The Worst Speller In Jr. High

( 1 )

Overview

Katie Kelso is sick of being a dork. Now that she's in seventh grade, she vows that her life will change. She's going to become a P.K.?a Popular Kid. Soon Katie is up to her neck in problems. Spud Larson, the best looking boy in her class and the leader of the P.K.'s, seems to like her. But so does Brian Straus?sensitive, smart, mysterious Brian. What will happen if her mother turns out to have cancer? And what should she do about the literary magazine? Her teacher wants her to try out for it, but Katie has ...
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Overview

Katie Kelso is sick of being a dork. Now that she's in seventh grade, she vows that her life will change. She's going to become a P.K.—a Popular Kid. Soon Katie is up to her neck in problems. Spud Larson, the best looking boy in her class and the leader of the P.K.'s, seems to like her. But so does Brian Straus—sensitive, smart, mysterious Brian. What will happen if her mother turns out to have cancer? And what should she do about the literary magazine? Her teacher wants her to try out for it, but Katie has dyslexia, and she's probably the worst speller in junior high.

Starting out in the seventh grade, Katie Kelso finds herself trying to cope with her dyslexia and form a friendship with a very bright boy at school, while she and her family deal with her mother's cancer diagnosis.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Caroline Janover paints a terrific portrait of Katie Kelso, a seventh grader who is determined to have a great school year. Troubles with siblings, with boys, with her best friend, and with her mother's cancer make her story very real. Katie wants to write for the school paper. But as her English teacher tells her, "unfortunately, Miss Kelso, the English language does not always make phonetic sense." This is not news to a girl with dyslexia. Katie is a charmer, and so is her story.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Seventh-grader Katie Kelso has dyslexia, which causes her to read slowly, misspell words, and forget numbers. Junior high presents a whole host of academic and social challenges for her as she confronts classic adolescent issues such as boys, dating, social cliques, and peer pressure. Katie's story provides insight into and useful factual information about a common learning disorder. However, her character doesn't ring true. She completes all of her homework in a timely manner, is extremely helpful at home, and ultimately makes all the ``right'' choices regarding school and friendships. One would somehow expect more angst and hazy judgment during this tumultuous developmental period. Also detracting from the plot's credibility is the fact that the boy who develops a crush on Katie happens to be both incredibly wealthy and precocious. Purchase only if there is a desperate need for materials on learning disabilities.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595153282
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 0.48 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2005

    amazingly written!!!

    wow, you guys this book is sooooo amazingly well written! katie, is such a strong character and she goes through what every girl goes through, trying to be popular, but then finding something 1o times better! you'll see what i mean, just go check it out!

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