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How To Be Brave

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Calla’s mum has never been normal. She’s been known to go out in a lab coat and slippers and often forgets to perform basic tasks because she’s been thinking about ducks. When a job offer arrives to study her beloved birds in the Amazon rainforest, Calla knows her mum has to go. Nervously, she agrees to go to boarding school.

She quickly learns that trouble is afoot in this
...more
Expected publication: July 1st 2021 by Pushkin Press
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Liz Filleul
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
This first MG novel by Daisy May Johnson has the 'feel' of a golden age classic, but with a plot set firmly in the digital era. Anyone familiar with Johnson's blog or socials won't be surprised by the book's content: it's an adventure set in a girls' boarding-school, with lots of heart, an extremely villainous villain and a group of plucky girls. There are plenty of jokes too, which I'm sure will amuse the target age group. Most unusually for a novel, the book contains footnotes - and extremely ...more
Peggy
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Review to follow, but I can’t resist saying that it’s just ducky!
Katrina Reads
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Captivating right from the start!

This book pulls on your heart-strings and builds great empathy for the characters and their situations, both in life generally as well as the mystery they find themselves in.

A brilliant, good vs. evil story, with excellent pacing that makes it a real page-turner.

I enjoyed the footnotes, having never come across this in a children’s book before and the additional information and explanations were wonderful.

It is so different in terms of writing style compared t
...more
Eule Luftschloss
trigger warning
(view spoiler)

Calla is glad to leave her old school but sad it has to be under these circumstances: Her mother is going on an expedition she has planned since girlhood, and since there is nobody else who could care for Calla, our protagonist goes to a boarding school where things are not all right.

I was confused by the unexpected beginning of this book, which is about Elizabeth, Calla's mum, who in turn went to the boardi
...more
DarkRaven Reviews
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
A really bizarre book, not quite sure what's going on here. Seemed to be quite all over the place and trying to be different books rather than finding its own voice. ...more
Joey Susan
Thank you so much to Pushkin Press and Netgalley for the earc to read and review.

What an unusual story this is, I honestly still don’t really know what to make of it, there were parts I liked and other parts I didn’t. It was such a strange story but I’m happy to have had the chance to read it.

So the story is told through Good Sister June who is heavily obsessed with biscuits and cakes, though pretty much every character in this book is too. She starts by telling Elizabeth’s story, then she hits
...more
Mélanie Mcgilloway
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Every so often, a book comes along that, despite being firmly anchored in the tradition of British children’s literature, is like no other. “How to be Brave” is one of those books.

This is a book that expertly weaves motifs of traditional school stories with elements contemporary life, making it both timeless and very much of its time*
The school might be look like a traditional boarding school (it’s really not), the majority of its students might look privileged, but at the heart of the tale is
...more
Steph Kimble
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Calla and Elizabeth North are the unlikely strong female role models girls need these days.

When Elizabeth North, duck expert and, admittedly, flighty mum, gets the opportunity of a lifetime to study ducks in the Amazon, she and her daughter Calla both know she can't pass it up. So Calla is shipped off to her mum's old boarding school, which Elizabeth has fond memories of from when her own world turned upside down. But things have certainly changed since Elizabeth's school days - and not in a go
...more
Tina Reynolds
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
An interesting take on the school story. I appreciated the depth of knowledge behind the writing and really enjoyed the footnotes. A little too unrealistic in places and perhaps the pacing could have been tweaked (it ends somewhat abruptly) but overall, a good book for the 7-12 range.
Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea
3.5 rounded up, I think. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it! ...more
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