The Alphabet War by Diane Burton Robb

The Alphabet War, A Story About Dyslexia (2004), written by Diane Burton Robb and illustrated by Gail Piazza, was a cute and informative picture book about dyslexia. It was simple enough that it can be read to a small child to acquaint them with the disability. Yet, it has enough information in there for the parents.

So far, I’ve only had one student with dyslexia, but I am so sure that I am going to run across it much more in my career. That’s why I have been on a quest to find as many books on children with disabilities. Let me just say that there is a dearth out there of books for children with disabilities to use for bibliotherapy.

I really liked the story because it was very realistic. It didn’t use unrealistic techniques. It used good, old fashioned teaching. I don’t like things sugarcoated, but as it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that with  this book.

For the dyslexic students, or any student with a learning disability I’ve worked with this sums up their behavior exactly. Refer to one of my other posts regarding children who would rather be considered bad than stupid.

On to the book, the title character, Adam, loved to sink into his mother’s warm lap and listen to her read. He would close his eyes and imagine himself crouching behind a huge saltshaker as a terrible voice thundered, “Fee-fi-fo-fum!”

His mother could look at the pages of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and suddenly know how the beanstalk shuddered and swayed under the weight of the angry giant.

I can’t do that, thought Adam.

He didn’t care though. He was just happy playing and being the sweet little boy that he was. It continued through the first grade, all the way up to the fourth grade. Suddenly, he receives the help he needs. Is a miracle in the works? or does his “miracle” consist of good old-fashioned teaching methods?

I guess you’re just going to have to read it and find out.

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