|Something to say|
Author: Ramee, Lisa Moore
A friendless girl who has developed a knack for keeping her head down at school resists a red-headed newcomer who wants to make friends, before the two are paired for a class assignment that she hopes will secure her position on the debate team.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 509242
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 When 11-year-old Jenae arrives at John Wayne Junior High for her first day at the school, it’s surrounded by protesters demanding a name change to honor civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez. While racial issues concern Jenae, who is Black, that morning she’s focused on dealing with start-of-school jitters and with Aubrey, a boy who wants to befriend her. At home, she has different troubles. Irrationally blaming herself for her grandfather’s stroke and the injury that has put her brother’s college basketball career on hold, she feels responsible for making things better, but her methods sometimes backfire. And though she suffers from a paralyzing fear of public speaking, when a crucial moment arrives, she pulls herself together and speaks from the heart. The author of A Good Kind of Trouble (2019), Rame´e creates a number of convincing characters with depth and individuality. Jenae’s distinctive first-person narrative is engaging as the story gradually builds momentum and she reveals her thoughts more fully. This satisfying novel revolves around civic engagement, family relationships, and an unexpected but ultimately welcome friendship. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 3–7—Jenae likes to be invisible. She's starting junior high school without any friends, and she's just fine with that. Her plans start to fall through, however, when she meets Aubrey, a new boy from Chicago with flaming orange hair and a larger-than-life personality. Bonding over their favorite YouTube star, the two form a friendship. As part of an assignment for English class, Aubrey and Jenae are tasked with debating the school's proposed name change from John Wayne Junior High to Sylvia Mendez Junior High. Jenae would rather do anything than stand up in front of the class and speak, even though this cause means a lot to her. She also has her family to worry about: Her grandfather Gee suffers a stroke and loses the ability to speak, her father doesn't seem to have the time for her, Mama wants her to be bold and outgoing, and her brother Malcolm is home from playing college basketball due to a sports injury. Ramée (A Good Kind of Trouble) offers a strong representation of social anxiety in Jenae, and creates a dynamic and realistic cast of characters. The debate over the school's name change will prompt readers to reflect on timely social justice topics. VERDICT This is a compelling story about friendship, fighting for what you believe in, and finding your voice. A first purchase for middle grade collections.—Katharine Gatcomb, Portsmouth P.L., NH - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.