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By Michelle Kadarusman
Juvenile Fiction for Ages 8–12
ISBN: 978-1-77278-260-8
List Price: $23.95 CAD / $18.95 USD HC
Hardcover with dust jacket
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8 inches / 13.97 x 20.32 cm
Pages: 224

Publication date: August 16, 2022

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Rights Available: World ex. North America, Australia, New Zealand & Oceania

An honest and stirring novel about the choices made by young environmental activists, and the balancing act between consequence and triumph.

Malia has had a privileged upbringing in Indonesia, but since her Indonesian father died, her Canadian mother wants to return to her own family on the other side of the world. Malia is determined to stay. Indonesia is her home, and she loves it. Besides, if she leaves, how can she continue to fight for her country’s precious rainforests?

Ari knows he is lucky to be going to school and competing on the chess team, even if it means an endless round of chores at his uncle’s restaurant. Back in his home village, he and his cousin Suni dreamed about getting a chance like this. But now he is here without her, and the guilt is crushing him. As if that weren’t enough, he’s horribly worried about Ginger Juice, his uncle’s orangutan. The too-small cage where she lives is clearly hurting her body and her mind, but where else can she go? The rainforest where she was born is a palm oil plantation now.

In Berani, Governor General’s Award finalist Michelle Kadarusman spins together three perspectives: Malia, who is prepared to risk anything for her activism, Ari, who knows the right path but fears what it will cost, and Ginger Juice, the caged orangutan who still remembers the forest and her mother. The choices the young people make will have consequences for themselves, for Ginger Juice, and for others, if they are brave enough—or reckless enough—to choose.

Awards and Honours:

2022 Junior Library Guild selection
2022 Quill & Quire “Our Environment: A Helping Hand” Feature
2022 The Children’s Book Council “August: Hot Off the Press” feature


A stirring introduction to the plight faced by orangutans.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The expansive story, nimbly told from both human and orangutan viewpoints, gives glimpses into different class, race, and even species experiences while introducing readers to life in Indonesia and the plight of the orangutans. Ari and Malia are warm and well-intentioned guides, and it’s impossible to resist Ginger Juice’s gentle charms. A compelling call to action and a crucial reminder that, while doing what is right is not always easy, it is always worthwhile.”—Booklist

“Berani by Michelle Kadarusman is a perfect book for international schools… A fantastic read that shows kids (and readers of all ages) to believe in their values and that they, too, can change the world.”—The International Educator

“This author was a Governor General’s Award finalist for her 2019 book, GIRL OF THE SOUTHERN SEA, and I will pick up anything she writes. Still, the stunning cover of BERANI designed by Peggy Collins will draw readers to this story told from three different points of view that focus on environmental activism in Indonesia…These three perspectives weave together into a moving and inspiring story about standing up for what you believe.”—Kathie MacIsaac

“Michelle Kadarusman’s latest middle grade book, Berani, was a great read… Each voice is unique, and each story is connected to the other…I look forward to reading it again.”—Book Time

Michelle Kadarusman always writes from the heart. The love she has for the places she writes about is evident throughout all her stories and none more than in Berani…If you enjoyed The One and Only Ivan, put Berani on your TBR list. I think you will love it even more.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“What an awesome book! … [Michelle Kadarusman] has such a talent for creating worlds…this book was a treasure to read.”—Mrs. Book Dragon

“Berani by [Michelle Kadarusman] captivates, inspires, and gives hope. This tale takes you to Indonesia through three perspectives interwoven with culture, environment, and character growth.”—@westmaplemedia

“This fine novel, set in Indonesia is a story of activism and animal rights, choices and consequences…my guess [is] it will be on several Canadian award lists in the year ahead.”—Dr. Larry Recommends