A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
No real academic content but tons of social-emotional skills, including great lessons in situational awareness, empathy, and ways to take a stand without being confrontational.
You matter, your ideas matter, and you can make a difference in other people's lives.
Positive Role Models
Kids model speaking up in each situation and see the positive outcome. The cast of characters is diverse, and includes a girl wearing a hajib, a girl in a wheelchair, and kids of different races and skin colors.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Miranda Paul's colorful, engaging picture book Speak Up is full of positive, empowering messages for readers of all ages. The diversity of families splashed across the pages means children can see themselves in these everyday situations and the ways they can make their voices heard even when doing so seems hard. The book tackles tough moments such as bullying, fear, loneliness, and feeling shy by encouraging empathy and understanding, and showing how simple gestures can make a big difference. At the end of the book, there's a lovely author's note, brief biographies of real kids who spoke up, and some tips for speaking up without being loud – a great resource for more reserved readers.
Is It Any Good?
With big, colorful scenes and simple rhyming, this uplifting book helps kids see their place in the world and the incredible value of their voice. Rather than show speaking up as a giant event that only the loudest among us can accomplish, Speak Up emphasizes the small, everyday moments that give us all the chance to make things right. Many young readers will relate to the teacher mispronouncing their name or feeling like they have nowhere to sit at lunchtime, and they can see how small gestures can change the outcome. The diversity of families is important, as are the tools that help even a shy child speak up in their own way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.