Becoming Brianna: Emmie & Friends, Book 4

Book review by
Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media
Becoming Brianna: Emmie & Friends, Book 4 Book Poster Image
Girl preps for her bat mitzvah in charming graphic novel.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers will learn about bat mitzvahs, and the author includes a bat mitzvah glossary in the back of the book.

Positive Messages

Friendship, family, communication, and self-confidence are important themes. It's important to find a supportive community that will let you ask questions and help you figure out your beliefs. Take a leap of faith.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bri is smart, a feminist, and isn't afraid to ask tough questions. Her friends are supportive and want what's best for her. Jewish religious staff help Bri step outside her comfort zone and encourage her to take a leap of faith.

Violence
Sex

Girls talk about their crushes.

Language

Characters use mild insults like "jerk," "freak," "stupid," "suck up," and "dumb." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Becoming Brianna, the fourth graphic novel in Terri Libenson's Emmie & Friends series, follows Brianna as she prepares for her bat mitzvah. Told in alternating past and present timelines, the book highlights the importance of communication, family, friendship, and self-confidence. Readers will learn about bat mitzvahs, and the author includes a "bat mitzvah" glossary at the back of the book. Characters briefly talk about their crushes and use mild insults like "jerk," "freak," "stupid," "suck up," and "dumb.'

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What's the story?

Told in alternating past and present chapters, BECOMING BRIANNA follows Bri in the eight months leading up to her bat mitzvah as well as on the day of her big event. Bri doesn't like to be the center of attention, but eight months provide several opportunities for her to step outside of her comfort zone. As she learns a new language and deals with drama at school and home, will Bri find the time to connect with her faith before the big day?

Is it any good?

This charming graphic novel highlights family, friendship, and faith. Fans of the Emmie & Friends series will recognize many characters and love how Becoming Brianna effortlessly alternates between the past and present to tell the story. Figuring out what you believe in can be challenging, and Bri spends a lot of time questioning her religion. But as she learns the meaning of true friendship and discovers why her bat mitzvah means so much to her mom, tweens will see how important it is to find a supportive community and take a leap of faith.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the graphic novel format. How is it effective in telling the story of Becoming Brianna?

  • How have new friends come into your life? How have you helped build new friendships?

  • How do the characters demonstrate communication? Why isi this an important character strengths?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love graphic novels and middle school stories

Themes & Topics

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