Speechless by Jennifer Mook-Sang

speechlessJoe Alton Miles is a pretty average 12 year old middle school student. With the exception of his joint nickname with his best friend — Joe is known as “Jelly” (because his initials spell “J.A.M.”), and his best friend Parker Brown is known as “P.B.” (Get it? P.B. (peanut butter) & Jelly) — his ordinary life involves going to school, playing video games, & begging his parents to buy him a computer tablet.

All this changes when Jelly decides he really wants to win his school’s annual speech contest. Although Jelly fears public speaking, he does want the top prize of a new computer tablet. This puts Jelly in direct competition with a fellow student, Victoria. Victoria wants to win for the sake of winning, and she will use  any means necessary to beat Jelly from the public speaking prize.

Jelly’s reputation, friendships, and self worth are tested over the course of the speech competition. Will Jelly’s friendships survive Victoria’s sabotage and negative campaigning? Will Jelly believe in himself enough to get through the contest? Will Jelly win the speech contest and get a new tablet? Read this fast-paced book to find out!

-Reviewed by Cathy Mount, Past President of the Red Cedar Book Awards