Something to Say
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 Details

TitleSomething to Say
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 14th, 2020
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062836731
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Something to Say Review

  • Camryn
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really sweet story about friendship. I loved Aubrey very much and want to adopt him. I did think this was too long, though.
  • Richie Partington
    January 1, 1970
    Richie’s Picks: SOMETHING TO SAY by Lisa Moore Ramée, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, July 2020, 384p., ISBN: 978-0-06-283671-7 “Here’s the big not-so-secret: Kids know what is going on. They also have the capacity to be deeply upset by it. What we might call ‘social justice’ boils down to what kids would call ‘fairness.’ As any parent knows, kids are keenly aware of who gets more cookies or less praise; studies tell us those as young as 15 months understand equitable treatment. Social issues like Richie’s Picks: SOMETHING TO SAY by Lisa Moore Ramée, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, July 2020, 384p., ISBN: 978-0-06-283671-7 “Here’s the big not-so-secret: Kids know what is going on. They also have the capacity to be deeply upset by it. What we might call ‘social justice’ boils down to what kids would call ‘fairness.’ As any parent knows, kids are keenly aware of who gets more cookies or less praise; studies tell us those as young as 15 months understand equitable treatment. Social issues like racism, sexism and classism are complex, but underlying them are simple concepts that kids can relate to and be moved by.”-- Caroline Paul, “Activism isn’t just for adults and teens. We need to teach younger kids to be activists, too.” ideas.ted.com (7/2/18)“With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”-- actor John Wayne, the Playboy interview (1971)“At that time, not only were schools segregated but also other public places as well, such as pools, parks, and movie theaters. Some businesses even had signs that read, ‘NO DOGS OR MEXICANS ALLOWED.’”-- from the picturebook, SEPARATE IS NEVER EQUAL: SYLVIA MENDEZ & HER FAMILY’S FIGHT FOR DESEGREGATION by Duncan Tonatiuh, Abrams, 2014“I hold my phone out and take a selfie. My first one. I get the vest I made out of the closet and put it on, then sling my clock bag over my shoulder and take some more acting like I’m cool like Astrid and that’s when my door opens.‘Dude,’ Malcolm says. ‘You are seriously tripping.’Right behind Malcolm is Aubrey.No way. No way is this flaming-hot-Cheeto-hair boy up here in my room.‘What are you doing here?’ I ask, letting my bag slide off my shoulder and onto the floor. ‘How do you know where I live?’Aubrey’s so fair, it’s easy to see the blush exploding all over his face like a bucket of red paint got tipped over his head. It makes his freckles stand out even more. ‘I sort of...followed you?’ He glances over at Malcolm and I’m sure Aubrey’s thinking that following a girl home is at the top of things her big brother might beat him up for.”Meet eleven-year-olds Jenae and Aubrey, the duo who have something to say in this easy-to-love tale of friendship and activism. Jenae is a quiet black girl who does her best to stay under the radar. But from the first day of junior high, she somehow attracts the attention of the ever-smiling, enthusiastic, Aubrey. He’s a new kid in town and a fellow aficionado of Jenae’s favorite YouTube show, Astrid Dane. Also, since the beginning of the school year, there has been a community debate over changing the name of their school from John Wayne Junior High to Sylvia Mendez Junior High. Aubrey and Jenae will end up learning a lot about these two historical figures when they pair up and choose the topic of the proposed school name change for an English class debate assignment. The only problem is that Jenae hates public speaking. She has no intention of standing up in front of the class. She comes up with a scheme to ditch school that day by deceiving both of her divorced parents, despite knowing that it will betray Aubrey, her one friend.Over the years, the composition of the southern California community that named the school after John Wayne has changed. So has the community’s tolerance for white supremacists. Jenae’s grandfather has told her how their southern California community was once all white, but when a black movie star moved in, white flight gave him the opportunity to purchase the spiffy old mansion that Jenae and her mom share with him.Jenae’s brother had been away at college until a serious knee injury ended his basketball career. Now, after surgery, Malcolm is convalescing at home, supposedly figuring out an alternate plan. When their grandfather Gee suffers a severe stroke and stops speaking, Jenae rises to the occasion, devising ways to help him begin to recover. It’s a challenge, but the pair figure out some workable communication strategies.Jenae and Aubrey are wonderful characters. It’s delightful to see them learning to express their needs to one another.Given current events, the activist-driven community debate over the name of the school will make this a perfectly timed read for the summer or the beginning of the new school year.Richie Partington, MLISRichie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.comhttps://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/[email protected]
