Janet Sumner Johnson
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26 Days of Facing the Chicken Exit: DAY 1

Jul 06, 2022 Books, Giveaway, Publishing Comment

My next Picture Book, BRAVER THAN BRAVE, comes out in 26 days!!! (August 1, 2022) It’s illustrated by the amazing Eunji Jung, and published by Capstone Editions, a Capstone Imprint. Woo hoo!!!!

I’m counting down with 26 days of Facing The Chicken Exit, and today is DAY 1. Here we go!

DAY 1: The Legend of the Chicken Exit

When my kids were young, we went to an amusement park that had some amazing rollercoasters. My kids were little, but middle child was determined to go on the smallest of them. We waited in line, but the closer he got, the less certain he was about riding it.

We got to the front, and lo and behold, we found this “Chicken Exit.” That moment became a key moment for him as he had to decide what to do.

It also became the inspiration for my upcoming book BRAVER THAN BRAVE! So of course we had to take a trip back to that very amusement park to visit the inspirational Chicken Exit and get some pictures.

Janet, a white woman with graying blond hair smiles and points to a yellow sign that says "Chicken Exit."

Here he is, standing in that exit now that he’s grown and more experienced. Oh how I wish I had a picture of him back then. It was an easy decision to march past it this time, but little him really struggled. Little him HATED the idea of going through that chicken exit, but the roller coaster was big & scary. 

The Ride Attendant said, “After the first hill, the rest is easy.”
So little him did it.
A teenager stands silhouetted in a doorway with a rollercoaster in the background. A sign above the door reads "Chicken Exit."
I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be Brave. Sometimes it’s Brave to ride the coaster. Sometimes it’s Brave to take the chicken exit. It’s different for everyone, because WE are all different.  We all have different needs. Different talents. Different fears.
A gray-haired white man in an orange shirt sits next to a strawberry blond white teenager in a blue shirt on a rollercoaster ride. They are both smiling and giving a thumbs up.
We all face figurative chicken exits as we go through life, and I’m so excited to share a new story each day this month of how people and picture book characters have faced down their own chicken exits!
Also, in celebration of the upcoming release of BRAVER THAN BRAVE, I’ve got two giveaways going on right now. One on Twitter, which you can enter HERE. And one on Instagram, which you can enter HERE. They both open through July 23rd, and they are both open to wherever Book Depository delivers. Good luck!
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