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Brave (Awkward, #2)
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Brave (Awkward #2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,694 Ratings  ·  589 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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DJL Yes! It's called Crush and will feature Jorge according to Publisher's Weekly.

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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
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga, bullying
This is a companion book to AWKWARD by the same author. It really is not a sequel, because none of the previous main characters remain main characters. In fact, Jensen, the hero, appeared only briefly in AWKWARD. Plus the story is not the same.

I have to say, I did like this, but not as much as the previous (fully-illustrated) manga. Jensen is very quirky, what with his obsession with sunburns and making everyone understand how dangerous they are. And he wants to become an astronaut, but he sucks
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.
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
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
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.
Mikayla Almquist
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mine
No really, ALL THE STARS!

I cried. Like. Actual-Facts tears.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.


Okay, a teacher wouldn’t give the entire class extra homework bec
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
Heather Taake
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!
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.

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
Shelves: graphics, teen, no-romance
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!
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.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5||5 stars
Oof. Lots of feels. Loooootttttttsssssssss of feels.
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.
"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
For a book aimed at middle graders, the characters were particularly well developed and nuanced. Jensen especially is an incredibly complex individual and his complexity is revealed more and more as the story goes on. Nothing gets wrapped up too neatly, but there is a lot of positivity and hope despite Chmakova not shying away from topics like bullying, injustice, and friendship conflict. I think this might be better than Awkward even. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the folks at Berrybroo ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was phenomenal. Highly recommended to everyone.
Reading is my Escape
Brave is the sequel to Awkward, an amazing graphic novel about navigating middle school life. Brave follows the same basic group of kids, with a different main character. In Brave, Jensen (the art club kid from Awkward who is obsessed with sunspots) learns about bullying. He doesn't think he is a victim at first, but he gradually begins to understand what being bullied really means. He compares his school day to a video game, a constant struggle to avoid the "bad guys" and traps; making it thr
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, favorites
As a spiritual successor to "Awkward" you get the familiar cast of characters, but with a change of focus. One of the side characters from the previous book is now in the spotlight with his own problems he learns to handle. What I love about this series is that it doesn't shy away from the hard truths and gives them into a format we can almost all relate to. Where as the first dealt with being the new kid and trying to find a safe place to fit in, this one deals with bullying in various forms.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I enjoyed this second installment to Awkward. Jensen comparing middle school to a video game was one of my favorite parts. It had a good message about bullying and was informative, teaching kids the signs of bullying and how to address them.

But I feel like there was a split focus, which weakened the story and led to missed opportunities. The subplot where Felicity got suspended felt like it should have been it's own graphic novel and didn't really tie into the bullying plot of the rest of the n
Like the previous book in this series, Awkward, this is a revealing glimpse of middle school life. The main character, Jensen, is bullied without even realizing it, thinking that kids are "just joking" when they really don't even consider him their friend. Lonely and confused, he doesn't understand why he can't just find a way to fit in, even among groups where he has a common interest (art club, the school newspaper). His journey from a culture of isolation to one of acceptance is beautifully p ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, graphic-novels
Oh dear oh my. I wish I had this graphic novel when I was a teen. It would have helped me lots understanding I'm not the only one struggling, being bullied, hearing these "funny" jokes that break my heart and feeling like outcast and a outsider. This is a book I would force people to read if I could.

"It's scary to keep reaching out, to keep extending your hand, after so many would not take it... And sometimes even push it away... But that's what courage is - not never being afraid... But being
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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

Awkward (3 books)
  • Awkward (Awkward, #1)
  • Crush (Awkward, #3)
“If they're friends, then they've got your back . . . whether you're there or not. Friends won't "forget" about you.” 3 likes
“True. The school admin decided that a girls clothes were more important than her education.” 2 likes
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