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  • Yapha
    January 1, 1970
    Very good messages here about what it means to be a friend, with a little social activism on the side. The John Wayne vs. Sylvia Mendez debate was very well done. I'm glad to see Sylvia Mendez getting some more mainstream mentions. If students are interested in reading more about her after they finish this book, I recommend Sylvia & Aki. Recommended for grades 4 & up.eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss Very good messages here about what it means to be a friend, with a little social activism on the side. The John Wayne vs. Sylvia Mendez debate was very well done. I'm glad to see Sylvia Mendez getting some more mainstream mentions. If students are interested in reading more about her after they finish this book, I recommend Sylvia & Aki. Recommended for grades 4 & up.eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss
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  • Roni Derossett
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was a great middle-grade novel that I still fully enjoyed as an adult. The main character really spoke to me, as another person who feels like they might *literally* die if forced to speak in front of a group, and it has lots of other timely themes to it today that I think will resonate with kids.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusJanae feels that she has a lot of power over the universe, but she has uysed it incorrectly; she wanted her brother Marcus to stay at home rather than going to college, so she feels that his knee injury is her fault. He stays at home, and his college scholarship to play basketball is in jeopardy. This causes tension at home, especially with their mother. Their grandfather, Gee, also lives with them, since neither father is in the picture. Janae loves the online sh E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusJanae feels that she has a lot of power over the universe, but she has uysed it incorrectly; she wanted her brother Marcus to stay at home rather than going to college, so she feels that his knee injury is her fault. He stays at home, and his college scholarship to play basketball is in jeopardy. This causes tension at home, especially with their mother. Their grandfather, Gee, also lives with them, since neither father is in the picture. Janae loves the online show Astrid Dane, which her mother thinks is frivolous, but which is a good escape for the anxious girl. At school, she doesn't have any friends and tries to fly beneath everyone's radar. This works fairly well until Aubrey, a new boy with dyed red hair, shows up at school and shared her love of Astrid Dane. He is very exuberant and determined to befriend Janae, who grudgingly starts to have lunch with him. Janae is very concerned about her language arts class, which has a lot of speeches that will be assigned. She is so anxious that she feels she can't possibly do them. A lot of her anxiety is due to her fear that she causes bad things to happen to those she loves. When her school's name might change from honoring the problematic John Wayne to honoring Sylvia Mendez, Janae wants to get involved in championing the young civil rights pioneer, but she is afraid to say something. When Gee has a stroke and is incapacitated, her anxiety increases. Will she be able to be a good friend to Aubrey, overcome her fear of speaking in public, and use her energy to make a change in the world?Strengths: The biggest concern of middle school students is fitting in versus standing out. The second biggest concern is having friends. This addresses both of those concerns with a helping of social activism. I liked the inclusion of Sylvia Mendez; this would b e a good time to pitch Conkling's Sylvia and Aki (2011) to students! The multigenerational family is always interesting, and Aubrey's back story makes him an intriguing character. Weaknesses: The mother is very mean to Janae and is not supportive of her love of Astrid Dane, and doesn't get her help for her almost crippling anxiety. The school is also not very supportive, although the language arts teacher is portrayed as being the best in the school. Also, there could have been a tiny bit more explanation on why the school would have been named after John Wayne; today's students will have no idea who he was. What I really think: This is a great addition to recent books about social activism, such as this author's A Good Kind of Trouble, Schroeder's Wish on all the Stars, Maldonado's What Lane?, and Budhos' The Long Ride.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Review copy thanks to Balzer & Bray Review copy thanks to Balzer & Bray
