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Crystal Brave



"The earth may rumble, but it is no match for a brave spirit."

~ Joseph Stone, Crystal Brave: Earthquake at the Taum Sauk

Now Available!

A Crystal Brave adventure for young readers!


Crystal Brave: Lost in the Woods


Illustrated by Leo Hartas


8-year-old Crystal is digging for fossils when her dog, Tut, begins barking at something in the woods. What could it be? Their curiosity takes them deep into the dark woods among wild animals, caves and raging rivers.

Will they find the mysterious animal?

Will they find their way home?

3rd place, Show-Me Best Book Award
Missouri Writers' Guild, 2012


The day before Crystal Brave’s thirteenth birthday celebration, her parents leave for the Taum Sauk Mountain to study petroglyphs, planning to return the next day. All plans are disrupted by the long-predicted New Madrid earthquake. The devastation in Southeast Missouri cuts off all communication, leaving Crystal desperate to find out if her parents are safe. True to Brave family tradition, Crystal takes the courageous step of going to find them herself. With the special relationship between her and a horse and a dog, the generous mentorship of those she meets along her journey, and strength from the love for her family, Crystal faces some of her worst fears, earning passage into her teen years and learning the meaning of her family name.


One year after the earthquake at the Taum Sauk, Crystal is finally allowed to go on an archaeological dig with her parents, who are excavating a mysterious gravesite in the Ozark Mountains. Her friends, Joseph, Will, and Robin, join her to go trail riding near the site when the region is suddenly threatened by a devastating wildfire. Crystal must call upon her courage to help find Robyn’s lost horse, Shotgun, as well as help save the treasures of the Current, ancient and new.

Reviewer Comments

~Thank you!

"At the end of the book, the kids stood up and applauded! In my many years of teaching, I've never had that happen!" -3rd grade teacher, Bingham Elementary, Springfield, Missouri

"We bought your book as a Christmas present for my daughter, Emily (11), who loves horses, history, rocks, fossils and has an interest in archaeology. She started reading it yesterday and can't put it down. She will probably finish it today. Thank you for writing this book. It is great for her to see a character that has her same interests. We will be getting every book in this series. -Facebook Message

"BK Bradshaw gives this book a blend of nature, adventure and family connection. It is a wholesome and uplifting story."  -NOOK Reviewer


"The story of Crystal Brave's trip to the Taum Sauk is a thrilling ride through the Missouri countryside. As a young adult, I enjoyed reading the book. I would recomend that it is the perfect book to read with a youngster, as it engages all ages." Reviewer


"Brenda K. Bradshaw involves readers so deeply in the journey of Crystal Brave that the result is a dramatic adventure. The story is intense, yet young readers will acquire insight into what makes a person truly brave." -Lawrence and Suella Walsh

"This fantastic adventure coming-of-age story is set against the backdrop of a hypothetical earthquake along the New Madrid fault line of southwest Missouri. Best features - strong, capable girl protagonist, horses, falling rocks, aftershocks, and ancient cave paintings.This book will appeal to boys and girls, but I have to confess that as a parent, I loved it first! The attention to detail of actual landmarks and natural formations is refreshing, and the author's insight to the mind of a girl on the brink of maturity is perfect. This one's a keeper!" Reviewer

"I bought this book for my teen daughter and finished it before she did! I've been to the locations in the book and it was very realistic." Reviewer

I am so happy to have a book for both my son and daughter that will hold their attention. They won't be the first one to read it though. I couldn't put it down this weekend. Once I finished the book and wiped the tears of delight from my eyes, I was ready to make a reservation for a cabin in the Taum Sauk area of Missouri. It has everything an adolescent reader (and their parent) loves in a book. Horses, dogs, family, adventure, the big outdoors and more! I especially love that B.K. Bradshaw chose a strong Crystal Brave to take the reader through the story. B.K., I look forward to more stories! Reviewer


My first grader just finished this book and announced "it was so good I could not put it down!" This is the first time she has been sucked in by a book and been totally taken by it. For reference, my daughter is reading at about a high-third grade level. I highly recommend this for grade school readers. — Reviewer

My personal thanks for representing Missouri writers by contributing a wonderful story for young readers. I read it myself and enjoyed it immensely. —Deb Marshall, Missouri Writers Guild

A straightforward, well-told adventure for young adult readers. It’s a suspenseful, well-developed story. A great read for young readers!—Comments from the 2012 Missouri Writers Guild President's Contest Judging Panel about CRYSTAL BRAVE: EARTHQUAKE AT THE TAUM SAUK

Great debut novel that is family safe and families will LOVE. Filled with science, history, and modern adventure.  — Goodreads Reviewer


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