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How to be Brave
Louise Beech

Action, adventure and romance

What do you do when your daughter is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness?  Nine-year-old Rose and mother Natalie trade blood for storytelling as they uncover an extraordinary story of an ancestor’s efforts to survive shipwreck in the Second World War.  This book is the definition of how to be brave.

Leo McSkimming, 6RG (2016)


Review this book

21 comments on “How to be Brave

  1. ograham says:

    How to Be Brave has reminded me that a lot of people including myself live a happy and lucky life and should be greatful for it yet not all people’s lives are that great some have to live lives which they don’t deserve or want. Yet anything and everything can be solved with a bit of imagination and love. Rose – a young bookworm who has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes type 1 – and Natalie – a mother in desperate want of her and her daughters relationship with each other to finally come back. – are facing the challenge that Diabetes has thrown at them. Both of them missing Rose’s father who is currently fighting in Afghaniastan war with the Royal army. This book includes adventure, compassion, imagination, love, tantrums, insuline, broken doors and 14 men in a lifeboat meant for twelve in the middle of the South Antlantic for 50 days. It is brilliant.

  2. emcinerney says:

    How to be brave is a really interesting book. How to be brave is about a girl called Rose who gets diagnosed with diabetes and finds this book that her great grandad Colin wrote in when he was stuck on a lifeboat for 50 days with 13 other men.When Rose is first diagnosed and is in hospital Rose and her mum see a man in a brown suit who turns out to be grandad Colin who has already died.

  3. rboamah says:

    I’ve read only a few pages of this book and yet I’m loving it so far.

  4. kmahmood says:

    I really like this book because it is one of those books that you can’t take your mind off of it even in lessons. You will soon become enchanted by this book while reading it

  5. risaacs says:

    This book is just sublime and rose is terrifically brave

  6. Agnes Milne says:

    I did not enjoy this book in any way but can see the moral of the story which to me is: Even if it looks like everything is going wrong (all of Colin’s and Ken’s friends had died and they were on a raft in the middle of no where unable to move very much) never give up

  7. sheckscher says:

    When Rose is diagnosed with diabetes she is fuelled with anger towards it. Then she finds a way to connect with her mum through storytelling. This book is the perfect demonstration of how to be brave.

  8. mrothwellstopps says:

    This book is about how to be brave. How can you cope when you have found out that your daughter is diagnosed with a horrible illness. Think what should you do ?

  9. cburt says:

    A brilliant and compelling read.

  10. cwitchell says:

    I like this book because rose is really brave.?????

  11. astrigo says:

    This book is amazing I think that Rose?is extremely brave.

  12. ewhitelaw says:

    This is a book about a girl with type 1 diabetes. She is angry about the illness. The girl, called Rose, connects with her mother through story telling. The book shows us that sometime you can’t deal with problems on your own and it is better to share them. I like it when the girl stole some brownies from the lunch hall and then got suspended from school. I don’t think that has happened at Rosendale yet……

  13. dhogan says:

    I am just reading this book now and it is really good. Most people think that just because it has curse words means you can’t read it. I think that everyone should have a chance to read this. It is very passionate and you would really enjoy it.
    I mean if you don’t read this book you will never complete the one hundred book challenge.
    So quick hurry go to the library bus and grab a copy!

  14. esampson says:

    A great book following the story of Rose and her great grandfather Colin.

  15. tcarpenter says:

    This is an action packed fumed with adventure and romantic book 5 stars

  16. ibuglione says:

    I love the excitement of this book

  17. Mr Milne says:

    Highly original interweaving of two stories: a mother and daughter’s struggle with the sudden onset of life-threatening diabetes in the daughter (swirling emotions, anger at the medicalisation of day-to-day life), and the extraordinary story of the daughter’s grandfather who survived for 50 days on a lifeboat in the South Atlantic after his ship was torpedoed during World War II. Both stories are true. The girl’s father is away with the British army in Afghanistan and mother and daughter, frightened and bewildered by illness and events running out of control, become very close as the mother retells grandfather’s story from diaries he kept. The stories distract and inspire the young girl (trading words for blood, she calls it) and help her to find a way to cope with the illness and the insulin injections. I would not have read this book based on the blurb – but it is published by a local publisher, Orenda Books, run by Karen Sullivan, the mother of Marcus Sullivan who finished at Rosendale in 2016, and I’d heard that a lot of Marcus’s classmates were enjoying it and thought I should give it a go. I’m glad I did. I think it’s a brilliant, strangely beautiful book.

  18. nsampson says:

    A thrilling and enjoyable book following the story of rose and her great grandfather Colin

  19. nsampson says:

    I love this book! I really enjoy the bit when Natalie and rose read Colin’s diary.

  20. tbraganza says:

    Anyone who knows me will tell you I like seriously funny books. But I really enjoyed this one because it was really powerful.

    1. cwilliams says:

      this book is so amazing