  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Jenae goes through life being invisible. It’s her own superpower, just like her favorite show, Astrid Dane. At school she is entirely ignored, and she prefers it that way. Her family is different, though with her mother always rushing, her brother’s injury and her grandfather’s health problems, Jenae can end up invisible there too. So it’s very strange when the new boy at school notices Jenae immediately. Aubrey is also different from the other kids. He too loves Astrid Dane. But Jenae isn’t loo Jenae goes through life being invisible. It’s her own superpower, just like her favorite show, Astrid Dane. At school she is entirely ignored, and she prefers it that way. Her family is different, though with her mother always rushing, her brother’s injury and her grandfather’s health problems, Jenae can end up invisible there too. So it’s very strange when the new boy at school notices Jenae immediately. Aubrey is also different from the other kids. He too loves Astrid Dane. But Jenae isn’t looking for a friend at all. She keeps pushing Aubrey away, but Aubrey just keeps coming back. Soon Jenae realizes that she has found a friend. It’s too bad that circumstances are creating a time when she will have to ruin their friendship to avoid having to do the thing she fears most, giving a speech in front of a crowd.There is so much to love in this book. The warm family that Jenae comes from gives the book a wonderful heartbeat, including a brother who won’t really talk to her after his accident and his return home from college. Her grandfather is full of advice, pushing Jenae to face her fears head on. Jenae blames herself for much of what happens in her family, including her brother’s accident. She deeply believes that she can think strong thoughts and make things happen.Still, that’s not true when it comes to Aubrey, a new friend who brings lots of mixed feelings for Jenae. Jenae with her unique view of the world, her ability to be alone and not lonely, and her independence is also full of fears at times. She’s marvelously complex, geeky and individual. Aubrey is much the same, yet where Jenae is quiet, Aubrey always has something to say.Full of fascinating characters, this book is about finding your voice, standing up and insisting on being heard. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I am new to Libro.fm and this is one of my first YA novels narrated by an individual who sounds of like age as the characters. Well done!As the novel opens we are introduced to shy, longtime Southern California resident Janae and outgoing, Chicago transplant Aubrey. I like how Aubrey befriends Janae even as she attempts to blend in and become invisible. In English class, the teacher announces an assignment which highlights one of Janae’s worst fears - public speaking. Studies show public speakin I am new to Libro.fm and this is one of my first YA novels narrated by an individual who sounds of like age as the characters. Well done!As the novel opens we are introduced to shy, longtime Southern California resident Janae and outgoing, Chicago transplant Aubrey. I like how Aubrey befriends Janae even as she attempts to blend in and become invisible. In English class, the teacher announces an assignment which highlights one of Janae’s worst fears - public speaking. Studies show public speaking is a high ranking fear of individuals of all ages. As an educator I have observed student’s anxiety when presented with public speaking activities. The author did a great job articulating Janae’s thoughts, apprehension, and subsequent actions. I love a novel that imbeds learning opportunities within the storyline. Such is the case here as local citizens are in the middle of a debate regarding the potential name change of the junior high. Janae, Aubrey, and readers will learn a great deal about the famous actor John Wayne and the lesser know Civil Rights activist Sylvia Mendez and be presented with viewpoints from each side as to what the school’s name should be. This is such a timely topic! I’m always in awe of authors who have their finger on the pulse of our nation and their books become ways for conversation to occur within classrooms and homes. Facing fears, social activism, family units, and much more are explored in this quick middle grade chapter book. Potential triggers: childhood leukemia, divorce, illness of a grandparent.
