Name of Book: Say Something
Author: Peggy Moss
Illustrator: Lea Lyon
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Audience: Kindergarten – Middle school
Summary: A young narrator describes different examples of students being picked on by other students. The young narrator chooses to silently observe these situations and she doesn’t respond. One day, she finds herself sitting alone and being laughed at, as she becomes a joke for a few students. She is filled with sadness and notices that there are students around that are just looking at her but not saying anything. She becomes frustrated that no one says anything to help her. On the bus the next day, she chooses to sit with a girl that always sits alone and she discovers that this new friend is funny.
Literary elements at work in the story: Say Something is full of watercolor illustrations depicting realistic images of a school setting. The children’s faces express real emotions and body language that make the words become even more real in the story. The writing style is simple yet descriptive. The words say enough to make the story realistic and it provides space for the reader to enter the story.
(How) does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? This book offers a multi-cultural and diverse population throughout the story. While the narrator has a particular identity, the images express that there are students of all different races, cultures, abilities, and gender that are picked on.
Theological conversation partners: Sometimes we think that if we are the “innocent” bystander in a situation, then we are indeed innocent. Scripture tells us to stand for injustices (Isaiah 1:17), to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12).
Faith Talk Questions:
- Read Micah 6:8 and Isaiah 1:16-17. How are we called to respond to God’s love?
- Tell of a story when someone spoke up for you.
- Where in your life do you have the opportunity to help bring justice to a bad situation? Perhaps in your family, at school, or your neighborhood? What does that look like?
- What stops us from speaking up? Why?
- How do we change our response from being silent to speaking?
This review is written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Jen Evans.
Say Something by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.