Thursday, March 4, 2021

Book Club: Book Review of Brave by Sissy Goff

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club: Book Review of Brave  A Teen's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety; potted plant, book, leaf clipart

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

Having read and reviewed Raising Worry-Free Girls and Braver, Stronger, Smarter, both by Sissy Goff, on my blog previously, I was excited to read and review Brave: A Teen Girl's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety. Written to address the worrying nature of teenage girls, Brave is divided into three sections to help your daughter navigate their daily worries. 

As someone who suffers from anxiety and tends to worry a lot, I appreciate that authors like Sissy Goff are taking an approach to help teenage girls work through their own worries and anxieties. The first book I reviewed was geared towards parents, the second one was for elementary-aged girls, and now Brave is for teens. As with any books, I would highly recommend you read them before you hand them over to your children. 

Book Club: Book Review of Brave; A Mom's Quest to Teach Brave book cover

A Bit About Brave 

Brave: A Teen Girl's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety is a 189-page paperback book divided into three sections: Understanding, Help, and Hope. The book is further divided into chapters which each end with a summary or "a few brave things to remember." Throughout the book, there is room to write down answers to questions the author asks of her teenage reader.

Sissy Goff writes Brave in a very conversational way as if she were sitting in an office with the reader. She presents examples from her time as a counselor at Daystar Counseling Ministries, as well as examples from her own life. From the opening chapters, which examine definitions and look inward to understand one's own worries and anxieties, to the closing chapters where Goff reminds readers to trust God, there is a lot of valuable and good information.

Some of the specific topics discussed include:

  • The differences between flight, fight, and freeze responses to worry
  • How teens can train their body to respond to worry differently
  • The ways in which worry tries to trick someone
  • How to develop tools to fight worry
  • Places in the Bible to find hope

Brave book cover

What Did I Think? 

I was excited to read this third book by Sissy Goff as I found much valuable information in the previous two I read and reviewed. I don't know if it is a change in my own parenting expectations, a difference in the time period in which this book was written, or if there are other reasons, but I found more items of concern in Brave than in the other books. I still think it is an important book, but I would not just hand it to my daughter (when she becomes a teen). 

Every Christian may have different opinions on the following topics. So I will briefly mention those things that are discussed (some very briefly) in Brave. As a parent, you can decide how to approach the inclusion and discussion of them in your own family. 
  • Enneagram and recommendation of a book and podcast 
  • Discussion of the pandemic
  • Mention of Yoga
  • Discussion of homeschooling which I don't think was intended as negative
  • Several mentions of Disney movies and other 'popular' cultural references
Brave is also written for those teenage girls who are attending public school. So if you are a homeschooling family, you will need to adapt some of the talking points to fit your family. 

"In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 

While I found some personal issues with the book, I still think it would be helpful for many teenage girls and their families as they work through worry and anxiety. I love the fact that she focused upon the fact that we are promised trouble but that there is hope. Brave isn't simply one more book that tells readers to practice breathing techniques and other self-help recommendations. Sissy Goff advises girls that "God has given you a unique purpose in this world" (173). Bringing it back to the Bible is what makes her message – even with my reservations – resonate with me.

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