How To be Brave by Louise Beech
How To be Brave
In this charming book, Louise Beech intermingles two true stories: the story of how she and her young daughter Rose coped with the child’s diabetes, and the story of her grandfather Colin who survived for 50 days on a small lifeboat after his merchant ship was torpedoed in the South Atlantic. She does this deftly by reading to Rose from Colin’s old diary, in return for her co-operation with the insulin injections. In this way Rose is transported in her imagination on to the little boat that’s carrying the starving and thirst-crazed survivors. Beech employs a touch of magic as the suffering Colin and the frightened Rose reach across the years to help each other to be brave, but the author is at her best when she’s describing the agonies of the shipwrecked men drifting on the empty sea. It’s a gentle book, full of emotion, suitable for young readers, and it’s similar in tone to The Book Thief, a book that Rose reads with a torch under the bedclothes.