________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 41. . . .June 20, 2014

cover

Prove It, Josh.

Jenny Watson
Winlaw, BC: Sono Nis Press, 2013.
157 pp., trade pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55039-211-1.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Shelbey Krahn.

**˝ /4

   

excerpt:

Josh slogged through the words, one at a time. It was like wading through the mud in his rubber boots at low tide. With every step, the mud caked his boots more and more, making them heavier and heavier.

      By the time he got to the bottom of the page, his eyes smarted from staring so hard at the works, his neck was stiff, and a headache had started to pound behind his left ear. He snapped the book shut and shoved it across the table. “I
hate reading.”

 

Josh is 11-years-old, dyslexic, and has been sent from his mother’s home in Toronto to live with his dad in Arbutus Bay, a small coastal town in BC. After three months, he has no friends, and his classmates mock him for his very weak reading skills. His joy is the sailboat his father made for him. When Brittany, queen of the meanies, calls his boat a bathtub, Josh steamily retorts, “I bet Nomad’s faster than your boat. I bet I could beat you.” If Brittany beats Josh in the Senanus Island Small Boat Race, she cruelly demands that he will have to read aloud to a Literacy Day audience. Problems ensue: Josh’s brother is stuck in Toronto and cannot be his crewman, his boat is damaged by a floating log, and a capsized competitor needs his help. Overcoming these obstacles, while preparing for the terror of reading aloud at the library, shows Josh’s resilience, tenacity, and good character. The book’s strength lies in its portrayal of dyslexia, its frustrations, and how Josh learns to manage his learning disability. The book’s highlight is Josh’s final conversation with Brittany.

     Prove It, Josh is nicely written overall, but many of the elements are formulaic or predictable. A weakness of the book jacket is that the sailor looks seven rather than eleven, which will turn off most of the book’s target audience. Young sailors will like the book, but Prove It, Josh will be most valuable as a book of hope and tenacity for students ages 8-12 who suffer from dyslexia.

Recommended.

Shelbey Krahn is a teacher-librarian and worked at Laurentian University’s School of Education. She treasures her memories of sailing on Lac Pelletier.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW | TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - June 20, 2014.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME