bullying that pulls at the heart strings (it's maybe a little preach-y, but not so much that it feels unreadable). I want one million more of these books. One for every character in the school! ...more
Scott Robins
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn-kids
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.
Tammy
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
The story has a good moral, but I never felt a connection to the characters. That is probably why it took me forever to read. 14 days for a graphic novel seems like forever!
Nafiza
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was phenomenal. Highly recommended to everyone.
Francina Simone
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ugh. This was beautiful from the beginning right now to the last line, last image. So moved. Svetlana has a way of moving you gently and then you realize you’ve just been swept off your feet.
Cortney
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mini Me Rating
Karly
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great book about bullying and how to make change at your school. I highly recommend this graphic novel and its prequel/companion book “Awkward”. Awesome characters and awesome messages!
Mehsi
I was super excited when I found out that Awkward would have another book, this time about another character but still taking place in the same school. I pre-ordered it immediately.

The protagonist this time is Jensen, a slightly overweight guy who is in middle school and is utterly confused by a lot of things (though I don't blame him, anyone would be confused). He is trying to traverse through school and getting by as best as he can. Some hurdles on his way include maths (I can imagine he is c
...more
Laura
"I guess sports are kind of like their Star Trek"

Jensen is trying to navigate the real life game called middle school. He is not doing very well. He is getting picked on, he is failing math, and he keeps being made fun of by his "friends". He daydreams of being an astronaut, and lives to draw or write about sunspots.

Poor Jensen. He doesn't even want to admit that any of the bullying is getting to him, or that it is even real.

I have always said that if a book makes me cry, and makes me read late
...more
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Allie Davis Review 3 1 1 Sep 27, 2019 08:48AM  

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Svetlana Chmakova (Russian: Светлана Шмакова) (born 1979 in Russia) is a comic creator. She is best known for Dramacon, an original English-language (OEL) manga spanning three volumes and published in North America by Tokyopop. Her other work includes the 2-page The Adventures of CG for CosmoGIRL! magazine and the webcomic Chasing Rainbows for Girlamatic. Though born in Russia, she immigrated to C ...more

Other books in the series

Berrybrook Middle School (4 books)
  • Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School, #1)
  • Crush (Berrybrook Middle School, #3)
  • Diary (Berrybrook Middle School, #4)

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