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  • Melanie Dulaney
    January 1, 1970
    Seventh grader Jenae does everything in her power to not just blend in at school and, at times, her own home, but to remain absolutely invisible. She has no friends and has debilitating social anxiety. A newcomer to her Los Angeles area town, an impossible oral presentation assignment, and a debate over changing the name of her school all combine to help Jenae be a bit more visible. “Something to Say” provides readers with advice on being a friend, speaking up for what you believe in, and living Seventh grader Jenae does everything in her power to not just blend in at school and, at times, her own home, but to remain absolutely invisible. She has no friends and has debilitating social anxiety. A newcomer to her Los Angeles area town, an impossible oral presentation assignment, and a debate over changing the name of her school all combine to help Jenae be a bit more visible. “Something to Say” provides readers with advice on being a friend, speaking up for what you believe in, and living in a multi-generational home plus throws in valuable information about Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight to integrate California schools. Many students in grades 4-7 will be drawn to the comfortable themes of friendship and being strong in your beliefs and with the wide array of skin colors in this book, most will see someone who looks like them. Unfortunately, my heart yearned for someone to reach out to Jenae and be a support for her, to get her the help she needed to combat her inability to speak in front of others. No one gets a clue to how severely wounded she was by events in her life and how she distorted them so that she was to blame. She even tells her brother about what was going on in her mind and he only superficially acknowledges her deep seated pain. Final thought? This book will be an asset to many libraries, but if a child needs professional help, this one will not encourage him/her to seek it out.Thanks for the dARC, Edelweiss.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray in exchange for my honest review.Jenae is heading into another school-year with a single goal in mind: be invisible. Her plan has served her well for a long time as she uses it as a mechanism to cope with paralyzing social anxiety. And she probably would have been successful had it not been for the arrival of a new student. Aubrey arrives and for some reason he notices her. And he seems to have a singular goal himself: befriend Jenae.During all I received an ARC from Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray in exchange for my honest review.Jenae is heading into another school-year with a single goal in mind: be invisible. Her plan has served her well for a long time as she uses it as a mechanism to cope with paralyzing social anxiety. And she probably would have been successful had it not been for the arrival of a new student. Aubrey arrives and for some reason he notices her. And he seems to have a singular goal himself: befriend Jenae.During all of this Jenae must also cope with family issues: a mother who seems detached, an absent father, an injured brother who has given up and a grandfather who seems to be having some memory issues. But she also issues at school: public speaking and protestors who are arguing over whether or not to change the school's name from honoring a racist celebrity (John Wayne) to a Latinx hero (Sylvia Mendez).So I did really enjoy this book, but my biggest peeve was that it took me too long to feel invested in the characters. Will I buy this for my library? Undoubtedly! Will I read it again? Probably not. But, most importantly, will I recommend it to my kids? Without question. I think they will enjoy her journey as she learns to find her voice. And many kids are going to see themselves in this story.
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  • Kristi Wright
    January 1, 1970
    Charming Characters and Compelling Plot--Highly Recommend!SOMETHING TO SAY by Lisa Moore Ramée is such a lovely multi-generational story with a focus on family and friends. Eleven-year-old Jenae may be a loner by choice, but new kid Aubrey refuses to get that message. Nothing's going to stop him from being her friend. And she can't help but be drawn to his outgoing and upbeat personality. I'm so smitten with Aubrey. He's such a genuine, caring human. And Jenae is so earnest and worried--over her Charming Characters and Compelling Plot--Highly Recommend!SOMETHING TO SAY by Lisa Moore Ramée is such a lovely multi-generational story with a focus on family and friends. Eleven-year-old Jenae may be a loner by choice, but new kid Aubrey refuses to get that message. Nothing's going to stop him from being her friend. And she can't help but be drawn to his outgoing and upbeat personality. I'm so smitten with Aubrey. He's such a genuine, caring human. And Jenae is so earnest and worried--over her brother, her grandfather, her school. They are two of my favorite characters ever. Books by Ramée are like that. Her characters are real and delightful. It makes me happy to settle into whatever world she decides to create for her readers. SOMETHING TO SAY really does have something to say, about being a good friend family member, about overcoming fears, and about coping with bad things.I'm quite sure that other readers will fall in love with this novel. I already was a fan of Ramée's. Her debut novel, A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE, was a triumph with fabulous characters and an important topic (Black Lives Matter). Now, in SOMETHING TO SAY, I've found a whole new cast of characters to fall in love with. Can't wait for her next book!