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I PUT A SPELL ON YOU by Adam Selzer


by Adam Selzer

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73504-9
Publisher: Delacorte

Alternating voices relate this farcical mystery. The spelling bee is coming up at Gordon Liddy Community School, and everyone has lost perspective. Former school tattletale Chrissie Woodward is the only one in her grade not to sign up for the bee. The parents are behaving far worse than the participants, and it is clear to Chrissie that the principal is trying to sabotage certain students in order to fix the results. Selzer tells the story through Chrissie’s detective reports as well as the written notes that several kids give her. Because she has been such a goody two-shoes as school monitor, she has access to interoffice memos, which also become part of the narrative. Each chapter starts with a spelling word, followed by its definition and ironic use in a sentence. Suspension of disbelief is definitely in order here, but reluctant readers may enjoy the pranks and belching jokes, as well as the general portrayal of adults as overachievement-obsessed lunatics. Dedicated to Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Mark Felt, Chrissie’s fellows in investigative reporting. (Fiction. 8-12)