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Courage For Beginners

Courage For Beginners

By Karen Harrington

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Personal Development: Friendship, Family Life: Transportation and Travel, Guidance/Health: Disease/Sickness, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grade: 3-7


Educator Guide Listen to author interview


Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fictional, she’d magically know how to deal with the fact that her best friend, Anibal Gomez, has abandoned her in favor of being a “hipster.” She’d be able to take care of everyone when her dad has to spend time in the hospital. And she’d certainly be able to change her family’s secret.


Seventh grade is not turning out the way Mysti had planned. With the help of a hot-air balloon, her new friend Rama Khan, and a bright orange coat, can she find the courage to change?



★ “A wrenching and rewarding read.” — Booklist, starred review


★ “[Mysti’s] wickedly good schemes to get even with Anibal and her courageous solutions to family crises will make her a compelling protagonist for sophisticated young readers.” — VOYA, starred review


“Harrington’s portrait of a resourceful girl weathering transitions and finding creative solutions offers an even balance of humor and painful topics relevant to middle-school readers.” — Publishers Weekly