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Janae believes she has the power to make things happen. She firmly believes that by the power of her mind suggesting them, incidents happen. Take her brother’s basketball injury, for example, she missed him so much while he was away at college, she just wished he could come home for good. Then he had a potentially career ending injury....now he’s home. Her parents argued all the time, she just wanted it to stop. Then they divorced. It was a huge burden for a young kid to bear. Janae did not make Janae believes she has the power to make things happen. She firmly believes that by the power of her mind suggesting them, incidents happen. Take her brother’s basketball injury, for example, she missed him so much while he was away at college, she just wished he could come home for good. Then he had a potentially career ending injury....now he’s home. Her parents argued all the time, she just wanted it to stop. Then they divorced. It was a huge burden for a young kid to bear. Janae did not make friends easily and she marched to the beat of a different drummer. Then, on her first day at her new middle school, she met Aubrey. Aubrey was the polar opposite of Janae. All Janae wanted was to be invisible, to slide through school unnoticed and unseen. Aubrey was gregarious, with a loud voice and flamboyant manner, he was impossible to be ignored. Theirs was a most unlikely friendship.This was a delightful book about relationships, family, hurt and healing. It had it all, heartbreak and pain and love and laughter. I loved the life lessons and it is a great middle grade read.*uncorrected ARC of this book was provided by Edelweiss
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  • H
    January 1, 1970
    I actually listened to this courtesy of Libro.fm's educator listening program, that allows me to listen to books for free. Jenae just wants to be invisible - she isn't exactly happy without friends, but she isn't unhappy either. Or at least, the stress of friends feels scarier than the certainty of her life as it is. Particularly since Jenae is certain that when she accidentally wants something, her mind waves cause harm. She's convinced she caused her parents to break up, and her brother's poss I actually listened to this courtesy of Libro.fm's educator listening program, that allows me to listen to books for free. Jenae just wants to be invisible - she isn't exactly happy without friends, but she isn't unhappy either. Or at least, the stress of friends feels scarier than the certainty of her life as it is. Particularly since Jenae is certain that when she accidentally wants something, her mind waves cause harm. She's convinced she caused her parents to break up, and her brother's possibly college basketball career ending ACL injury. But then Aubrey, a irrepressible boy with bright red dyed hair, plops down next to her, and just insists on being her friend. Jenae is sometimes hard to like - she's mean sometimes to Aubrey, and almost frustratingly stubborn. But I think students will enjoy and relate to her fear of public speaking, her hard time understanding how to fit in, and her struggles. The book also has a back drop of a fight to rename Jenae's school for Sylvia Mendez (pair with Seperate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh), which makes the book very relevant in today's climate. Best for grades 4-6.
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    Eleven- year-old Janae living in southern California, is ready to pursue the challenge of middle school. During elementary school she was a bit of a loner, and is planning to follow the same safe path going forward. However on the first day of school she meets Aubrey, a biracial out going boy with bright red dyed hair. She bonds with him immediately over their common interest in Astrid Dane, a graphic novel/youTube star they both passionately follow. Even though Janae is very quiet, viewing Aubr Eleven- year-old Janae living in southern California, is ready to pursue the challenge of middle school. During elementary school she was a bit of a loner, and is planning to follow the same safe path going forward. However on the first day of school she meets Aubrey, a biracial out going boy with bright red dyed hair. She bonds with him immediately over their common interest in Astrid Dane, a graphic novel/youTube star they both passionately follow. Even though Janae is very quiet, viewing Aubrey's Astrid Dane bag, she knows they share a common passion for this superhero star. Janae is hard on herself, blaming every family mishap on her inner wishes, for instance her brother's broken leg, her mother's divorce, her grandfathers's problems etc. Cautious Janae finds a balance with exuberant Aubrey. However, when their social studies teacher announces the class will perform in a debate, Janae knows she won't be able to do it. With Aubrey's pizazz and exquisite ability to express himself, he knows that they will make a dynamic debate duo. Janae cringes at the thought! This story is full of drama, as little lies expand to big ones, expectations are not met, and Janae is spiraling down a scary road, even though she is basically such a kind child, interested in helping others. She's African American, her family consists of her older brother, frustrated by a serious basketball injury, her hard of hearing, yet inspiring grandfather, and her successful mother, whose busy job translates to her need for conscientious help from Janae, who is always ready to help. When Janae surprises her family with the unexpected, they aren't ready for the change. For readers who are quiet and follow their own path, there is a lot to love about this story. The constant drama caused by family dynamics makes this exciting book hard to put down. Highly recommended for middle school readers!
