Being Brave

Being Brave : A Novel and Guide

4.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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What do you do when the voice in your head tells you you're wrong? You say something silly and the other kids laugh at you? You want to speak up but don't have enough courage. Ellie and Alyssa have been best friends since pre-school. One chatty, one shy, one adventurous, one considered, one Australian, one with Chinese heritage, both supportive and giving. It's easy together. Then they change schools. They have to rely on themselves. It's hard. Ellie's lost her heart. There's her little sister and her busy working parents to deal with on her own. She feels unsure about herself. Alyssa is going from lesson to lesson, doing what she's told, afraid to step out. One day, Ellie's had enough. She wanders off during a museum visit and discovers a mythical golden Ayrebird exhibit. The myth says if you see an Ayrebird, it brings you luck! Perhaps if the girls can find the bird, they can find Ellie's heart. Ellie and Alyssa devise a plan. With their backpacks filled with meaningful objects, they set out on a camping trip in search of the Ayrebird. They encounter obstacles, setbacks and frightening creatures amid the beauty of the Australian bushland, and find their courage as well.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 9.65mm | 213.19g
  • Surrey Hills, VIC, Australia
  • English
  • 1925921174
  • 9781925921175
  • 271,221

Review quote

'Being Brave is a gorgeous story that many girls and their parents can enjoy and feel inspired by. Self-doubt can be crippling and prevent us going after the things that will ultimately bring us the greatest sense of achievement and joy.
When reading this book, I reflected on the close relationship with my own best friend, my identical twin sister Kate. Having Kate in my life, a constant source of love and support, provided me with the encouragement I needed to pursue my dreams of being an Australian cricketer and to be proud of all the qualities, quirks and interests that make me uniquely me.
Alyssa and Ellie, the main characters in this book, share a similar bond and support system for each other that helps them overcome the obstacles they experience. Their story takes us through the schoolyard, the sports field and the Australian bush, and teaches us valuable lessons about the power of positive mindset, determination, imagination, self-care and most importantly, kindness.
This story demonstrates to young readers that it's cool to be curious and that we are all special just as we are. Enjoy!'
- Alex Blackwell, World Cup and Ashes Australian Cricket Captain

'Being Brave is a story about resilience, friendship and personal growth. It is highly recommended for young readers, preparing them for adolescence and the challenges faced on the journey towards adulthood. It is important for stories to be shared to normalise challenges as a part of life. Stories such as this one give us all strength and encouragement to face whatever may come our way.'
- Dr Christina Curry, Lecturer, School of Education, Western Sydney University

'Ellie and Lys lean into each other as they deal with the everyday pressures of school and family life in this all-Australian girls' adventure story. Their love of lists, strategies and standing up for themselves are woven into the magic of the Australian bush. Like the Squishy Taylor series, we have a story where girls triumph and the main characters reflect Australia's ethnic diversity. The sophisticated language, mixed genres and emotional literacy of this book will resonate for young girls as they step into their power.'
- Dr Jennifer Skattebol, Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood), B. Ed., PhD, UWS, Social Policy Researcher, University of New South Wales

'Being Brave took me back to my school days and brought back memories of the challenges of growing into womanhood when insecurities and feelings of self-doubt stop you from realising your full potential. Alyssa and Ellie confront these feelings and navigate through these issues to stand up and prove to themselves that they can be brave.
The book provides real-life scenarios of the pre-teen issues that all people will relate to experiencing at some point in our lives and provides relatable context and tools which the young reader can use. As a busy mum of three, Being Brave reminded me of just how important it is to have the right conversations with my girls and make sure they are armed with the tools they need to navigate this formative stage of life.
Be Brave!'
- Emily Hodgson, Chief Financial Officer, Non-Executive Director, Mum to Amelia, Sam and Claire
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About Sema Musson

Authors: Sema Musson and Hester Leung
Sema and Hester live with their families in neighbouring suburbs of Sydney. With their life and work experiences, Sema and Hester know that developing a personal tool kit helps to provide support in whatever girls choose to do in their lives. When Sema is not writing, she leads a team of professionals improving governance and conduct in a leading financial services organisation. She is the deputy chair and director of one of Australia's largest not-for-profit providers of childcare and early education services. Sema is also an executive coach on ethics.
As for Hester, previously a corporate and financial services lawyer, she is now working on developing disability and social housing. Hester is also on the governing body of a women and children's shelter located in south-east Sydney. Sema and Hester are both passionate about their daughters growing up to be strong, confident and courageous women, and this influences their story-telling. If Sema and Hester were at the same pre-school (impossible because Sema was born in Western Australia and Hester in Hong Kong), they would definitely have begun their friendship then. Luckily for them, their daughters did attend the same pre-school and became the best of friends. That's how this book and the ideas behind it all started.
Illustrator: Jelena Sinik
Jelena Sinik is a talented, award-winning animated filmmaker, designer and illustrator from Sydney. In 2018, Jelena was commissioned by a Sydney studio as a 2D Character Animator for the award-winning Customs House projection show in VIVID 2018. She also teaches at the School of Arts Media at UNSW. Jelena has won several awards for her animated films and has been festival-screened internationally numerous times. She has most recently won the 2018 ATOM Award for Best Tertiary Animation in Australia for her UTS graduate film 'On'.
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Rating details

5 ratings
4.6 out of 5 stars
5 60% (3)
4 40% (2)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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