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The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia

November 4, 2011 in Books on Dyslexia

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-Adam starts school, and although he loves stories, he can’t seem to get the words to make sense. Over the next few years, he slowly despairs of ever learning to read. Instead, he imagines that he is being held captive by an evil king who torments him with vowels. His parents hire tutors to help, but it isn’t until a specialist comes in at the beginning of third grade and diagnoses him as dyslexic that things start to look up. For Adam, it has become a much bigger problem than just learning how to read-he must also find the self-confidence that years of failure have robbed from him. His new teacher helps him see that reading will always be hard for him, but that it is possible. The pastel illustrations adequately convey Adam’s emotions. Although the text often tells rather than shows the boy’s plight, the subject matter is handled with respect for his feelings at every stage of the process, and does not oversimplify or sugarcoat the difficulties of dyslexia.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. “When Adam was little, he loved to sink into his mother’s warm lap and listen to her read.” Once Adam enters school, his love of books becomes a daily battle that he truly believes he cannot win. It isn’t until third grade that Adam, now suffering from low self-esteem and engaging in aggressive behaviors, is tested for a learning disability and receives the specialized help he needs. Adam’s progression from an even-tempered and confident child to a withdrawn, frustrated, and often-troubled one is realistically portrayed in Robb’s lengthy text and in Piazza’s striking pastel illustrations. Equally realistic is the depiction of the long, slow process that leads to the child’s eventual success as a reader. Adam’s experience will inspire and encourage many youngsters who find themselves in similar predicaments. Equally important, the book sounds an alarm for educators and parents. Lauren Peterson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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