'Star Wars' Book 'The High Republic: A Test of Courage' Follows a Teen Jedi's Journey

Middle school kids will actually want to seek out a book with the word “test” in its title. The upcoming middle grade novel Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage is one of many books coming out of the High Republic subseries, but the first to exclusively cater to young readers, who will get the chance to see characters their age in a Star Wars story. Written by Justina Ireland, The High Republic: A Test of Courage follows a teen Jedi and her ragtag group of friends, including a young Padawan, a tech kid, and the son of an ambassador, on an adventure during the peak of the Jedi Order.

StarWars.com revealed new details and the cover for the upcoming middle grade novel Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage. Targeted at young middle school-aged kids, The High Republic: A Test of Courage is a nice reminder that Star Wars was originally made for kids, and continues to cater to them.

“I think adults tend to get bogged down in our very complex yet somehow mundane daily lives, and one of the best things about kids books is we’re allowed to remember that life was once exciting and a vast, magical mystery. Especially Star Wars books!” A Test of Courage author Justina Ireland said in an interview with StarWars.com. “Middle grade books are a great way to visit the galaxy for a little while and remember why we all fell in love with Star Wars in the first place. And for kids, it’s a place for them to interact with ideas of character and struggle without the limitations imposed by icky grown-ups.”

The novel takes place centuries before the events of The Phantom Menace and follows “a ragtag group of young adventurers — newly-minted teen Jedi Vernestra Rwoh, a young Padawan, audacious tech-kid Avon Starros, and the son of an ambassador – after a galaxy-wide disaster leaves them stranded on a jungle moon,” per StarWars.com. The young teen Jedi Vernestra might especially stand out, as she’s dressed similarly to Rey in the new Star Wars trilogy. It’s likely a deliberate marketing tactic from Disney and Lucasfilm, to get young Star Wars fans to pick up a book lead by a (green-skinned) Rey lookalike, but Ireland told StarWars.com that Vernestra is a good character in her own right.

“I love that Vernestra isn’t prideful, she doesn’t see herself as any kind of hero or anyone special,” Ireland says. “Rather, she believes wholeheartedly in the Order and the Force, and she believes her job in the galaxy to promote the best qualities of both by helping others and being responsible and level headed even under the worst of conditions.”

See the cover for Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage below and read an excerpt from the book at StarWars.com.

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