When I was a brand new teacher, I once had a third grade student tell me to “hold the book steady, Teacher, because the letters are moving.” This was a major red flag! Ever since, I have been on the hunt for resources to help me better understand dyslexia, which was what my student struggled with.
That’s why I was so excited to read “The Wild Book” by Margarita Engle. This is a book for middle grade readers that tells the story of Fefa, who grows up in turn-of-the-century Cuba. Fefa struggles with “word blindness”, aka dyslexia.
“The Wild Book” is written as a collection of poems that together tell a complex and engaging story. It has an extremely low word-count, which makes it approachable for struggling readers.
Most importantly, The Wild Book looks and feels like a regular novel. The cover art by Yuyi Morales is absolutely beautiful. No student would feel ashamed for having this book in her arms, even though it is a book about a tween’s struggle with dyslexia.
I have never read anything by Newbery Honor winner Margarita Engle before, but she is now on my list of authors to check out. It is lucky for me that many of Ms. Engle’s books (including “The Wild Book”) are available at Sno-Isle Libraries.