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The Brave

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Perfect for fans of Rain Reign, this middle-grade novel The Brave is about a boy with an OCD issue and his move to a reservation to live with his biological mother.

Collin can't help himself—he has a unique condition that finds him counting every letter spoken to him. It's a quirk that makes him a prime target for bullies, and a continual frustration to the adults around hi
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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Kathryn There are 3 letters in the word "the" and 5 letters in the word, "brave". It has to do with the OCD the main character is living with.

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Average rating 4.48  · 
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Adriana Mather
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure - I’m married to the author. And even though I’m a writer myself, he wouldn’t let me read it until it was completely edited. Seriously. He let my mom read it, but he refused to send it to me. And then he did. Then he sent me the most beautiful book that not only swept me off my feet but made me cry happy tears (multiple times!!!). I fell for this book. I keep telling people it’s a magical realism My Girl, but it’s so much more than that. It has all the heartwarming feels and vibr ...more
An absolutely beautiful 5 stars!

This was an unexpectedly beautiful book about a boy who has been isolated from his mother's Obijabwe heritage for his whole life and has struggled in the Western world (Huntington Beach, CA) with his father, primarily because of an OCD issue that causes him to count the letters in every spoken sentence addressed to him. Besides his OCD issue he is also artistic, and not the sports athlete that his father always wanted. After he is kicked out of his nth school for
Oct 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
This is a middle grade that looks so good. I am lucky to receive an e-audiobook of this book from Netgalley, and I will post a honest review of this book as soon as I finish listening it. Note: I will be listening to this book during Believathon III in November.
Sandra Mather
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an early version of this book. It was beautiful and lyrical. Bird is a master storyteller who has written a number of screenplays, four of which have been made into Indie films. In this, his first published book, he examines the intersect between Native cultural beliefs and Western beliefs and their opposing worldviews. This is done from the POV of a boy who grew up with his white father who finds himself reunited with his Native mother. His experiences with Native culture lead him to bas ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book as part of an ARC tour by the author('s) family to help promote and to given an honest review!

First and foremost I want to thank James for writing this book, there are hardly words to express how beautiful of a story this was. I love that the MC was different and I wanna say quirky (as I am too I wear that term as a badge of honor) it made him so relateable cause who of us ever really fit in all the time. The amount of growth that Colin goes through it paced well and makes
Karen Kane
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Collin is such a wonderful little man, his only issue is that no one would accept him for who he was. Not his father, not his school, no adult or child around him. Not until his mother came back into his life. Then happiness flooded his life like he never knew. He found love, true love, happiness, acceptance, the bullies couldn't hurt him. Even teachers accepted him.

It was about finding your wings and as the book say being BRAVE. He also found heartache and anguish. Losing his true love so soon.
Geraldine (geraldinereads)
Collin has an OCD tendency of counting letters when people speak and replying with the number of letters that were spoken. When he gets in trouble at his school and is asked to leave yet another school, his father decides to send him to live in Minnesota with his mother. Collin has never met his mother before who is Ojibwe and lives on a reservation. While staying with his mother, Collin meets his new neighbor, Orenda who opens his eyes to a whole new world.

I loved Collin's relationship with Ore
Tia Nicole
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I don’t know where to start with this book aside from those first three letters.

Collin is different from everyone he knows. He counts letters in the words people say. The struggle of finding yourself in a world where people laugh is a hard thing to do. When Collin’s dad sends him to live with his mom, he thinks it’s going to be the same thing there. But as soon as he arrives, Collin is embraced by acceptance from his mother and the neighbors around them. School is still hard, but when isn’t
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This middle grade book is a heartwarming and beautiful tale for readers of all ages. My 12 year old and I both agree. The Brave is the debut novel from filmmaker James Bird. The main character, Collin, is someone that we can all relate to. The journey he takes us on & the lessons we learn along with him are priceless. In a world where you can be anything, be brave. 💕💕💕

**thank you to the author for sending me an advanced copy***
Samantha (WLABB)
I found Collin's journey so touching. Before, he was living in California with his ill-equipped father and had little support. He was relentlessly singled out for his neurodiversity and considered himself "broken". The best thing to happen to Collin was being sent to live with the mother he never knew. She brought him into a whole new way of thinking and seeing the world. She lavished him with love and lessons, like a mother should, and I absolutely adored her. There, on the reservation, Collin ...more
Jessica Silva-Kubarek
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After spending 13 years on this earth bullied and unwanted, Collin finds the love and magic that he didn’t believe existed.

If you are struggling to find your place in this world, read this book. If you are struggling to see the beauty of the world, read this book. If you are struggling to see the magic of the world, read this book. If you need a good cry, read this book. If you are in need of an adventure, read this book. If you feel alone, unloved, or misunderstood, then this is the book for y
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To start, this book is hands down the most beautiful one I have read. It takes your breathe away and fills you with so many raw emotions, beautiful scenes, and pure love. James has such a talent for creating each character with their own unique personalities that you can easily fall in love with. This book is full of emotions, but in the best, most beautiful way possible. I can not wait for the world to be able to read this book and feel everything I did reading this masterpiece. To the next rea ...more
Kelly Salcido
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel is so incredibly beautiful. A moving, and stunning piece of literature that has so much heart. I was so impressed with how relatable this piece of work is to all audiences. It is great for all ages! I hope they make this into a film. Thank you James Bird for writing this amazing novel and pouring your heart and soul on the page. I can’t wait to read it to my son.
Kristina Modena
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin! I had no idea what to expect while reading this book but it definitely surpassed any expectations I would have had. It's beautifully written and a very touching story that everyone can enjoy. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but most of all it will make you embrace and appreciate what makes you, you. Fabulous book! Highly recommend!
This is an interesting read. We learn about some Native American beliefs and traditions which was cool. The story also talks about OCD and processing death and is slightly heavy for a middle grade read. However, there were some supernatural elements in this that tempered the big themes and made them more accessible, if unrealistic.

