Sometimes I feel bad
when I am in school.
Louis the Third is in the fourth grade. He is a typical boy with bright, alert eyes and a kid-style smirk for a smile. Louis likes school—sometimes. School is not easy for Louis. He has a “mixed-up brain” that often sees things differently than the other boys and girls. Louis has dyslexia. No matter how hard he tries, words look backwards.
Sometimes, when Louis writes, reads, and speaks, the words get twisted and turned around. A “b” will look like a “d.” When someone speaks, the words can get garbled and difficult to understand. Louis needs extra time to get his work done. He has a special teacher to helps him learn. She must be understanding and patient, above all else.
Louis is actually in good company, though I doubt he would agree. Einstein, Edison, Walt Disney, Picasso, and Magic Johnson all are dyslexic. Dyslexia does not stop a kid from having friends, fun, and a goal. Louis’ dad told him “We’re all good at something. You just have to find it.”
Louis tries to find what he is good at. He tries collecting stamps, walking dogs, and kickball, among others. Louis finally finds what he can do best, practices all the time so he can be even better, and then his mother said there was more than just this one thing. Just as he took his father’s advice, Louis takes his mother’s advice. Louis the Third said (his mother told him), “If I find something else that I like, I can practice that too.” Yes, even with dyslexia, you can do many things.
Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy with Dyslexia is a good books for kids dealing with dyslexia and for those who do not. In simple terms, the author explains what life is like for a child with dyslexia. Louis narrates and lets readers know what his life is like with dyslexia. From backward letters and numbers, to words jumbling in the air and falling into his ear messed up and difficult to understand, Louis has a challenging life.
Louis lets us in on how he feels about his friends, his parents, and his teachers. His parents are important to the solution as well. At home, parents are the teachers, the cheerleaders, the encouragers, and the soft shoulder when things do not go as planned.
I liked this book because it goes right into the classroom. It shows the things Louis faces, what challenges him each day, and how he manages to deal. The author goes into Louis home life and his need to find something he is good at, just like other kids. Louis just wants to be a normal kid. He has encouraging parents, a couple of great friends and, by books end, a new gained confidence in himself and his future. I think every child should read this book by the second or third grade.
The illustrations by Joe Rossi are simple line drawings that give Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy with Dyslexia the look of a coloring book. I like this. Kids can color as they learn. The more time they spend with the words and the pictures, I think the better they will understand and apply the principles.
The book is larger than a normal book for this age group. This gives kids an opportunity to read a larger book and get a feel for what it is like out of one’s comfort zone. Still, the words and phrases on each page are simple and easy to understand.
As a social worker, I think this is a great tool for school social workers and psychologists who deal with children with dyslexia, and other learning disabilities, on a daily basis. Kids need to understand what is wrong before they can help make things better. Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy with Dyslexia helps accomplish that goal better than any other book on dyslexia or learning disabilities for kids.
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Author: Vanita Oelschlager website facebook Illustrator: Joe Rossi website Publisher: VanitaBooks website Release Date: May 1, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-9826366-9-5 Number of Pages: 128 Ages: 4+ ......... ..................