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  • TheNextGenLibrarian
    January 1, 1970
    I loved A Good Kind of Trouble so I was super pumped to read Moore’s latest...but it didn’t grab me like her other MG book. I found most of the characters unlikeable. The mom was always snapping at her kids, Malcolm sulked the entire book about his knee until the end, Janae was sooo mean to Aubrey, who only wanted to be her friend. He kept coming back over and over and I was like dude! Just cut your losses, but then I have to realize that a lot of people really are like that. It just made it har I loved A Good Kind of Trouble so I was super pumped to read Moore’s latest...but it didn’t grab me like her other MG book. I found most of the characters unlikeable. The mom was always snapping at her kids, Malcolm sulked the entire book about his knee until the end, Janae was sooo mean to Aubrey, who only wanted to be her friend. He kept coming back over and over and I was like dude! Just cut your losses, but then I have to realize that a lot of people really are like that. It just made it hard to like many of them, which in turn made it hard to like the book. I don’t mind public speaking so it was hard to connect with Janae about her fear of it. The end was great when she stood up at the school board and talked and they changed the name. Good message overall. 3.5 stars. Thanks Edelweiss for an ARC. All opinions are my own.
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  • Jennifer Hill
    January 1, 1970
    Jenae does not really fit in at school and doesn't feel like she has any friends. Her brother Malcolm is home from college with an injury that he is trying to recover from. Her parents are divorced, and she lives with her grandpa, Gee. As she starts school, a new kid enters, Aubrey, who has flaming Cheeto red hair and kind of latches on to her. She is not thrilled exactly, but at the same time doesn't necessarily want him to go away. As she struggles with wanting to be friends with Aubrey or not Jenae does not really fit in at school and doesn't feel like she has any friends. Her brother Malcolm is home from college with an injury that he is trying to recover from. Her parents are divorced, and she lives with her grandpa, Gee. As she starts school, a new kid enters, Aubrey, who has flaming Cheeto red hair and kind of latches on to her. She is not thrilled exactly, but at the same time doesn't necessarily want him to go away. As she struggles with wanting to be friends with Aubrey or not, she is assigned an assignment to give a speech and she has MAJOR anxiety about that, like run away, get sick, skip school anxiety. She also feels like she can cause things to happen like Malcolm getting hurt, her grandpa having a stroke, or her parents divorce. Lots of character development, learning how to be a friend, overcoming fears, and being honest. Plus the struggle of family dynamics. Good book for 5th and up.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    Jenae is about to start junior high and is content with keeping to herself as she has in all the years past, but she’s never met someone like Aubrey. SOMETHING TO SAY by Lisa Moore Ramée is an inspiring and empowering story about overcoming social anxiety and finding your voice. Jenae and Aubrey are my absolute new favorite pair! There is so much to their friendship beyond their mutual Astrid Dane fandom. I love how supportive Aubrey is to Jenae when they are tasked to prepare for a debate in En Jenae is about to start junior high and is content with keeping to herself as she has in all the years past, but she’s never met someone like Aubrey. SOMETHING TO SAY by Lisa Moore Ramée is an inspiring and empowering story about overcoming social anxiety and finding your voice. Jenae and Aubrey are my absolute new favorite pair! There is so much to their friendship beyond their mutual Astrid Dane fandom. I love how supportive Aubrey is to Jenae when they are tasked to prepare for a debate in English class. Lisa Moore Ramée easily incorporates current events and the necessary discussions of renaming schools named after racist historical figures. Seamlessly intertwined is Jenae’s intergenerational family dynamic and her desire to make things right with her older brother. Important and accessible, SOMETHING TO SAY is a wholly relatable story that I can’t wait to discuss with my students.