Collin counts the letters of the words people say and must say the total out loud. This has caused bullying and Collin's father can't handle the moving schools and fi
The Brave by James Bird is a middle grade novel. The book is a glorious look at OCD (without even naming it) and learning to be brave facing fears. The poignant story allows you to recognize as Collin learns - what is truly is important… love, trust, bravery. The moral is it is okay to be afraid, but it is not okay to let afraid win.

Collin lives with his dad and counts words. He is constantly being bullied and feels horrible by others daily. On top of that, he knows he is letting his father dow
Bridget Hodder
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This book! Do not miss it. You'll never look at the world the same way again.
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I received an ARC of this book by the publisher.

First, I must say that the cover art by Mallory Grigg is beautiful. I don't feel that I spend enough time looking at book covers and I usually just dive in and start reading with barely a glance. This is one of those books that you want to spend a little more time with after reading and what better way than examining the beautiful artwork.

I knew I was going to love this book after reading the description. I enjoy character-driven stories and Collin
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Collin counts letters. He is compelled to tell you how many letters are in every sentence that is directed to him. And he can do it quickly. He has to or those letters balloon up in his mind and start to suffocate him. As you can imagine, this compulsion singles him out for bullying. Collin's dad decides to send him to Minnesota to live with his mom on the Ojibwe reservation. One of the first people Collin meets is his next door neighbor Orenda. She captivates his heart and helps him learn life ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This striking, contemplative cover beckons you to journey alongside Collin and delve into his beautiful, restless mind. THE BRAVE (out now!) by James Bird packs an emotional punch as Collin, who is neurodiverse, searches for acceptance and the unconditional love that he so deserves. Thousands of miles now separate Collin from his troubled father as he is sent to live with his mother on an Indian reservation in Minnesota. Collin, who has never met his mother, has quite a bit to learn about himsel ...more
Anita Ojeda
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Collin Couch (pronounced like pooch, not the thing you sit on) has no friends (except his dog Seven), an alcoholic father, and gets kicked out of every school he attends. For the first time, he actually gets kicked out because he hit someone. Usually, he gets asked to leave because no one can handle his odd condition.

When someone speaks to him, he compulsively counts the letters and must repeat them before he can answer. Kids make fun of him, teachers feel bewildered, and even
Yolanda Perez
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once I started reading this book, I was able to become familiar in so many ways. My imagination began to fly to my past in such a way that I couldn't let go of The Brave until I finished it! Lot’s of love, charisma, humility, and above all courage! Spread your wings, and start flying to the sound of life ! 🦋
Clinton Read
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-novels

I had the amazing opportunity to read this stunning debut from James Bird. This beautiful middle grade is about an Native American boy coming to terms with his disability and his Native American history. This is by far one of the most poignant and beautifully written stories I have ever read. This is def a book everyone needs to read! I just fell in love with the characters and the culture. I can honestly say the easiest 5 star I
Chad Lucas
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book feels magical. It exists in that sweet spot where I didn't want to put it down but I also didn't want to reach the end and have to leave Collin's world. James Bird tackles some tough subjects with beauty and humour and a touch of the mystical. One of my favourite MG books of 2020 so far.
Danika Stone
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
You NEED to read this book. First, because it’s incredible, but (equally importantly) because indigenous voices are sadly rare in middle grade fiction. James Bird’s novel, The Brave, introduces us to Colin, a young Ojibwe boy who struggles with OCD. Struggling in school, he is sent to the reservation to live with the biological mother he doesn’t even know. There, Colin finds a family and community who accepts the unique way that his brain works. He develops a friendship with Orenda, a medically- ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely amazing book. Such an emotional roller coaster but such a good one. It had great wisdom and advice and is such a great book to read. This is a book i will carry in my heart and always recommend to every person asking what book they should read.
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book is so beautiful. It has so many lessons of hope and acceptance. Tears like crazy... I would say more but I won’t spoil it.
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an ARC for this amazing story. It is amazing!! The world of a teenager can be hard,especially when you have a quirk! Thank you for letting me into this world!!
Karen Cohn
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredible book, and I greatly enjoyed reading it! Well-written, poignant, moving, and touching on a great many themes that many middle school students struggle with - a family member with alcoholism, coming of age, being bullied, grief and loss, parental separation, learning about one's own culture, accepting oneself for who you are, connecting with parents, blended families. You will laugh, you will cry, you will count letters just to be sure - but most of all, you will get to know ...more
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was so beautiful.... I sobbed through the last 30 or so pages. I really do need to recover emotionally before I post a review. So review to come!
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James Bird is a screenwriter and director at the independent film company, Zombot Pictures; his films include We Are Boats and Honeyglue. A California native of Ojibwe descent, he now lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts with his wife, the author and actor Adriana Mather, and their son. The Brave is his debut novel.

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