Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young girl confronts her fears and finds her voice as she navigates the challenges of middle school.


In the heartwarming graphic novel "Brave" by Svetlana Chmakova, readers are taken on a journey through the challenging world of middle school. The book explores themes of friendship, bullying, and the importance of embracing one's true self. With its relatable characters and engaging storytelling, "Brave" is a must-read for both young adult and adult readers.

Brief Synopsis

"Brave" is set in Berrybrook Middle School, where we follow the life of Jensen Graham, a seventh-grader who finds himself caught in the middle of the school's social dynamics. Jensen is not the most popular or athletic kid, and he often becomes a target for bullies. However, when he becomes friends with a group of misfits who call themselves "The Graphic Novel Club," Jensen begins to find his place in the world.

The story takes place over the course of one school year, with each chapter focusing on different events and challenges faced by Jensen and his friends. From navigating the complexities of friendship to standing up against bullies, Jensen's journey is one of self-discovery and personal growth.

Main Events

Chapter 1Jensen encounters bullies on the bus and meets The Graphic Novel Club.
Chapter 2Jensen tries to impress the popular kids by joining the basketball team.
Chapter 3Jensen stands up to the bullies and makes a new friend, Jenny.
Chapter 4The Graphic Novel Club works together on a school project.
Chapter 5Jensen faces a difficult choice between loyalty to his friends and fitting in with the popular crowd.
Chapter 6A talent show brings out unexpected talents in Jensen and his friends.
Chapter 7Jensen and his friends organize an anti-bullying campaign at school.

Main Characters

  1. Jensen Graham: The protagonist of the story, Jensen is a seventh-grade student who struggles with fitting in and being targeted by bullies.
  2. Jenny: A new student at Berrybrook Middle School, Jenny becomes Jensen's close friend and confidante.
  3. Jorge: A member of The Graphic Novel Club, Jorge is a supportive friend who encourages Jensen to embrace his true self.
  4. Akilah: Another member of The Graphic Novel Club, Akilah is a talented artist who helps Jensen express himself through art.
  5. Suzy: Suzy is the leader of The Graphic Novel Club and a kind-hearted friend who always stands up for what is right.

Themes and Insights

Friendship and Belonging

One of the main themes in "Brave" is the importance of friendship and finding a sense of belonging. Through his interactions with The Graphic Novel Club, Jensen discovers that true friends accept and support him for who he is. The story explores the challenges of forming meaningful connections and the impact such friendships can have on one's self-esteem and happiness.

Bullying and Empathy

The book addresses the issue of bullying and its impact on both the victims and the perpetrators. "Brave" highlights the importance of empathy, compassion, and standing up against bullying. It encourages readers to consider the consequences of their actions and to treat others with kindness and respect.

Self-Expression and Acceptance

Another significant theme in "Brave" is self-expression and self-acceptance. Jensen learns to embrace his love for art and finds a way to express himself through drawing. The story emphasizes the importance of embracing one's passions and talents, even in the face of societal pressures and expectations.

Reader's Takeaway

"Brave" is a heartwarming and relatable graphic novel that explores the challenges of navigating middle school. It offers valuable lessons about friendship, bullying, and self-acceptance, making it an excellent choice for young adult readers. The book reminds us that it takes courage to be true to ourselves, and that true friends will always support and accept us for who we are.


"Brave" by Svetlana Chmakova is a captivating graphic novel that delves into the complexities of middle school life. Through its engaging storytelling and relatable characters, the book addresses themes of friendship, bullying, and self-acceptance. Readers of all ages will find themselves rooting for Jensen as he navigates the challenges of finding his place in the world. "Brave" is a must-read for anyone seeking an inspiring and heartwarming story about embracing one's true self.

Brave FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book Brave?

    The book Brave is a graphic novel in the genre of realistic fiction.

  2. Who is the author of Brave?

    The author of Brave is Svetlana Chmakova.

  3. What is the target audience for Brave?

    Brave is primarily targeted towards middle-grade readers, but can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

  4. What is the main theme of Brave?

    The main theme of Brave revolves around friendship, bullying, and self-acceptance.

  5. Is Brave a standalone book or part of a series?

    Brave is part of the Awkward series by Svetlana Chmakova, but can be read as a standalone book.

  6. What is the plot of Brave?

    Brave follows the story of Jensen, a shy boy who joins the school's art club and navigates the challenges of middle school, including bullies and finding his own voice.

  7. Are there any illustrations in Brave?

    Yes, Brave is a graphic novel and contains numerous illustrations that enhance the storytelling.

  8. What are some other books by Svetlana Chmakova?

    Other books by Svetlana Chmakova include Awkward, Crush, and The Weirn Books.

  9. Where can I purchase Brave?

    Brave can be purchased from various bookstores, online retailers, and e-book platforms.

  10. Is there a movie adaptation of Brave?

    No, there is currently no movie adaptation of Brave.