The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses

07 Sep

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

The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses series by Barbara Esham

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

From the back of the book:  Katie always thought her dad was smart; he is one of the busiest attorneys in town! People are always asking him for advice! She has been a bit confused since asking him for help with her weekly spelling list. How can her very smart dad struggle with one of her spelling words? This definitely didn’t make sense. the word Mississippi has changes everything…

This is one of four books in a series about children who learn differently. Each of the books explains different learning challenges (dyslexia, difficulty with timed tests, handwriting and ADD) in kid friendly lingo without talking down to the children.

What I liked about the book:  It is a great book for explaining dyslexia to students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia or who may have classmates with it.  I loved it when Katie’s dad pointed out that ” . . . dyslexia does not mean a person isn’t smart.  In fact some of the greatest scientists, doctors, and inventors struggled with symptoms of dyslexia.”  As an educator and librarian, my heart just swelled when Katie asked her mom to take her to the library so she could learn more.  Young readers will be able to see themselves in this story, either as Mark Twingle, who can’t spell anything or as Katie who had the wrong idea about Mark.  At the end of the story, the author has included additional resources for parents and teachers.

What I didn’t like about the book:  I liked it all. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a child who learns differently.  It’s a must addition to any school/classroom library.

Recommended for ages 6 and up.

AR Reading Level: Not listed on AR.

Mrs. Archer’s Rating: 5 of 5!

Last To Finish

Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class by Barbara Esham

From the back of the book:  “One by one, Max’s classmates turn in their finished papers before the timer rings.  Not Max, as soon as the teacher starts the time, “it” happens! His heart begins to pound. Once his heart begins to pound, his hands begin to sweat and his brain freezes! Math must not be his thing.”

What I liked about this book: This is another excellent book for students who learn differently or even just any student who is anxious about learning, especially learning math or taking tests.  This story is a good reminder that not every child learns the same way. As parents and educators it is important to help students find the right path to learning.  This story also reminds us that students are often smarter than they realize.  Any student who has gotten butterflies in their stomach over a test or felt the frustration of being last one to finish, will identify with this book. (I’m quite a bit older than Max and yet I knew just how he felt when the teacher brought out the timer.)

What I didn’t like about the book:  I liked it all.  I highly recommend it for all elementary classroom libraries. I’ve already added it to the wish list for the Endeavour library.

Recommended for ages 6 and up.

AR level: Not listed on AR.

Mrs. Archer’s rating: 5 of 5!

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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


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