Brave in the Woods (Hardcover) (Signed Copy)
Critically acclaimed Tracy Holczer returns with a heartrending tale about a girl descended from the Grimm brothers who sets out to break what she thinks is a family curse.
Twelve-year-old Juni is convinced her family is cursed. Long ago, her ancestors, the Grimm Brothers, offended a witch who cursed them and their descendants to suffer through their beloved fairy tales over and over again--to be at the mercy of extreme luck, both good and bad. Juni fears any good luck allotted to her family she used up just by being born, so when she wakes up in the middle of the night with the horrible feeling like antlers are growing from her head, she knows something is wrong. The next day she learns her older brother Connor has gone missing during his tour in Afghanistan.
Her family begins grieving his loss in their own ways but Juni can't help but believe that his disappearance means the family curse has struck again. Juni is convinced the only way to bring her brother home is to break the family curse and so she sets out on a quest to do just that.
From Charlotte Huck honoree Tracy Holczer comes a stunning new novel about the power of stories, the enormity of grief, and the brilliancy of hope.
What a joyful read! While tackling very real topics, such as social expectations of people's bodies, cultural identity, and challenging family dynamics, "Chunky" uses a delightful play-by-play sports casting style throughout the book that truly engages the reader in Yehudi Mercado's journey. Yehudi and his imaginary mascot Chunky take the reader through the meandering explorations of growing up, from the things you choose to explore yourself to the things others force you to explore, but recognizing your truth nonetheless.
(Graphic Novel, Ages 8+) - reviewed by Isabel