Cory Woodford, aka "The Kid", is determined to live up to his intimidating family legacy of bravery. While his father is off fighting in World War II, eleven-year-old Cory and his friends spend the summer building go-carts, drawing comics, playing baseball . . . and tracking down Nazi spies. Right and wrong are more complicated than in Cory's beloved comics, and he and his friends soon learn that the world isn't as black and white as they thought. In an age when friendships are deep and complex, Cory makes mistakes and hurtful decisions. Based on the author's personal experience and research, Woodford Brave is a deeply satisfying novel of summer and friendship, but also explores what it means to be a son, a friend, a neighbor—and truly brave. Includes an author's note and selected bibliography.
With WWII raging overseas, Cory Woodford is filled with pride that his father is fighting Nazis. Cory longs for superpowers like the heroes of the comics he both reads and creates so that he can prove he is "Woodford Brave" like his forebears. To Cory, this means catching Mr. Ziegler, his German neighbor, whom Cory and is certain is a Nazi spy. Cory is also worried about losing his best friend Aiden to their baseball-loving neighbor Sawyer, and a new girl in town drives an additional wedge between them. Jones (Ratfink) captures the absolutism with which Cory initially views the world where all Germans are bad, and bravery means never showing vulnerability then deftly charts his journey to discovering that life has more shades of gray than he had realized. Period details, like the victory gardens Cory's mother and neighbors tend, and newcomer Whipple's b&w comics sequences (which track a superhero story Cory writes and draws over the course of the novel) help give readers a sense of the story's wartime setting, though the questions Cory faces are just as relevant for readers today. Ages 9 up.