cover image Rosie's Secret Spell

Rosie's Secret Spell

Robie H. Harris, Richard Harris. Aladdin Paperbacks, $2.75 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-67932-3

Nine-year-old Rosie Davidson never cared much for spelling, but her opinion changes drastically following an unexpectedly inspiring conversation with the school's feared principal. She becomes determined to win the All-American Spelling Bee using Ms. Winn's ``secret'' technique: visualizing words through intense concentration. Rosie has another advantage over the contestants; she inadvertently gains access to the word list intended for the finals. Yet this information nearly backfires when a teacher grows suspicious and loudly denounces the veracity of Rosie's orthographic skills. Harris ( Rosie's Rock 'n Roll Riot ) lacks an ear for dialogue, and her central character is encumbered by a strange affliction: whenever she feels tense, ``huh-huhs'' involuntarily creep into her speech. Equally baffling is the fact that Rosie is not disqualified for having seen the confidential word list. This book seems severely limited in its appeal. Ages 7-10. (May)