Why readers will love Stella’s Brave Voice:
- Empowering: Perfect for kids struggling to find their voice and be heard.
- Self-worth: A hallmark for children as they learn that their thoughts, feelings, and opinions matter.
- Self-confidence: Promotes a healthy sense of confidence and assurance in young readers.
- Sibling relationships: Encourages communication, conflict resolution skills, and fosters positive relationships between siblings.
- Friendships: Relatable for young readers learning to manage and accept differences between themselves and their friends.
“Stella’s Brave Voice may empower other kids to find theirs, too.” — Kirkus Reviews
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Stella and her fraternal twin sister, Paige, have lots in common. They also have complementary differences: Stella likes cake but not frosting, for example, while Paige likes frosting but not cake. But Stella gets aggravated when Paige speaks for her without giving her time to answer, or interrupts, or speaks over her. Stella wants to speak up, but she doesn’t know how. That evening, their mother gives Stella great advice, reminding her how Paige started to speak up for Stella when they were younger and Stella’s anxiety was more severe. Her advice empowers Stella to speak up for herself, but also to remember that Paige loves her and doesn’t want her to feel scared. Their mother helps Stella use her stuffed animals to model a conversation with Paige. The next day at school, Stella has a productive conversation with her sibling. Bader’s story presents anxious young readers with a great model for learning how to assert themselves in conversation. Soto’s full-color cartoon illustrations are cute but might have been improved with more realistic shading, although the well-drawn backgrounds ably contextualize the settings. The speaking characters are all depicted with pale skin; the story has several background characters of color, including the twins’ teacher.
Stella’s Brave Voice may empower other kids to find theirs, too.
Stella's Brave Voice is a fun story that encourages children to speak up and share their opinions. Stella is an adorable character whose plight will resonate with many shy children who are afraid to voice their ideas. Marissa Bader uses this story to teach children to get out of their shells and stand up for themselves. Bottling up your feelings and not sharing your views can cause you to feel stressed, and like Stella, it can give you a burning sensation in your stomach. Freedom and joy come with speaking out, and this can be seen in Stella’s character development from a timid child to a cheerful and brave girl. I loved the book’s art because it was eye-catching and told the story through visuals. I recommend parents and caregivers to read this book with their children and help them find fun ideas to help them overcome their fear of speaking up.