Elise keeps a notebook full of tallies, each stroke marking a word spoken. A word that can't be taken back. Five tallies is not so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers in class, no secrets spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night.
But now months have passed, and Elise isn't sure she could speak even if she wanted to. Not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away, or to ask if anyone else has seen her teacher's stuffed raven come to life. Then, a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she's ever hoped for...