This is the story of a girl who is a genius at spelling and is faced with the pressure of participating and winning the national spelling bee. Akeelah is living with her single mother and her three siblings and life is not easy for them especially since their mother is too overwhelmed by grief after their father's death to even care much about them. As a result of this, she misses school on numerous occasions and the principal intends to give her a detention but instead decides to put her up for a spelling bee, which she wins as a result of her excellent spelling capability. She is expected to request Dr. Larabee, the new English instructor at their school to coach her as she anticipates participating in higher level spelling bees.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Mr. Larabee is impressed by her prowess but refuses to coach her, posing her rudeness as the reason. Unknown to Akeelah however, she reminds him of his late daughter and this makes him not want to spend so much time with her. She is accepted at the district spelling bee and qualifies for the regional level after her immediate competitor is caught cheating.
Akeelah makes a new friend Javier who introduces her to his school's spelling club. There she meets Dylan, a Chinese boy who holds two consecutive second positions at the previous spelling bees. Dylan is arrogant towards Akeelah, but she realizes that he is under so much pressure from his father to emerge top in the coming competition. Akeelah is faced with another challenge as her mother prohibits her from participating in the spelling bee as a result of her deteriorating grades in school. The principal however convinces her to let her daughter do what she does best. She engages everyone around her when preparing for the big day since she doesn't have coach.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like the story because it has important lessons especially for the young generation
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when Akeelah forges her father's signature to sign up for the regional competition. This is an indication of her determination.
Opinion about the main character:
I like the fact that Akeelah is able to overcome her social obstacles and emerge winner in the spelling bee