Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Homework Helpers
If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi?

If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi?

Spring 2008 Homework Helpers
Ages: 5 - 10 yrs.
Author: Barbara Esham
Illustrator: Mike Gordon
Illustrator: Carl Gordon
ISBN: 978-1-60336-448-5
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Readers will leave this book having learned a couple of lessons: dyslexia is common and lots of bright, successful people are dyslexic. When Katie, the young narrator, realizes that her Dad struggles with spelling, she's genuinely surprised. Her Dad is smart and a successful lawyer. Katie's Dad tells her that he is dyslexic, and that there are many accomplished adults who are also dyslexic. Katie, "a whiz at the library" does some research and is astonished to find that people who have struggled with reading and spelling have worked to conquer their learning difficulties, persevered and went on to become doctors, lawyers, scientists or artists. She is reminded of her classmate, Mark, who struggles with spelling tests and hides when asked to read aloud in class.

With simple language and engaging, skillful illustrations the author-illustrator team unmask something as complicated as dyslexia. For those who struggle with dyslexia, or know someone who does, this book will be a welcome addition to both school and home libraries.

Jenny Rich   ©2008 Parents' Choice

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