**eBook Only** A rescue story of love and trust between a boy and a dog from the talented author of Paws.

Do you hear that? You’re Cliff now, and your life is going to get better, I promise.

When eleven-year-old Matt finds Cliff, a hurt, neglected dog abandoned in the bush, he knows the brave little pup needs saving. He wants to help. But can he?

Lately, Matt has had way more bad days than good days. The pieces of his life just don’t seem to fit together any more and he doesn’t understand why. He's finding it impossible to concentrate at school and has lost interest in the activities he used to love. Plus, he’s tired all the time.

Matt's too afraid to share what's really going on in his own head with anyone. His friends and family will never understand . . . maybe it's not only Cliff who needs saving.


Kate Foster is a children's author writing about friends, family, and dogs. Originally from a small town in the south east of England, she now lives on the stunning Gold Coast in Australia with her family and second-hand dogs. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching a wider understanding of autism and mental illness via positive approach and representation.


This beautiful, poignant, heartfelt book is a must-read for kids and adults alike. A stunning, empowering insight into childhood mental illness — with one very cute dog, too!

Kate Gordon

An important book for our times, The Bravest Word is told with heartbreaking honesty, insight and compassion.You will be uplifted and inspired by Matty’s journey and his deep and instant connection with rescue dog, Cliff who helps him be brave enough to face the truth, and find a way forward.

Dee White

I came out of reading The Bravest Word, feeling that it’s the perfect book for any kid who has anxiety or depression in their life – whether that’s their own, or someone else’s in their life (and that’s just about all children). But it’s also the perfect book for parents, sibling, friends, and neighbours to read to get a glimpse into the roller-coaster of experience someone dealing with mental illness issues goes through. Touching, sometimes funny, and with the cutest dog in recent literature, The Bravest Word is an honest exploration of a boy’s struggle with acknowledging he needs help. It will resonate with anyone who has ever hesitated to reach out. It may also have the greatest Dad ever, a fantastic role model for kindness and gentleness and strength.

Pamela Freeman

I devoured (The Bravest Word) in a few days, during my daily half-an-hour sitting in the car under a tree, waiting at school pick-up. I cried. Numerous times. In the car. And was ultimately left uplifted and filled with warm feelings… highly recommend this book for all people aged from 10+. There are some difficult issues and emotions, which will open up opportunity for discussion with your children and young people. The very important point that speaking up and asking for help is brave, will be beneficial for anyone who has ever struggled with depression, or any other problem.

Dr Helen Edward

Wow, this book had me feeling all the feels. A book about depression in kids. This hits hard and is beautifully handled. I admit I got teary – several times…I think a book like this can foster good conversation amongst kids, and also between kids and the adults in their lives. It’s okay to talk about it. We should be talking about it. There is a widespread view in Australia about the “blokey bloke” the “mateship” paradigm, the “don’t be weak, don’t be a wuss” mentality. It’s changing slowly as we educate the masses that mental health is important and that “anyone can feel this way” but there is a long way to go to curb the stigma of shame around poor mental health. It is not weak to talk about your feelings and to “talk to your mates.” Mental health matters and I think it’s books like The Bravest Word that will help encourage the conversation. I definitely recommend this read – for all ages.

Solo The First


Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, Children’s Book Award
Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature
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