“How many times do I have to be brave?” – Violet
After a round of the playful Cheese Game goes awry, Violet and her brother Jobie are suddenly evicted from the comforts of their human home, and bravery becomes essential. These two small mice are forced to navigate a big world – one they’ve only known through the living room television set. Having never lived in the wild, Violet and Jobie have a lot to learn.
“She was going through a process.
She was getting used to an idea.
The idea that life was going to be different now.”
Jobie quickly learns that twigs aren’t food and you are supposed to run away from a fox, not toward it. Violet learns that “surfing the surface and cranking some turns” down a waterfall can bring unexpected joy and the idea of family can change and grow over time. From making friends to avoiding predators, this brother and sister duo have a wild adventure ahead, and readers get to go along for the raucous and often thought-provoking ride.
“There’s always an owl, but there are ways to live so that you’re not always afraid of the owl. Just aware of the owl.” – Zolian
Along the way, our two little mice meet Zolian, the self-proclaimed “oldest mouse ever,” who helps them learn important skills for their new home: which sounds are scary, how to dig a burrow, when to run for cover, and to always J.K.L. (Just Keep Living) Zolian’s wisdom extends beyond the lives of wild mice, though. Listen closely to the perspective of this elder – he has something to say to humans, too.
Violet and Jobie in the Wild by Newbery Medal winner Lynne Rae Perkins is perfect for anyone who has ever faced the challenge of navigating something new. Perkins reminds us that home is not a place but an idea and that love is not finite but expands as much as we allow it to.
Oh, and the answer to Violet’s question, “How many times do I have to be brave?”
“At least one more time. Always one more time.”