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Archives - May 2017

Interview: Svetlana Chmakova, author of Brave

May 22, 2017

In 2015, Svetlana Chmakova released AWKWARD, a graphic novel set in Berrybrook Middle School, which introduced readers to Peppi, a young girl trying (awkwardly) to navigate the difficult social ins and outs of middle school. AWKWARD was named as one of the School Library Journal's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2015 and was later added to YALSA's 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. This year, Svetlana returns with BRAVE, which is also set at Berrybrook Middle School, but introduces new characters Jensen, Jenny and Akilah as they navigate the drama of being a pre-teen. In anticpation of the follow-up to Svetlana Chmakova's critically acclaimed graphic novel,'s Matthew Burbridge spoke to Svetlana about representing diversity in her books, her inspiration, and how she handles both writing and illustrating her books.