The Courage to Rise

by Tricia Jacobson
Marie Beswick Arthur


The Courage to Rise

by Tricia Jacobson
Marie Beswick Arthur

Nova: The Courage to Rise charts the exploration and inner growth journey of two teenage girls: down-to-earth Aurora and quirky Stella.


Both grew up without her mother—Aurora in the foster system, Stella raised by her grandfather. Their search for mothering messages in the stars while they’re on an inner-city camping adventure is sparked by a torn bit of a discarded research paper. A quest is initiated.

Aurora and Stella discover self-love and self-worth while learning the value of being part of a community working toward a greater good. When they can’t afford to recharge the data on their phones, they’re surprised to find deeper connections with themselves, each other, and those around them. They learn about the importance of empathy and kindness, authenticity and trustworthiness, positive self-talk and body image, new ways to think about faith, and that they can choose to think differently about their past to build a meaningful future.

I started on a journey to write a book in early 2020 that I felt inadequate to take. I had convinced myself that I was not a writer, let alone an author. But I was passionate and felt a conviction to do it. I was passionate about inspiring and encouraging girls to thrive. Being the mother to four girls certainly contributes to this passion. This process—of creating the book and realizing my vision—confirmed for me that passion can take you places you can’t begin to imagine.


Intl Impact Awards Seal

International Impact Book Awards 2021
Young Adult WINNER
Female Empowerment WINNER

Firebird Awards Seal

Firebird Book Awards 2021
Coming of Age 3rd place winner
Young Adult Fiction 3rd place winner

nova icon

While Aurora and Stella are questlisting, a surprising encounter helps Aurora answer questions about what happened to her mother—answers she’s not sure she’s ready to hear. And Stella’s journey puts her on an unexpected path: that of being a leadership resource for other young women just like her who are searching for themselves and a better life.

Sneak peek at the table of contents for Nova


Letter to the Reader 1


Aurora and Stella Count the Stars


Questlisting and Camping


Aurora and the Tree


Stella and the Spoon


Aurora and Stella Dig for Gold


Pinky on Ditching Drama


Aurora the Advocate


Questlist Findings and the Strawberry Farm


Stories in the Stars


Aurora and Her Birth Mother


Stella Finds a Talisman


Stella Shares a Secret


The Courage to Rise


Aurora and Stella Make a Pact


Letter to the Reader 2

In Nova (excerpt)

Aurora, wake up. I found something over by the concession.

It’s still dark.

I couldn’t sleep. You said, “Let’s go find out.” About our mothers and who mothers are.

It was a metaphor, Stella. Not genealogy. 
I meant like go on a quest to find out the answers to what we’re missing.
To find guides, lessons, a kind of pilgrimage.

I’m not an idiot. I know you meant a metaphor—what you said was a symbol of what you meant. But I couldn’t sleep so I went for a walkabout.

A walkabout? We’re not in Australia.

Okay, I went over by the concession, in case it was left open. Just in case.
And I wouldn’t have taken anything more than a bag of chips, I really wouldn’t.
And all that talk last night made it hard to sleep. We’re on this student camp-in-the-city thing, but really, you made it into something else last night.

And, I found...

Please tell me it wasn’t open.

There’s a motion light. It comes on in the dark
when a person is by the concession entrance.

I’m not eating stolen food.

Stop. I didn’t go in. Okay, it was locked.
But I found this list. Will you at least sit up? The sun’s rising.
I’ve never been up for one before and I know you haven’t either.
You’ve got to see this. I think it’s a sign.

There. Happy? I’m sitting, but I’m staying in my sleeping bag. 

Read it. Read it aloud, Aurora.

It’s too dark.

Squidge your body around so the rising sun’s behind you.
Hold the paper over a bit. You’ll be able to read it.

“Necessary for Life.”  Stella, this is lame.

Read some more or I swear I’ll pull you out of your sleeping bag. 
Look at the top! It says “The Quest."

No, Stella, it’s torn. It probably said “The Questions.”

No, don’t you see? It says “The Quest.” Maybe it was questions
for some student who was studying, but it was by the concession for me to find, 
and it now says “The Quest.” Keep reading.

“Needs… not wants… Faith... Confidence...Positive self-talk...
Positive body image... To express gratitude... A passion... To be kind... Air...

See, an amazing list, huh?

"I loved this book. It was beautifully written and full of emotions and important life lessons. It talks about all of the challenges young girls have to face growing up and how they overcome them. Both Aurora and Stella are very wise for their age and i enjoyed reading about how they view the world and how connected they are to their surroundings. They are both extremely lovable and strong characters. Amazing book!"

NetGalley reviewer

"Nova: The Courage to Rise is an empowering book about two teen girls who go on a quest to find themselves while encouraging other girls to do the same. The girls were given a rough go, but that didn’t stop them from holding true to themselves. This book will inspire you to do the same. I wish it were available to read in my teen years. Highly recommend!"

Amazon reviewer

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Available in eBook, paperback, and coming soon in audiobook.

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