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Monday, March 24, 2014

Easy as 1, 2, C: Counting to D by Kate Scott

Hi there!
Welcome back to THE online book haven for bookish folks round the globe, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Okay, so perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit there with my description but really, we live in a world where what we see, or are presented (for the most part) is absolute truth.  Who wouldn’t want to present the BEST image of themselves, or their own little virtual home, to the world?  Case in point made and on display in today’s chosen title.

We’re heading into the YA zone with a story that I feel will spark conversations.  It tackles a subject very prevalent in our society that’s hard to manage on ones own, and can leave those living with it feeling ostracized, alone or like they should be ashamed of who they are.  Grant it, I’m not speaking from experience (completely at least) but one can imagine the dividing lines; whether actually there or merely perceived, is another story.  Here, we see them emphasized not only for dramatic flair but to shed some light on the issue as well as ways that it can be combated.  Have I got your attention?  Are you curious to find out more?  Let’s continue then.  Today’s book of choice is…

EB Elliott Books

About the book…
The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb.  That’s what it means to be dyslexic:  smart, and illiterate.  Sam is sick of it.  So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem.  Without her paradox of reputations, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust.  When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect.  But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret.  The books are stacked against her and so are the lies.  Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight – without being able to read.


Can you imagine?
Not being able to read.
We’re not talking about just at an early age either.
We’re talking elementary school, middle school, high school…and beyond.
To have the desire to climb into the stories within the pages, but not the ability to satiate that need.  To have the requirement thrust upon you to study a particular chapter, or research with listed references a topic covered in the text, without the ability to access it like most others with a glance, a turn of the page, and a stroke of the pen 

As an avid reader myself, it seems unfathomable and yet people of all ages live with this limitation every day.  I hate to even say “limitation” because it’s not something they’ve imposed on themselves but a wiring within them that just happened to develop a particular way.  Despite it not being the ideal diagnosis for anyone, there is an amazing side to it as well.  It’s often said (or at least I’ve been told) when one door closes, another opens.  Though the ability to read and read well may not come easily (or at all in some cases), quite often those with this door shut are afforded an uncanny ability to process and handle numbers, and sciences.  I mean in seriously scary good ways too!  The consistency seems to be the key, how there is no “maybe this” or “maybe that”, whereas words can be fickle sometimes ( *hugs words* -- *comforts words’ feelings*  ^_^). 

The way Sam’s world is portrayed allows us to see the remarkable aspect of it all, as well as that which holds her back.  That struggle to balance the two sides of herself is what drives her to hide that which she feels unable to change.  She outs herself to some, forming connections she feels secure in but when she has other designs in mind for her latest endeavors, things get a bit uncertain.  After all, once you’ve shown you’re greatest secrets and deepest fears in friendship to someone you’ve placed on a pedestal, how do you take the next step up?  Sam has her work cut out for her but after all she’s overcome, circumvented and managed-to-avoid-without-tipping-most-off in her life thus far….I think she’s up to the challenge.

In conclusion, a Young Adult read for a generation use to taking matters by the horns yet still sheltering their faults from the spotlight in fear of rejection.  It’s not a warm and fuzzy blanket of “everything-will-be-okay”, but it does show how with time, with effort, with insistence and a “never-say-die” attitude, strides can be made to better their world’s, both inside and out.  The characters are easy to relate to, the story (for the most part) feels real; you’re typical YA expectations met.  However, though I found the story appealing, I also enjoyed learning more about dyslexia and some of the therapies employed to assist in overcoming the obstacles it lays before them.  It even had me contemplating a few things from my own school days regarding concepts taught versus actually comprehended and the ability to use them to this day.  Rather eye opening indeed….and combine that with the enjoyable read, well folks, there is only one conclusion there.  We have a winner.


 About the author…

Kate Scott lives in the suburbs outside Portland, Oregon with her husband Warren.  Kate was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child but somehow managed to fall in love with stories anyway.  Counting to D is her first novel.  When Kate isn’t writing, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, camping, and spending time with her friends and family.  Kate also spends a lot of time doing math and sciency things and is a licensed professional engineer.


ARC for review courtesy of Jessica at Mindbuck Media Book Publicity.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their future promotions, be sure to seek them out online.  This title is available now via EB Elliott Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time…happy reading!

1 comment:

Felicity Grace Terry said...

It sounds like the whole issue of dyslexia has been dealt with realistically and yet with a great deal of empathy. I so admire the inclusion of characters such as Sam.

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