Faith, Hope, Glory, Gracie, and Honor are five regular girls with regular lives. They have frustrating siblings and friends who fight sometimes, even though they love each other a lot. They have strong subjects in school, but they have struggles too. They love Jesus, and sometimes they have questions about Him. They’re just like you!
Brave Girls Confidential is a collection of stories meant to encourage and inspire. Through tales of what it means to be brave, strong, and faithful in everyday life, the Brave Girls show young readers how exciting faith can be. With engaging stories, strengthening scriptures, and takeaway discussion points to encourage meaningful conversations, Tommy Nelson's Brave Girls Confidential has something for every girl who longs to live brave.
The great content and beautiful full-color design make Tommy Nelson's Brave Girls Confidentiala wonderful gift for any young girl.
About the Author
Olga and Aleksey Ivanov are renowned children's book illustrators and classically trained commercial artists from Russia. This talented husband-and-wife team immigrated to the United States in 2002 and have been in high demand ever since. In all, the two have illustrated over 80 children's books, three of which have sold more than 100,000 copies.
They work and live together with their son Ivan and fluffy Samoyed dog Misha in their artist studio in the foothills just outside of Denver, Colorado. Olga and Aleksey (better known in the publishing business and art world as "O&A Ivanovs") are very much a team. They met in art school in Moscow and have collaborated ever since. When they are not illustrating, they can be found hiking in the back country of the Colorado Rockies, taking in the inspiration that this amazing tableau has offered artists from around the world for centuries.
Read an Excerpt
Facing New Changes
I have hope when I think of this: The Lord's love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new every morning. Lord, your loyalty is great.
— Lamentations 3:21–23
Philip Thomas! Open this door! Now!"
Gracie's dad was upstairs trying to get her younger brother to unlock his bedroom door while Gracie's mom brushed her daughter's hair. It was nearly time to leave for church, but PT refused to go. And now Dad was using his full name, which meant trouble.
"If you don't open this door in five seconds, there will be no video games for the rest of the summer! One. Two. Three —"
Gracie heard the door swing open.
"Why do we have to go to church?" PT asked.
"Because I said so," her dad said. "Now march."
Gracie's mom finished her hair, and they went out to the minivan to wait. Dad wasn't angry often, but moving had been hard for all of them.
Gracie couldn't remember the last time they'd all gone to church. That's probably why PT didn't want to go. Why did they need to go now when they never went to church back in Pennsylvania?
Gracie wondered, but she knew better than to ask. At least not now.
Gracie followed her parents into the small church with PT moping behind. The building looked like the kind she saw in movies — white, with lots of windows and a tall steeple. In the entryway, groups of people stood talking. They all seemed to look at her family as they walked in.
The dress Gracie was wearing felt a bit too small, but Mom had said it looked fine. She tugged at the collar and wished she could just wait in the car until church was over.
A smiling older couple walked over to welcome them.
Gracie turned to shoot her brother an encouraging smile — but stopped short. Oh no, she thought.
PT's dress shirt was buttoned up wrong. Half of his shirt was untucked, too, and he'd forgotten his belt. This somehow made Gracie feel even more self-conscious.
As the grown-ups talked, Gracie saw three girls standing next to a table where donuts and coffee were being served. They were laughing and talking. None of them saw her yet.
She turned and looked at PT, hoping for at least somebody to talk to. But her brother had already found a friend his age. By the donuts, of course.
Now she really wanted to slither away. It would be hard enough to try to fit into a new school soon. Now she had to fit in at church too?
"Hi, I'm Honor." One of the girls from the donut table was reaching out to shake Gracie's hand, just like a grown-up. "Is this your first time here?"
Gracie nodded as a pair of identical twin boys ran past them and nearly knocked her over.
"Don't mind them," Honor said with a smile. "The Abston twins are always rowdy like that. But they're nice enough. Come on — let me introduce you to everybody."
Gracie had just met the other two donut-table girls — Glory and Faith — when the music started. All the kids stood to sing songs about God and Jesus. The words to the songs were on a large screen, so even though she'd never heard them before, she kept up pretty well and even sang along. She liked the music. It made her feel good inside. She didn't want it to end.
When the music stopped, the students separated into groups based on their ages. Honor, Glory, and Faith were all Gracie's age, so they invited her to walk with them. They showed her a small classroom with chairs circling a large table.
"This is where we learn our Bible lesson," Honor said.
She actually sounds excited, Gracie thought.
The girls Gracie sat with made her feel welcome. Glory complimented Gracie's shoes, which made her feel better about her too-tight dress.
"And I like your bright-blue boots, Glory."
"Thanks! My mom surprised me with them. See how they match the flower on my sweater?"
The teacher started to talk, so Gracie had to be quiet. Faith sat beside her, drawing pictures in her notebook while listening to the Bible story.
It turned out Honor wasn't just friendly; she was also really smart. Whenever the Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Schamberger, asked a question, Honor raised her hand. That told Gracie that Honor knew a lot about the Bible. All three of the girls were so nice. Maybe this church thing would be all right after all.
But halfway through the class, Gracie started to worry. Mrs. Schamberger was talking about the Israelites and how they were wandering in the wilderness. Who were the Israelites, and why were they in the wilderness? Gracie wondered. Were they lost? I feel like I'm lost right now.
Then the teacher handed out markers so they could draw and write on the papers she handed out. Oh, no, Gracie thought, a quiz! What if I fail? Gracie felt nervous and not very smart.
