Friday, 7 August 2015

Courage for Beginners

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Mysti Murphy is not excited to start Grade 7. Her "best friend" has decided he needs a new image and doesn't want to hang out with her any more. He texts her at night but makes plans to completely ignore her when they are at school. Little does Mysti know, he also plans to be mean to her to impress his new friends.

Her mom has agoraphobia, which means she has a "strong fear about being in places or situations where escape might be difficult, be embarrasssing, or cause panic attacks" (Courage, Pg 12). Her condition means that she is basically unable to leave the house and the family depends on the dad for any day-to-day activities outside of the home. The family makes this work until the dad has an accident and ends up in the hospital. The start of seventh grade is less than easy for Mysti to say the least.

I loved this story for many reasons. Karen Harrington does a great job developing her characters and I really loved getting to know Mysti and her mom and dad in this book. I also liked learning about agoraphobia and "watching" Mysti make new friends throughout the school year. I would definitely recommend this book for Grade 5-7. 

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