By Evelyn, Age 11

As I walk through the rows of yellow metal lockers, I imagine my day as a tough video game, trying to get through the challenges of school. I am the hero (in my dreamed fantasy) as I dodge game monsters and mean kids, cowering under my art supplies and books. When I reach art class, I feel safe and secure just like the main character Jensen from the book Brave. I finally felt seen when I read Brave, by Svetlana Chmakova. It is about a young middle-school boy named Jensen, who faces the challenging problems of friends, bullies, school and tries to be the hero in his story. I felt seen because my school days are like his; a difficult video game with multiple challenges. I also felt seen when he explained lizard brain. Lizard brain is when people act and people around them follow unintentionally without thought. I feel like this book inspired me to be a fearless hero to change the lizard brain positively wherever I go. I feel connected to this character because we both are dreamers trying to get through life. This is why Brave is a book that finally makes me, finally seen and brave.

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