The Way I Say It by Nancy Tandon

Published by Charlesbridge

The Way I Say It: Tandon, Nancy: 9781623541330: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Rory’s starting middle school, but one thing has stayed the same: he still has to go to speech every week to get help making the /r/ sound.  As he’s gotten older, he’s become more self-conscious about his speech, and introducing himself is especially embarrassing since his name has two R’s.  Although Rory has a good group of friends, his former friend Brent is hanging out with some new kids who make fun of Rory.  When Brent suffers a serious brain injury in a car accident, Rory knows he should be sympathetic, but it’s hard for him to get past his anger.  Mr. Simms, the cool speech therapist, proves to be not only an excellent teacher, but also a mentor who helps Rory find the right way to deal with Brent.  By the end of sixth grade, Rory is well on his way to mastering both the /r/ sound and some of the trickier aspects of middle school.  Includes additional information about the /r/ sound.  240 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  A realistic story that empathetically shows the difficulties of being different in middle school, both with the portrayal of Rory’s speech struggles and Brent’s slow recovery from his brain injury.  I’m thrilled for Nancy Tandon, who was an early subscriber to my blog!

Cons:  I was ready to deck Rory’s father if he used one more sports metaphor.

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