Brave in the Woods Blog Tour
Brave in the Woods Spring Blog Tour
About Brave in the Woods
Praise for Brave in the Woods:
★ “This is a beautiful tale of love and grief, friendship and family, and of hope. . . Give this to readers who loved Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Kate Allen’s The Line Tender... Holczer’s use of humor, thoughtful imagery, and magical realism elements makes this a wholly unique blend of modern fairy tale, hero’s quest, and coming-of-age story. A suggested purchase for all middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Holczer’s clear, gentle prose allows the emotional and descriptive elements of the text to shine in this multilayered road-trip story... A thoughtful exploration of grief, family lore, and human connection.” —Kirkus Reviews
“By turns heartbreaking and humorous, this is a story that hints at the possibility of magic while remaining rooted in real-world problems and relationships. There is love and hope amid the grief and confusion, just as the Grimm tales contain both wonders and horrors in their own right. A heartfelt lesson on the power of love and the tales we tell ourselves.” —Booklist
“Holczer has crafted another heartrending story of familial loss, grief, and healing... The imagery-rich text... [and] well-developed secondary characters help readers better understand Juni and the relationships she cherishes, while supporting her journey toward accepting the truth and finally letting go.” —The Horn Book
Literacy Café Idea
I love discussing books over food, especially if the food has something to do with the book. I can't remember who came up with the term, but it's something my friend Alyson of Kid Lit Frenzy and I always think about when we are trying to dream up ways to engage people over books. Sure, it's an easy and relatable way into thinking about and talking about any kind of culture, including literature. But especially if you love food like we do, it's much more than that. It's creative and memorable. When you read books like Tracy Holczer's Brave in the Woods, you're doing much more than moving your eyes across words on a page. You're dropped in the setting where Juni is growing up in small-town California, you're sent to the past where Anya is sharing her childhood story, you're feeling the wind whipping your hair as Juni and her friends drive down the highway in search of the things she thinks will complete her quest and bring her brother home. Then when you sit down with your friends, classmates, or even complete strangers to discuss what you thought of the book, it's so much more enjoyable to do so over some tasty treats.
In my case, although many delicious foods were mentioned in the book (tamales anyone?) I knew my pick would be ice cream sundaes. I won't tell you what part of the book they are mentioned in, but for my post today, I am sharing my favorite sundae combos with you.
The Classic Sundae
Vanilla ice cream, coated with chocolate fudge shell, topped with chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry with a stem. Optional - brownie on the bottom. What is not to love about this classic?
Okay, sure, the Classic Sundae sounds a little boring and predictable. Of course Luca, the responsible young adult who is driving our group of tweens around on this road trip, orders this (with a side of fries). But just like Luca, the Classic won't let you down when you're in need.
The Strawberry Dream Sundae
I actually had this two ways.
First, I had to make the basic fresh strawberry ice cream sundae on a bed of freshly cut berries. I added a scoop of strawberry-flavored frozen oat-milk dessert, a drizzle of cream, and topped it off with the reddest berry I could find.
Next, I went all-out: a strawberry-flavored meringue base surrounded by half-cut strawberries, limited-edition strawberry Hershey's Kisses (!!!), a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with Cool Whip, a juicy red whole strawberry, and a sprinkle of crushed Biscoff cookies.
I had to stick one in the freezer to eat for "breakfast" the next day since it was too much ice cream for one sitting, and I'm not one to put food together for a photo then toss it! Waste not, want not. Normally I'd say this showstopper sundae has main-character written all over it, but we don't know what sundae Juni orders in the book. So let's just say this one's for us, fellow Reader.
The Grab Life by the Fries Sundae
The Fluffy Road Sundae
Last but not least, the most decadent of all: the Rocky Road sundae. The road was definitely rocky for our intrepid travelers in Brave in the Woods--figuratively, anyway.
I plonked down a double-scoop of Rocky Road ice cream topped with chocolate fudge shell, marshmallow fluff, two kinds of marshmallows, a Belgian waffle butter crisp, and chopped nuts. I won't lie, I had to put a cherry on top of this one too, because visually it's just not a proper sundae without one. In the end, I couldn't even see the ice cream under all the toppings. 😅
This is Juni's other best friend, Mason's sundae in the book, and he gets it all over his shirt. Typical. I was smart and left my apron on while eating this creation.
I'm sure there are more excellent combos out there, but these were the ones that best evoked the book for me. What's your favorite sundae? Let me know in the comments!
Blog Tour Schedule
Mon May 17 - Kid Lit Frenzy
Tue May 18 - Instagram post by @the_readers_antidote
Throwback Post: Unleashing Readers - Review and Discussion Questions
Wed May 19 - Librarian’s Quest
Thu May 20 - Instagram post by @pasadenalovesya
Throwback Post: Teach Mentor Texts - Writing with Brave in the Woods
Fri May 21 - Read Now Sleep Later
Mon May 24 Throwback Post: Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook
Tue May 25 - Nite Lite Book Reviews
Thu May 27 - The Windy Pages - Interview with Tracy Holczer
Fri May 28 - Instagram post by @jeninthebookstore
Throwback Post: Nerdy Book Club - Guest post “On Found Objects, Creativity and Beginnings by Tracy Holczer