Okay, I will admit I totally loved this book, but then, I love words, and this book is full of long, interesting words. It is also full of a lovely heartfelt, yes, even exciting story of a girl living in the South in the '60s.
Karlene Bridges is a smart girl. She is on the verge of being a full-fledged teenager, and a champion speller. Too bad her Dad is a drinker, and Mom must work all day doing back-breaking menial labor. At least she has an amazing (rich!) teacher who can help her to reach her goals, and a level headed (religious!) boy who kinda thinks she's hot.
There are several drawbacks with this novel. First, there is some jumping around in time that gets a bit confusing towards the end. The other problem is getting teens to read it, now that spelling bees feel overdone. I personally say Yay, but I look forward to other reviews.