TITLE: Say My Name
GENRE: MG Contemporary
Not being able to say his own name was 12-year-old Rory’s biggest problem, until his former friend Brent’s brain injury forces them together in the close quarters of the speech therapy room. Now Rory must deal with Brent’s unpredictable behaviors and struggle to forgive hurtful memories, or be forced to find out which is worse: being the target of bullying, or becoming one himself.
I can’t tell you my first name. It’s not that I don’t want you to know who I am. It’s just that, literally, I can’t tell you. All my life I’ve been wishing I had a nice short name with a sharp, hard sound to start it off, like Cam, or Tim. But that’s not what I got. My name is full of R’s. That’s the problem right there. R is not one of my sounds. I have more sounds now than I used to, but R is still not one of them. Figures.
My least favorite thing is meeting new people. Everybody asks, What’s your name? Then it’s all, What? What did you say? Can you repeat that? But it doesn’t matter if I repeat it, because it always comes out the same way. Wrong. Introducing myself is supreme torture and guaranteed embarrassment. Which is why I’m lying here awake, dreading the first day of sixth grade tomorrow.
Sure, there’ll be people from my old school, but we’ll be all mixed in with the four other elementary schools in town. And I know some of those kids will ask me my name. Because that’s what normal kids do.
I wish I could be normal, too. Then I could be more like my friends, who are all excited about going to a new school with fresh teachers to annoy and a whole different level of freedom. Not me. Thinking about what’s coming my way mostly makes me feel sick.