Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Courage for Beginners, by Karen Harrington

Courage for BeginnersSummary:  Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy of Texas wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fiction, she’d know how to solve her problems at school; take care of her family when her dad has to spend time in the hospital; and deal with her family’s secret: that her mother is agoraphobic and never leaves the house.

Little, Brown

Find it at WCPL


One thought on “Courage for Beginners, by Karen Harrington

  1. This book is about a girl called Mysti whose former best friend Anibal decides that at the beginning of seventh grade, he’s going to pretend not to know her so that he can become a “hipster.” Anibal says that it’s just a social experiment, but soon he’s not just ignoring Mysti at school, but also afterwards. Another key part of the plot is that Mysti’s mother has agoraphobia (she has a paralyzing fear of leaving the house), and when Mysti’s father falls out of a tree and goes into a coma, Mysti’s mother can’t go out to get groceries, etc. So Mysti has to step up and help her mother more than she ever has before.
    I think the writing of this book was pretty average in the first part of the book, but much better in the second half. It seemed as though the author really began connecting to her characters in the last half of the book, but unfortunately the book wasn’t as good in the first half.
    I would recommend this book to sixth- and seventh-graders looking for a fun, sweet read, but I don’t think this book is Newbery worthy.

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