by Paige L. Starr
About the Book
Looking different can be scary, but it does not mean it is bad. This book was inspired by the author’s younger brother who was born with a cleft lip—a birth defect that originates from Van der Woude Syndrome. This book is a nod to him and what he has gone through as a child.
Brave Blake tells the story of Blake who is hoping to win the 2nd grade’s “Best Smile” competition, but fears that his birth defect will hinder what his classmates think of him. On the first day of school, he faces the known bully who questions him about his scar. Nervous, Blake fabricates a story to deflect from the truth. The bully finds Blake in a fib and calls him out in front of the class and Blake is left feeling defeated, but his brothers console him and help him regain his confidence. Simultaneously, the bully realizes why Blake told the story instead of telling the truth. When announcement day approaches, the kids come to terms with the results and find friendship.
The author hopes people who read Blake’s story embrace their difference and wear it as a permanent accessory.
About the Author
Paige L. Starr is an alumna of Delsea Regional High School and Rowan College of South Jersey. She is currently a student at Rowan University, where she is earning her bachelor’s degree while majoring in inclusive education and minoring in middle school social studies. Starr is truly thrilled for her future as a teacher. She is most proud of the educational organization she cofounded called Aspire to Inspire. Another accomplishment she loves is the lending library she and her mother created at a local park. Reading and spreading education are two of Starr’s many passions and sharing them with others is the greatest joy of her life!