The Worst Speller in JR. High

Caroline Janover, Author, Rosemary Wallner, Editor Free Spirit Publishing $4.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-915793-76-1
Katie Kelso longs to be a P.K. (``popular kid''), and recent attention from Spud, a handsome though trouble-making seventh grader, may improve her chances. But, as Katie soon realizes, the two Boston suburbanites have little in common, save for having had to repeat first grade. Despite Katie's basic intelligence and her talent for writing, her struggles with dyslexia are a daily vexation. With support from teachers, her parents and a new friend-the brilliant, fabulously wealthy and lonely Brian-Katie achieves a measure of success. Janover (Josh: A Boy with Dyslexia), who is also dyslexic, ably entwines other story elements around Katie's ``learning difference'': Mrs. Kelso's breast cancer, Spud's racism, a first romance and academic integrity. The dialogue, however, often sounds stilted and false, and the supporting characters are stereotypical. Katie herself is an engaging heroine; she rebels against injustice and prejudice, puts family commitments before her social life and courageously battles disability-all the while inviting and maintaining the reader's affections. Ages 11-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-81924-4
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-595-15328-2
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