She never used to feel this way back home. Gracie missed her old house and her friends. She missed no-church Sundays when she rode her bike down the street. Gracie was so distracted that she didn't see one of the Abston twins toss an open marker to his twin brother. It landed right on Gracie's arm, making a big red mark on her too-short dress. The Abston twins laughed.
"Sorry," they said in unison.
"Here, wear my sweater," Glory said. "It'll cover that mark right up. And look how it matches your dress perfectly!"
Faith smiled and nodded.
"Perfect," Honor said.
Gracie felt better right away.
When it was time to go home, the teacher asked Honor to pray and close out the class.
"Dear God," Honor said. "Thank You for this class. Thank You especially for Gracie. Thank You that she's coming to our church. Please help us have a great week. In Jesus' name, amen."
As they all said their good-byes and left the room to find their parents, Mrs. Schamberger asked Gracie to stay and talk for a minute.
"What do you think about Sunday school?" Mrs. Schamberger asked.
Of course, Gracie didn't really feel this way, and Mrs. Schamberger knew it. After talking a few minutes, Gracie told her the truth.
"I just — I don't know what to say. I feel so dumb. I don't know a lot about the Bible."
"That's okay." Mrs. Schamberger smiled. "I'm no expert either."
"I thought we'd be talking about Jesus," Gracie said. "Not the wandering Israelites."
"The Israelites are part of the story of Jesus," the Sunday school teacher said. "I can't wait to show you how it's all connected."
Gracie nodded, looking down. "It's just — I like Glory and Faith and Honor — they're really nice. I just feel kinda weird."
"I moved when I was your age, Gracie. It's hard to be the new kid, right?"
"I have an idea," Mrs. Schamberger said. "Kids meet here Wednesday evenings with small groups to talk more about the Bible. I think you'd really like it if you came."
Another meeting at the church? Gracie shrugged.
"Just think about it, will you?"
Gracie promised she would.
That night Gracie thought about Sunday school and about what her teacher said about the small groups. I guess I should see if we even have a Bible for me to read, she thought.
Gracie asked her mom if they had a Bible in the house. It took a few minutes for them to find it. Gracie took it to her room and found the book of the Bible called Lamentations. They had been talking about it in Sunday school.
The cool thing about Lamentations, Mrs. Schamberger had said, is that it's a collection of songs written to God about how sad and lonely the people of Israel felt when they had to move away from their homeland. This stuck with Gracie. Not just because she had moved recently but also because she loved to sing.
As she looked through the chapters, the middle of a verse caught her eye. The man who wrote it said he suffered because of God's anger. He must've done something really bad, Gracie thought. But just when the man was feeling hopeless, suddenly he learned the truth.
In Lamentations 3:21–23, Gracie read, But I have hope when I think of this: The Lord's love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new every morning.
Gracie fell asleep thinking of that.
Every day God loves me.
When Gracie woke up, she read a little more from Lamentations. It didn't take long to find another encouraging verse. In verse twenty-five in the same chapter, Gracie read, The Lord is good to those who put their hope in him. He is good to those who look to him for help.
Gracie lay in her bed thinking about the week ahead. She would be visiting her new school for the first time and meeting her new teacher. What if she didn't like her teacher? What if the classes were too difficult? What if the kids in her class were mean?
The Lord will be good if you put your hope in Him.
She had to remember that. So Gracie wrote a short and simple note to herself:
He is good. Be hopeful! Just ask for help.
Gracie prayed she would be strong and would find friends. Not just friends for Sundays but friends she would see through the week as well.
For a moment, as Gracie got dressed, she couldn't help being jealous of PT. He was planning on having his newfound friend from church over today. Her mood changed when her mom came in with a smile and handed Gracie the phone.
"It's your new friend," she said.
Gracie was surprised to hear Honor on the other line.
"Good morning, Gracie! Mrs. Schamberger gave me your number," Honor said.
"Do you want to come over today? Our cat just had a bunch of kittens. They're adorable!"
"That sounds great," Gracie said. "I love kittens."
"Good!" Honor said. "Glory and Faith are coming too. See you soon!"
Gracie's mom took the phone to talk to Honor's mom.
Gracie looked at the note she'd written again. She had asked for help, and God had listened.
Dear God, thank You that Your love for us never ends. Thank You that every morning I wake up knowing You still love me. I'm going to put my hope in You. Thanks for hearing our prayers and even answering them! Amen.
Talk About It
1. Have you ever moved or had to join a new school or church? What was it like?
2. How do you act when a new student joins your class?
3. Do you ever struggle to read the Bible or to understand parts of it?
4. Does God always hear your prayers? Even when they aren't answered?
Excerpted from "Brave Girls Confidential"
Copyright © 2017 Thomas Nelson.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction The Beach House Sleepover, 1,
Facing New Changes Gracie's Doubt, 15,
Dealing with the Unexpected Things in Life Glory's Pain, 31,
Discovering the True Meaning of Friendship Hope's Snub, 47,
Knowing When to Speak Up Faith's Dilemma, 63,
Staying True to Who You Are Honor's Rejection, 79,
Back to the Sleepover Bedtime Talks, 95,
Accepting Mistakes and Things That Aren't Perfect Faith's Masterpiece, 109,
Giving Over Your Concerns to God Gracie's Triumph, 125,
Striving to Remain Brave in Everything Hope's Victory, 141,
Keeping Positive No Matter How Bad the Day Might Be Glory's Big Day, 157,
Believing in the Friends God Has Given You Honor's Reward, 173,
Good Night Brave Girls Confidential, 189,
Brave Girl Activities, 205,