Noni Speaks Up by Heather Hartt-Sussman Illustrations by Geneviève Côté

Tundra Books (February 9th, 2016) Netgalley

Noni always tries to do the right thing. But she doesn't know how to help her classmate Hector, who is constantly bullied for his name, his size and his giant glasses. Noni stands by silently, afraid that the kids will turn on her if she speaks up. Yet "doing nothing" doesn't feel very good. Will Noni be brave enough to take matters into her own hands? 

Standing up for yourself can be a difficult thing to do. Standing up for someone else can be even harder. Noni Speaks Up describes how Noni freezes up when a boy named Hector is being made fun of. She thinks about what it would be like if her friends turn on her if she speaks up. Is it worth helping Hector if she ends up alone?

I've been faced with this same situation time and again. It's something that is really relatable to kids and something that family members and teachers should discuss more often. I really liked that Noni starts thinking about the consequences that will happen to her if she speaks up because that's the main downfall with people who are wrestling whether or not to speak up for someone. Do I really want this attention on myself? 

What kids should really think about and I wish Noni Speaks Up would have alluded to more towards the end of the story is that friends who make fun of others aren't good friends. Well, at least, they don't see how harmful their actions can be and you need to wake that friend up. If they don't see their errors and they start making fun of you then they aren't friends you need in your life.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed the message and writing of Noni Speaks Up. The illustrations were simple and childlike. Everything came together really nicely. I think it's a great story that I would pick up later on especially as a future teacher who will discuss moral dilemmas like these with her students.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing me Noni Speaks Up in exchange for an honest review!

Have you ever faced a moral dilemma like Noni?
Do you wish you could have acted differently or the same?


  1. I have faced a dilemma like Nora. I think most kids and adults will be able to relate to her character! I love the cover and the story sounds wonderful. It is sure to spark some great discussions. :)

    1. Exactly why I like her story so much - she can connect to so many people.


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