Alan is 13 years old. He is going through puberty. Puberty is when kids start to become mature and experience many physical and emotional changes. Alan already hit his growth spurt. He was very tall. Now, he was just waiting for his voice to deepen. Before the voice deepens, it will crack. His voice will sound high-pitched.
In Alan's English class, his teacher would have students do "Popcorn Reading." Popcorn Reading is when one student reads and then calls on another student to continue reading. Alan was eventually called on. He started to read the sentence. He noticed that his voice came out all high-pitched. It sounded like he had a sore throat. His classmates started laughing at him. "What happened to your voice?" they joked. Alan was so embarrassed. He sunk into his chair and put his jacket hood over his head.
After class, the teacher went to Alan to talk to him. The teacher said Alan should not feel embarrassed. Voice cracking happens to everyone. Alan still felt pretty bad about it. For the next few days, word got around about Alan's voice. People kept asking him to talk, but Alan wouldn't. He just stayed quiet. Even when teachers called on him to read or asked him a question, he just wrote it down.