How Brave is That? by Anne Fine

How Brave is That?

Written by Anne Fine
Illustrated by Vicki Gausden
Part of the 4u2read Series

7+ readers   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 7 Award-winning Anne Fine takes a subtle look at what bravery really is in this touching story about a boy who has only one ambition in life: to join the Army. Tom struggles with learning at school but he knows that he must pass the tests in reading and writing if he is to achieve his lifelong ambition of becoming a soldier. When his home life is thrown into confusion by the arrival of triplets Milly, Tilly and Gilly, Tom, helped by his very good friend Gary, has to take drastic action to continue to achieve. And Gary really rates him for it. You have to be very brave indeed to wear some of the outfits Tom is forced into!

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+


How Brave is That? by Anne Fine

Tom wants to join the army, but he has to pass his exams first! When he turns up without proper uniform on exam day, strict Mrs Dell threatens to send him home. There are spare clothes available, but is Tom brave enough to face the exam hall - in a skirt? A touching comedy, particuarly good for low ability readers.

About the Author

Anne Fine

Anne Fine was our Guest Editor in July 2011. Click here to see the books she selected.

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults.

Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire became the major feature film 'Mrs Doubtfire' starring Robin Williams. Anne was named Children's Laureate in 2002 and made an OBE for services to children's literature in 2003.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author or click here to read an extended biography in which Anne talks about her writing.

Here is a letter from author, Sarah Forbes to Anne Fine, who visited her home town when she was eight and made a lasting impression.

Dear Anne Fine,
You won’t remember this, but in the late 1980s you visited Stonehaven Library as part of an author tour. Stonehaven is a lovely place: a small seaside resort on the east coast of Scotland near Aberdeen. It has an open-air swimming pool and a ruined castle. These days it’s famous for being the home of the deep-fried Mars bar. (Yes, I have eaten a deep-fried Mars bar. No, that isn’t why I’m writing this.)

I remember your visit vividly because I was an avid, avid reader of your books. You coming to town was like having a famous pop star parachute in for the day. The excitement of having an actual, real author come to speak to us! Someone whose books I could reach out and touch on the library shelves in the children’s section upstairs where you did your event.

For a kid living in a big literary city like Edinburgh or London, meeting authors might not be such a big deal. Authors tend to work hard to promote their books and the ones I know do as many events as they can. But let me tell you, rural Aberdeenshire in the 80s was not a hotbed of literary discovery, and you coming to town meant a lot. I think that was the point when I realized writing could be a career. Maybe one day, I could be a writer too.

Many, many years later, I found myself back in the children’s section of Stonehaven Library promoting my own children’s books. That felt incredibly weird and incredibly lovely all at the same time. I’m excited to say I’ll also be talking to kids about my Elspeth Hart books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month. I have so much fun doing my own events, but my favourite part is when I ask if anyone likes writing or wants to be a writer and dozens of hands shoot up. The ideas these kids have are amazing. I wonder if it’s easier to dream your way into becoming a writer when you meet grown-ups who’ve done the same thing?

Either way, I relish every minute of getting to meet my readers, and part of the reason I appreciate it, Anne, is you.

Warm wishes,
Sarah Forbes

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Book Info


64 pages


Anne Fine
More books by Anne Fine

Author's Website


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th May 2013




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