Brayden Speaks Up: How One Boy Inspired the Nation

Harper. Aug. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063098299.
Gr 1-3–Sometimes 13-year-old Braydon’s speech is “bumpy” and he stutters on certain words or phrases. It bothers him, but he works hard to speak fluently. When presidential candidate Joe Biden comes to their town, Brayden and his father speak with him; to Brayden’s surprise, Mr. Biden reveals that they are members of the same “club.” He too has “bumpy” speech. He shares that he never lets it stop him from doing the things he wants to do. Brayden is invited to give a speech to the nation and he proudly proclaims his membership in the “bumpy speech club.” Readers will cheer for Brayden as he writes, practices, and successfully gives his speech to millions of listeners. Readers who stutter will find an important message: they are not alone, and they are not defined by their speech. The tips for parents and educators are excellent, and a note from Brayden to readers who stutter encourages them to remember that they are amazing just the way they are. Tang’s delightful illustrations show a diverse community of friends and supporters.
VERDICT Purchase and promote to all readers. Especially useful for classroom instruction when discussing diversity, disability, and social-emotional topics, and excellent for school speech pathologists and counselors to use with students.

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