|About the Book|
Set in the late 1990s in the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, A Scout is Brave, tells the coming-of-age story of 14-year-old Joshua Ishkoday, a part Native American boy coming to terms with his sexual orientation. Joshua isMoreSet in the late 1990s in the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, A Scout is Brave, tells the coming-of-age story of 14-year-old Joshua Ishkoday, a part Native American boy coming to terms with his sexual orientation. Joshua is new to the Scout troop that invites him to a week of summer camp in northern Wisconsin. Some of the weaker kids in the troop soon realize they have a special friend in Joshua, who is not afraid to stand up to the troops ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly see their own inner worth and strength. Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he comes to terms with his developing feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s tough and stern Scoutmaster. The two quickly realize they have more in common than just Scouting, as they confide in each other their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship soon faces its greatest challenge, as the homophobic troop bullies come to believe that a queer has “infected” their troop. Struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and with the troop bullies, while at the same time discovering the camps deep, dark secret, Joshua has to summon all of his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave. A Scout is Brave is especially timely in light of the increased media attention to anti-gay bullying and the string of high profile gay teen suicides. The novel powerfully portrays the psychology of bullying and demonstrates the pervasiveness of bigotry in American culture.