Book: Something To Say by Lisa Moore Ramee
Published July 2020 by Balzer + Bray|304 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
From the author of A Good Kind of Trouble, a Walter Dean Myers Honor Book, comes another unforgettable story about finding your voice—and finding your people. Perfect for fans of Sharon Draper, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds.
Eleven-year-old Jenae doesn’t have any friends—and she’s just fine with that. She’s so good at being invisible in school, it’s almost like she has a superpower, like her idol, Astrid Dane. At home, Jenae has plenty of company, like her no-nonsense mama; her older brother, Malcolm, who is home from college after a basketball injury; and her beloved grandpa, Gee.
Then a new student shows up at school—a boy named Aubrey with fiery red hair and a smile that won’t quit. Jenae can’t figure out why he keeps popping up everywhere she goes. The more she tries to push him away, the more he seems determined to be her friend. Despite herself, Jenae starts getting used to having him around.
But when the two are paired up for a class debate about the proposed name change for their school, Jenae knows this new friendship has an expiration date. Aubrey is desperate to win and earn a coveted spot on the debate team.
There’s just one problem: Jenae would do almost anything to avoid speaking up in front of an audience—including risking the first real friendship she’s ever had.
Something To Say was really cute! I really liked it, and I’m glad I read it.
I really liked Jenae, and she was very easy to relate to. I always hated talking in front of an audience and I could relate to doing anything possible to not do it. I never went to the lengths she did, but I completely understand why she’d do anything she could to not do it.
I loved her relationship with her family, but especially her grandpa. It made me think of my grandparents, and how I grew up with them. I really do love books where we see the characters have relationships with their grandparents. When her grandpa has a stroke, I felt how much it affected her- I think a lot of it was because my grandma had a stroke when I was in high school, and I knew what she was going through. I really was reminded of my own relationship with my grandparents when I read this book.
I liked that she did speak up at the meeting regarding the name change for her school. I don’t think it was easy for her, but she did it anyway. It was a pretty important part of the book, and it’s something I can see happening today. If it’s not happening somewhere, I’d be really surprised. But I am glad they changed the name of her school. There are people who aren’t going to like it, but there are also people who are happy about it, and are glad the name of the school reflects the community that it’s a part of.
This book was great to read, and I not only liked the story but the characters!
4 stars. I really liked Something To Say, and I’m glad we saw Jenae learn to speak up when she really needed to. I loved the family relationships we saw in the book too!