Brave Like That


By Lindsey Stoddard

Published: 2020

AR level: 5.3

AR points: 9.0

Word count: 56,004

I suggest: 3rd grade+

I first heard chatter about this MG novel on Twitter, and the comments from the readers were so positive and forceful (YOU MUST READ THIS) that I decided, okay.

This is such a great story on so many levels. First of all, I think most children face a moment when they want to tell their parents, “This isn’t me.” Brave Like That shows just how difficult those conversations can be. In middle school, I wanted my future career to be in acting, but I was certain my mom would be horrified. Later, I would find that she supported any of my dreams, even though I never did fully explore that career path (PR and writing have been more than enough creativity + performance roles for me!).

This story captures the beauty of friendship, cute dogs, and diversity so well. It practically commands us to follow our passion. For parents, it is a subtle call-to-action: support your kid, even when their dreams are not your own.

Here’s a description from the publisher:

Find yourself. Find your place. Find your brave.

This uplifting tale, which award-winning author Leslie Connor dubbed “a perfectly paced journey of the heart” is perfect for fans of Lisa Graff and Lynda Mullaly Hunt. 

Cyrus Olson’s dad is a hero—Northfield’s former football star and now one of their finest firefighters. Everyone expects Cyrus to follow in his dad’s record-breaking footsteps, and he wishes they were right—except he’s never been brave like that. But this year, with the help of a stray dog, a few new friends, a little bit of rhythm, and a lot of nerve, he may just discover that actually…he is.

Lauded as “remarkable” by the New York Times Book Review, Lindsey Stoddard’s heartfelt stories continue to garner critical acclaim, and her latest novel will have fans new and old rooting for Cyrus and Parker’s special bond and the courage it helps them both to find.

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