Review / Becoming Brianna

20211211ma_4022Book: Becoming Brianna (2020)
Author: Terri Libenson
Genre: MG, Contemporary/Graphic Novel
Companion Book to: Invisible Emmie

Opening lines from the book …
Well, here I am again. How, how, how did I get myself into this TWICE? Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Or just a sucker. That last one probably nails it. Why else would I put myself in the spotlight again?


1) I loved being back with the Emmie crew! This is Brianna’s book, and she’s being forced into another public speaking event. Instead of a talent show, her mother has talked her into going through with a bat mitzvah. The story is told from the “Now” and the “Past Leading up to Now,” which I thought worked well…

2) Then there’s the storyline of Brianna’s new friends. Emmie thinks they’re just playing with Brianna, but Brianna won’t listen to Emmie. (Cue: Friend fall-out!) I thought this was an interesting subplot of the book and I liked how it was dealt with at the party.

3) The mom is super intense! She has all these secret plan for the party after the service. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the party room is revealed. I’ll just say that I was pleasantly surprised. And (Spoiler! I like how Emmie was involved in helping the mom with the idea! End Spoiler.)

4) I loved the rabbi and the cantor. The rabbi especially. He was old, but had a super good sense of humor!

5) And this being an Emmie-book, I knew there would be some tiny little twist. I didn’t guess the twist until it happened, but I did notice it. And had I been actively trying to figure it out, I might have. But I also like being surprised, so I went into this book NOT looking for the twist.


1) (Slight spoiler – Emmie and Brianna ALWAYS have some sort of falling out! Sigh. I wish there was a little more variety with Brianna’s troubles. Oh, well, it wasn’t a major failing. It just felt like something I’ve read before. End spoiler.)


This is definitely an asset to the Emmie and Friends series. I like the hybrid graphic novel approach to these books. There are more words than in a typical graphic novel, which I really like. If you liked Invisible Emmie, I’d recommend this one as well.



Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

7 thoughts on “Review / Becoming Brianna

  1. I’m sure there will be readers who will identify with Brianna’s story. Like that the contemporary novels compliment one another and make for a great series. That is a big plus for readers. Need to read Invisible Emmie. Thanks for sharing today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really glad you enjoyed this book! This one, as well as the two before it (Positively Izzy and Just Jaime), are my personal favorites of the series (yes, I know that’s over half the series so far!). I really liked the way this dealt with kids’ relationship with religion—I had a bar mitzvah of my own, and it was definitely strange not feeling that much regarding religion but also trying to go through the motions.

    Also, I’m hoping to un-drop off the face of the earth with regards to the photo challenge—I saw the photo on your Instagram gadget of the Christmas tree made of books, and it is SO CUTE!!! Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Maria!


  3. This one and Just Jaime are my favorites in the series so far! I do agree that Emmie and Brianna seem to have a lot of fights, though. It’s like they still don’t really understand each other after all this time, and I’m not sure that’s entirely believable. But I do like that they always work it out.

    Also, yes, the rabbi is so great!

    Liked by 1 person

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