CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 11. . . .November 13, 2009
Special Edward. (Orca Currents).
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2009.
108 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55469-092-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55469-096-1 (hc.).
Learning disabilities-Juvenile fiction.
Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.
Review by Maggie Standish.
"You've been designated special ed?" Kevin gasped.
"Not yet. They still have some testing to do, but they're letting me work there on a trial basis."
"Wow," Kevin said. I can't believe that you did it... you fooled them."
"It wasn't hard."
"You're, like, a genius," Ahmad said. He sounded impressed.
"An evil genius," Cody said.
"There's nothing evil about this. Nobody gets hurt. Besides I don't want any more talk about me being a genius. I'm just Ed... special Ed.""
Edward Wilson is a 15-year-old student in grade 10 who doesn't do very well in school. After coming in late for a test and seeing an individual get more time after the class ends for the test, Ed realizes the benefits of being in special education. As such, he comes up with a plan where, instead of trying harder, he will do what he can to be considered Special Ed.
The book is written with first person point of view which helps one understand Edward's desire to get better grades while working less. The story is linear with a start and continuation to the end. The characters aren't developed, but they aren't the focus of the story. The characters are vessels to move the story along. And the story is to give reluctant readers the knowledge that intelligent people can have difficulty with school. The story line is believable, with an ending that will encourage reluctant readers to keep reading and trying in school.
This hi-lo novel moves quickly with lots of dialogue between Edward and his friends, Edward and his family, and Edward and the school. There isn't much description outside of dialogue and the immediate problem. This style helps reluctant readers keep with the flow of the story and not get bogged down with unnecessary details.
Maggie Standish, from London, ON, is a recent MLIS graduate.
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