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Sometimes We Were Brave    by Pat Brisson & France Brassard order for
Sometimes We Were Brave
by Pat Brisson
Order:  USA  Can
Boyds Mills Press, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

My name is Jerome and I have a little problem. I really love my mother. We bake cookies, read together and take our dog, Duffy, for long walks. Whenever my mom's home we have lots of fun. That's the problem, though. My mom is in the Navy and she is often away for weeks and weeks when her ship goes to sea.

When my mom leaves, she gives me three kisses in a row which means, 'I-Love-You.' She also whispers in my ear, 'Be brave, Jerome. I'll be back as soon as I can.'

I try to remember those words but sometimes it is really hard to be brave. My dad takes good care of me but it is not like having my mother at home. When I have a bad day at school, I really miss mom and sharing my troubles with her. These are the times I don't feel very brave at all.

One day I entered my dog, Duffy, in a pet show at school. He was really afraid of being around so many other kids and dogs so he tried to hide. I was really surprised when my teacher awarded Duffy a ribbon for being the bravest dog in the show.

I said to my teacher, 'Duffy wasn't brave - he was afraid of everything.'

Mrs. Paterson replied, 'Being brave means doing what you're supposed to do even though you're afraid. Duff was afraid of the other dogs and all the kids. But he didn't run away. He stayed right here and did what he was supposed to - walking, sitting, and shaking hands when you wanted him to. Think about it, okay?'

That's just what I did. I thought about what my teacher said. I thought I do things I am supposed to do, like go to school, help dad and take care of Duffy, when my mom is at sea. Even though I am worried and afraid about mom out there on her ship, I still do what is expected of me. So, I guess that makes me brave too.

If you are five years of age or older, I think you'll enjoy reading my story. Also, if you have to be brave when one of your parents has to go away on a trip or because your mom or dad serves in the military, I think you'll really understand what happens to me in this book.

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