For those of you who have known me for a while, you might remember that I used to be kind of a big deal. Almost famous, really. Actually, that’s not true, I just like to think that I was the queen bee of spelling at one time. When I was in the eighth grade, I made my appearance at the Kansas state spelling bee, after taking first place in my county, and finished 26th place out of 105 counties. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Knowing that bit of information about me, you won’t be surprised that I just finished reading “I Put A Spell On You” by Adam Selzer.
The novel puts the reader in the shoes of a select few sixth grade students, all somehow involved in their school’s scandalous spelling bee. Each chapter is written as if the students are addressing members of the school board, narrating their take on who were the tricksters behind the predicted results of the bee. Very rarely do you come across a children’s novel that could easily be enjoyed by young boys AND girls, but this one has joined the short ranks. Full of dynamic characters, high-end vocabulary and mystery, Selzer’s novel is a great choice for young readers wanting to step up their reading level, but still be involved in a story that keeps them excited about reading. For adults that choose to read through “I Put A Spell On You,” don’t be surprised if you come across a few Watergate and Nixon references, as Selzer has made more than a few correlations between that scandal and this elementary one.