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  • Carli
    January 1, 1970
    Big thanks to Libro.fm’s Educator ALC program and Balzer and Bray for the chance to listen to this one early. It comes out 7.14!•⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. Sixth grader Jenae tries to blend into the background as much as possible. She harbors guilt for thinking she is responsible for her older brother’s knee injury and her parents’ divorce. When new kid Aubrey moves to her school and latches on to her, Jenae has her first friend - but can’t help worrying that she will mess things up. With a change to their sch Big thanks to Libro.fm’s Educator ALC program and Balzer and Bray for the chance to listen to this one early. It comes out 7.14!•⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. Sixth grader Jenae tries to blend into the background as much as possible. She harbors guilt for thinking she is responsible for her older brother’s knee injury and her parents’ divorce. When new kid Aubrey moves to her school and latches on to her, Jenae has her first friend - but can’t help worrying that she will mess things up. With a change to their school’s name up for vote and a class debate on the horizon, Jenae must find courage within herself and realize that she does have something to say. Highly recommended for fans of Blended, Fish in a Tree, and As Brave As You.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    I loved A Good Kind of Trouble, Ramee's debut, so had high expectations for this novel. This book felt timely in its portrayal of social activism and cancel culture as Jenae's Southern California community debated changing her school's name from John Wayne Junior High to Sylvia Mendez Junior High. However, this novel ultimately fell short for me. I did not like Jenae. I understand that she had severe social anxiety, but she was selfish and mean. I was not sure what to make of the secret power Je I loved A Good Kind of Trouble, Ramee's debut, so had high expectations for this novel. This book felt timely in its portrayal of social activism and cancel culture as Jenae's Southern California community debated changing her school's name from John Wayne Junior High to Sylvia Mendez Junior High. However, this novel ultimately fell short for me. I did not like Jenae. I understand that she had severe social anxiety, but she was selfish and mean. I was not sure what to make of the secret power Jenae thought she had over the universe, like mind control. Jenae was probably just channeling YouTube star Astrid Dane, but it seemed like more unresolved mental health issues to me -- 2.5 stars.
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  • Tara A
    January 1, 1970
    Jenae doesn't have any friends, and she prefers to be invisible. Aubrey, a new student, decides he wants to be Jenae's friend. They both learn about friendship, strength, how to listen, and how to speak out as their friendship develops. In the background, the community is fighting to change the name of their school. This issue moves to the foreground as Jenae and Aubrey choose the topic for their persuasive speeches (which Jenae does not want to give!). I had a hard time with the main character Jenae doesn't have any friends, and she prefers to be invisible. Aubrey, a new student, decides he wants to be Jenae's friend. They both learn about friendship, strength, how to listen, and how to speak out as their friendship develops. In the background, the community is fighting to change the name of their school. This issue moves to the foreground as Jenae and Aubrey choose the topic for their persuasive speeches (which Jenae does not want to give!). I had a hard time with the main character and how she treated others for much of the book. I’m glad I stuck with it, because I think the ending was great. The story addresses various timely topics, without being overwhelmed by trying to do too much. I listened to the ALC, which has good narration.
