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Dear Children is both frightening and funny, but the protagonists really are heroes, and often they display impressive heroic virtues.

Moments when characters are badasses include:

  • Cailin is The Heart of the Journalism Club, and sometimes she really shows it in courage, caring and idealism beyond the ordinary.
    • She never swerves in her resolve to bring supernatural mysteries to light, and to expose the truth in general, even when it leads her into dangerous and difficult places.
      • She displays serious physical courage when she shields Chelle from the Wesley-thing Shadow Beast in the tunnels under the port. She doesn't even think twice about it: she's bigger and stronger, and Chelle is her friend. This action, by itself, leads Chelle to forgive Cailin for her earlier thoughtless comment about her Missing Mom.
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    • She demonstrates great charisma when she delivers an impromptu speech about courage, decency and responsibility to both the Journalism Club and the Drama Club, gaining Whitney's assistance in investigating Wesley's fate. Indeed, she so impresses Whitney that they become friends.
      • She displays admirable moral courage when she insists that Whitney has the right to see Wesley's torture porn. She knows that Whitney won't like it — it's disgusting enough for Cailin to view, and Whitney will take it far more personally. Whitney's been bonding with her, and the last thing Cailin wants to do is seriously upset her. Yet she never doubts that Honesty Is the Best Policy, and that it would be morally wrong to shield Whitney from the Awful Truth. Cailin has strong moral integrity.

  • Chelle is a small but tough Badass Bookworm who rarely loses her head even in dangerous situations and does what she has to win through.
    • She half-carries Cailin to safety after their subterranean encounter with the Wesley-Thing. This means supporting someone larger than herself, with the denser muscular and skeletal anatomy of a boy, through at least a quarter-mile of dark partly-flooded tunnels, while having to worry every step of the way that she might be ambushed by a monster she knows to be lurking in there.
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    • At the end of the fight between Devin and Aaron, when the two pull knives on each other and things might get far too lethal for the provocations, Chelle
      • (1) spots what's happening, and
      • (2) when no one else will help her, leaps forward and
      • (3) showily slaps Devin while grabbing his knife, to both end the fight and hide the fact that he had a knife to begin with, in full awareness that
      • (4) she is a small and unarmed girl putting herself right in the middle of a fight between two larger boys armed with potentially-deadly weapons. No wonder Coach Gordon is impressed!
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