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Something to Say

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  594 ratings  ·  136 reviews
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 s
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Balzer + Bray
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Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Shaye Miller
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
For such a short middle grade novel, this one addressed several deep topics. Eleven-year-old Jenae thinks she possesses the power to do things to others without even touching them. She is certain she’s the reason her brother is injured, the reason her grandfather is ill, and she’s even sure her powers will allow her to manipulate her teacher into not giving an assignment she hates. But ultimately, the story isn’t really about a magical gift at all. It’s a story of family love and devotion, a sto ...more
Richie Partington
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
Panda Incognito
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book has some charming elements, but ultimately fell flat for me. I think that if it had been shorter, I would have liked it more, because I enjoyed the tension in the narrative, the interesting characters, the portrayal of dealing with a grandparent's aging, and the unusually nuanced exploration of renaming a school. However, the book began to drag on, and the main character's poor choices were hard to endure for such a long period of time. She never faces significant consequences for medd ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
cute! I do think this dragged on a bit but I really enjoyed the growth of the friendship between Aubrey and Jenae.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Sam Bloom
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Ms. Yingling
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Janae 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
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
After reading A Good Kind of Trouble, I was excited to pick up Something to Say, since they're by the same Author. And I'm glad to say that I wasn't disappointed! I really related to Jenae and her struggles with public speaking and (what I consider to be) social anxiety. Her love for the (fictional) cartoon Astrid Dane made me jealous that it wasn't a real show that I could watch. Her struggles and the mistakes that she makes during the book felt very real for a girl her age. My favorite thing a ...more
Roni Derossett
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
After enjoying the authors debut so much, I had to pick up her next book.
It follows a young girl who has difficulties finding and expressing her voice and making friends. She’s comfortable being invisible and she’d rather stay that way. But she meets a new kid in her class who’s determined to be her friend and all of a sudden, she’s not so invisible anymore. She’s challenged out of her comfort zone.

I always admire and respect how the author incorporates important historical events and themes i
Abby Johnson
I was a huge fan of Lisa Moore Ramee's debut, A Good Kind of Trouble, and this follow up does not disappoint. Painfully shy Jenae resists the friendship advances of a somewhat weird kid at her new middle school, but when they're paired together for a debate assignment, she'll have to face her fear of public speaking. I loved the character development in this one and the slow burn friendship that eventually blossoms between the two main characters. Hand this one to fans of Merci Suarez Changes Ge ...more
Phil Jensen
Oct 24, 2020 marked it as notes-on-unfinished-books
I loved the author's first book and couldn't put it down. I liked the first few chapters of this one, but I was able to put it down. I would not mind coming back to it sometime, although I'm conflicted about the John Wayne plot. I have complicated feelings about John Wayne- I get that he said offensive things, but his movies were a big part of my childhood. ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent middle grade reader. Imperfect girl in an imperfect family who still are functional together.
Laura Gardner
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
loved this one! grades 3+
wissem lakhal
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really lovely story about friendship
alisonwonderland (Alison)
I listened to this middle grade novel on CD in my car over several months of infrequent commuting, and I came to really love Jenae’s “voice” as she discovered that she did have something to say.

A phrase from the book description is a perfect summary of the story: “finding your voice - and finding your people.”
Lindsey Stoddard
Great story about finding your voice.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-6-8
Covers a lot of ground, but all works well together. Aging grandparent, aelfesreem, friendship, fitting in to middle school , racism, school name change.
Kristi Wright
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
Review copy thanks to Balzer & Bray
Melanie Dulaney
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 ...more
Janae is starting her first day of junior high school. She is used to being she's shocked when the boy next to her introduces himself and seeks her out at lunch time. Janae and this new boy, Aubrey, connect over their love of a fictional character and slowly become friends. But Janae is struggling with a lot-especially a speech she has to give in English class-and must face her fears to be a good friend and sister.

Ramee tackles a lot of issues, but they are woven into the story ve
Becky Ginther
I really waffled between giving this book 2 or 3 stars - it would really be more like a 2.5.

There were some good things about this book, but overall there were a number of things that bothered me quite a lot and hindered my enjoyment of it. Jenae is a 7th grader who has no friends. And she more or less likes it that way. She suffers from crippling social anxiety, as well as extreme anxiety about public speaking. So 7th grade gets really tough when a kid named Aubrey comes along who insists on be
Much like her debut novel, last year's A Good Kind of Trouble, Lisa Moore Ramee's Something to Say is a pretty sweet, and pretty important, MG contemporary with lots of on-point commentary about social justice. Especially in a year when Black Lives Matter, and protests of the kind seen in Ramee's first book, have come into sharper cultural focus than ever before - and, pretty presciently, this book deals with the potential renaming of a public SoCal institution away from John Wayne, since I'm pr ...more
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
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 ...more
Kelly Hager
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So first, I overidentify with Jenae. I also would seriously rather be punched directly in the face than have to give a speech in public. (Potential mitigating factors: how public is "public" and what is the topic?)

Also, I am a fan of magical thinking. (That would be when you say things like, "If the next car is blue, everything will be work out.") That isn't quite what Jenae does, but it's similar.

When she meets Aubrey, though, things change. And that's not really Jenae's plan; it's more that Au
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
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 real
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am new to 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
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Middle school student Jenae has a number of worries on her plate, her grandfather is behaving strangely, she thinks she’s to blame for her brother losing out on a basketball career and her new English teacher insists on practicing public speaking in class which is beyond uncomfortable for Jenae, but with the help of family and a friend, and with a cause worth fighting for, she just might make it through okay.

Jenae’s charcuterie style lunches along with her feelings at the prospect of speaking p
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