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  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    Janae likes being invisible and treats her ability to blend into the background like it's her hero, Astrid Dane's, superpower. But when she meets Aubrey, an outspoken, bright-haired, stands-out-in-a-crowd kind of kid and they strike up a friendship, her desire to hide in the background gets flipped on its head. This is a book about finding your voice, standing up for what you believe in, and the power of friendship and family. Lisa Ramee has done it again with a truly heartwarming story that wil Janae likes being invisible and treats her ability to blend into the background like it's her hero, Astrid Dane's, superpower. But when she meets Aubrey, an outspoken, bright-haired, stands-out-in-a-crowd kind of kid and they strike up a friendship, her desire to hide in the background gets flipped on its head. This is a book about finding your voice, standing up for what you believe in, and the power of friendship and family. Lisa Ramee has done it again with a truly heartwarming story that will make you stand on your chair and cheer, and maybe even make you brave enough to show the world that you have something to say. I highly recommend!!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story about facing one's fears, finding one's voice, and learning to be a friend. Jenae is an eleven-year-old who doesn't have any friends and feels pretty invisible at school, but then she meets Aubrey who has a personality that's the opposite of hers and seems determined to be her friend. I loved Janae's character and just wanted everything to work out for her. There is also a social justice component to the plot that's very relevant. This is a definite purchase for my classroom libr This is a story about facing one's fears, finding one's voice, and learning to be a friend. Jenae is an eleven-year-old who doesn't have any friends and feels pretty invisible at school, but then she meets Aubrey who has a personality that's the opposite of hers and seems determined to be her friend. I loved Janae's character and just wanted everything to work out for her. There is also a social justice component to the plot that's very relevant. This is a definite purchase for my classroom library.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Great story about friendship, family, and over coming your fears.Jenae doesn't really have friends - she spends her time at school being invisible. When a new kids arrives, Aubrey, he starts hanging out with her. She gets use dot the idea, until he pairs up with her for a class debate. She can't do it. She can't get in front of people and talk. With all this pressure on her, she starts making bad choices. Toss in an injured, angry brother and a grandfather who has a stroke and Jenae may never ha Great story about friendship, family, and over coming your fears.Jenae doesn't really have friends - she spends her time at school being invisible. When a new kids arrives, Aubrey, he starts hanging out with her. She gets use dot the idea, until he pairs up with her for a class debate. She can't do it. She can't get in front of people and talk. With all this pressure on her, she starts making bad choices. Toss in an injured, angry brother and a grandfather who has a stroke and Jenae may never have a friend again.
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  • caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.I loved this realistic fiction story set in a middle school with Janae struggling to find her voice when her new English teacher requires her to give a speech. Janae is a touching character: she’s lonely and is making her first friend and she blames herself for her brother’s basketball-career-ending injury. The book is a good recommendation to kids looking for stories about ordinary problems.
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  • Katherine Rothschild
    January 1, 1970
    (Review by Kara, 10-years old) (Spoilers!)I read Lisa Moore Ramee's book "Something to Say" its about a girl named Janae, her family, and Janae's friend Aubrey. Something I liked about this book was how every Friday her family has a family dinner. I also liked how at the beginning Janae didn't like giving speeches and at the end she gives one. This book will appeal to those who like listening to debates and family stories--ad it you like A Good Kind of Trouble!
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first audiobook ever and I really enjoyed it! I like the idea of listening to novels that may be of interest to my students.At times I felt like the story wasn’t cohesive and like it didn’t all go together, but I think that is because I was listening - going at someone else’s pace when reading. In the end all of the characters and their stories came together really well!I can definitely see this being a good read for my middle grade students.
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  • Gillian
    January 1, 1970
    Lisa Moore Ramée has done it again with another story of family, friendship, and personal growth! Readers will root for Jenae from the very first pages. I loved watching her friendships grow and the way Jenae found her voice through the course of the story. I also really loved reading the parts about Sylvia Mendez. The parts with Jenae’s brother Malcolm and grandfather Gee also had my heart. So much to love about this wonderful book!
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  • Miss Alissa
    January 1, 1970
    This is a good diverse book that deals with the ideas of making new friends, fitting in, and being afraid to talk in front of a group. An easy middle grade read that shows an accurate portrait of a young person trying to figure life out and making lots of mistakes while doing it. Hand to shy middle graders who may identify with feelings of not yet finding their voice or their place in the world.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    EARC from Edelweiss PlusThis is excellent middle grade fiction! The main character is learning where she "fits" in relationships at home and school, and she's working through anxiety with public speaking- an issue which many of my students can relate.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic middle grade novel about finding one's voice and doing what's right. The audio was fantastic, and the plot was believable and not preachy. A solid pick for upper elementary/young middle school students.
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