Spelling Matters – A Lot

October 31st, 2017

You never know what you’ll find in your inbox. On Friday, I had an email with news that made me surprised and  HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY.

Humphrey’s Mixed-Up Magic Trick, one of the Tiny Tales, was named a 2018 GREAT WORDS, GREAT WORKS title by the Scripps National Spelling Bee. That’s the big one!

I did not know about this list, but here’s how they explained it:

“The purpose of this list is to highlight books that introduce students to rich and varied spelling and vocabulary words in context. The Bee curates the Great Words, Great Works list annually to provide teachers with grade-level appropriate reading recommendations that cover a variety of genres and topics, from classic to contemporary, fiction to nonfiction. Every word on the 2018 School Spelling Bee Study List can be found in one of the books from the corresponding grade level. Nearly 11 million students across the country in the 1st through 8th grades use this list to prepare for their classroom and school spelling bees.”

Humphrey’s Mixed-Up Magic Trick has been selected as one of five 2nd grade fiction books.

If you know Humphrey, you know that spelling is very important to him. He faithfully takes the spelling tests along with his fellow classmates in Room 26. Alas, he has not yet gotten 100%, like Sayeh, but one day maybe he will. NEVER-NEVER-NEVER give up!



I am an unsqueakably good speller …. for a hamster!





Spelling is important to me as well! I was always a naturally good speller as were my parents and sister. I often won or tied for the school spelling bee and my sister ended up on the local St. Louis televised spelling bee in the ’50s. Early TV, just kids on folding chairs and no real set. My sister didn’t like the limelight much. I was watching at my grandparents’ house, but when she finally missed on the word “phenomenal,” she looked greatly relieved! The funny thing is, I always get hung up on that word even today. I think it’s because “phenomenon” has the “o” but “phenomenal” has an “a.” Or did I get that mixed up too?   Big Sister Janet and me around the time of the spelling bee. Rock ‘n’ roll was the big new thing back then! Rock Around the Clock!

I like Humphrey to use interesting words and there is lots of wordplay in the books. (I often wonder how that works in translation.) Remember “Piewhacked” from Mysteries According to Humphrey?

So any honor that has to do with spelling, words and phenomenal vocabulary makes me unsqueakably glad.

Oh, and I really like that particular book. My son was heavily into magic tricks as he was growing up and we all had a lot of fun with it. You can even learn a phenomenal trick in the book!



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