Brandon Badger’s Special Valentine, by Amy Best
Five out of five stars
For boys, one of the most terrifying situations that they generally must deal with is asking a girl for a date. Nothing can prepare you for the anxiety and fear of rejection as you try to work up the courage to ask the question. Yet, doing it for the first time is a fundamental rite of passage as your perspective goes from girls as playmates to girls as dates.
Brandon Badger is a member of a community of sentient and social animals and he works at a bakery. Brenda is a very interesting local girl and Brandon wants to invite her to the Valentine’s Day skating party. The thought of asking Brenda to the party makes Brandon nervous and feel awkward. As he tries to work up the courage to ask Brenda, Brandon consults some of his friends, they all tell him to just be himself. Finally, Brandon summons the strength to ask and Brenda gives him an enthusiastic “Yes.” They attend the party and have a great time and Brandon has learned a valuable lesson.
Asking someone for a date can simultaneously be the simplest yet most challenging act. Children reading this book will learn that while it is scary, the potential rewards far outweigh the downside. Everyone in the story is nice, so there are no negative consequences. The book is a gentle introduction to one of the essential social skills we all must develop, the ability to ask another for something where there is the possibility of rejection.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.