Brave Like That is a glorious and heartfelt book that will keep young readers engaged and turning pages to find out about sixth grader Cyrus Olson’s attempt at saving (& owning) a stray dog, his ability to mask his reading comprehension problem, his fake interest in playing football like his college-football-star Dad and his growing awareness of how kindness and being yourself makes such a difference in one’s outlook. This adventure-packed story, located in the Minnesota town of Northfield, packs a punch and will resonate with readers looking for a contemporary story about values and coming to terms with one’s given gifts. I loved the references to both picture book and middle grade contemporary books, as well as the gentleness & special relationship Cyrus has with his non-verbal grandmother. Truly outstanding!
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.
About the Author
Lindsey Stoddard was born and raised in Vermont. She spent twelve years living in NYC and taught middle school English at MS 324 in the neighborhood of Washington Heights. She recently moved back to Vermont with her husband and two children. Right as Rain is her second novel, following the acclaimed Just Like Jackie.
“Family, love, loyalty, friendship, and bravery are tested in this small-town narrative. A great novel for any tween learning to find their own voice.” — Booklist
“Heartfelt and triumphant. Cyrus’s journey toward self-acceptance will inspire readers of all ages.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Help comes from surprising directions in this moving, character-driven tale. With a strong, never-preachy anti-bullying message, this one scores a touchdown.” — Kirkus Reviews
"A heartrending and compassionate read about how standing up for something can help you stand up for yourself." — Lesa Cline-Ransome
"Lindsey Stoddard creates a highly relatable character in Cyrus Olson then puts him on a perfectly paced journey of the heart. Destination: the bravery to reveal his most authentic self to the people he loves." — Leslie Connor, author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
“This exploration of courage has a good strong heart-beat: both in terms of compassion and suspense.” — Newbery award winning author Laura Amy Schlitz
Praise for Right as Rain: ★ “This touching middle grade novel addresses the heartache of loss while also providing an insightful, accessible introduction to privilege, homelessness, and gentrification. Honest, gut-wrenching, and hopeful, this is a story about letting people in and discovering you’re a part of something larger.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
★ “Timely, well-integrated themes, a vibrant setting, and well-drawn, likable characters make this a winner.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Stoddard has a knack for writing strong, feisty protagonists [and] her exploration of grief’s grip on a family rings true and tender. A remarkable job.” — New York Times Book Review
“Stoddard excels at low-key atmosphere and characterization. Rain’s an admirably strong and sensitive heroine, and her approach to a tough transition will appeal to many readers.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Stoddard has written a beautiful story about a resilient girl many readers will be able to relate to, and she gently hits on tough topics, such as death and divorce, in a tender and truthful manner.” — Booklist
PRAISE FOR Just Like Jackie: “I was truly moved by this refreshing story about a scrappy young heroine and her struggle to protect her family.” — Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax
A story about scratching the surface (and welcoming what you find below). It’s also a lovely story of acceptance - about what makes a family and how we make our own families, and about embracing our differences.” — Ann M. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Rain Reign
“As close to perfect as a book for middle-grade children can get! Readers will cheer for Robbie as she comes to terms with the family she has and finds the family she needs.” — Cammie McGovern, author of Just My Luck
“A coming-of-age novel as feisty, funny, and forthright as its protagonist. Robinson overcomes obstacles with wit, grit, and a growing compassion for others, showing us that families are what we make them and happiness is found in the simple gifts we take for granted. A rich, rewarding read.” — John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
★ “Stoddard debuts with a quiet but powerful narrative that gently unpacks Alzheimer’s, centers mental health, and moves through the intimate and intense emotional landscape of family—what seems to break one and what can remake it. Validating, heart-rending, and a deft blend of suffering and inspiration.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★ “This emotionally honest, sensitively written novel confronts a range of difficult topics and offers an inclusive view of what family can look like.” — Publishers Weekly(starred review)
“A home-run story that will resonate with all who feel they might not fit into the perfect definition of a family.” — School Library Journal
Nothing can make one feel happier to be forced to shelter in place than contemplating being in Thomas Cromwell’s shoes. The blacksmith’s son who rose to be the most trusted and honored adviser to an increasingly erratic and dangerous Henry VIII was in a situation in which it was impossible to win. In this third volume in the Booker Prize-winning series Henry goes through the last 4 of his 6 wives, while Cromwell tries to help him fend off Scotland, France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, while also avoiding the plague, the “sweating sickness,” and scheming noblemen determined to destroy him. Mantel’s writing is lively and modern with frequent sword-thrusts of wit, and she sees into the hearts of the major players who, in history, have often been portrayed as villains. A great read—you’ll be pulled into another world, but one that has parallels to our own. - reviewed by Nikki