My Storee: Book Review

My storee is this: "Just because you can't spell, doesn't mean you can't write".

Title: My Storee
Author: Paul Russell
Illustrator: Aśka 
ISBN: 9781925335774          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: disability, writing, creating

What's it about?
This is the story of a boy who loves to imagine stories and write them down. But when he writes them the teacher puts red marks all over his work and then he doesn't want to write anymore...until one day he gets a teacher who is a bit different.

The story is well written and paced. It prevents the struggles of the boy very eloquently and in a way that children can understand. The illustrations are gorgeous and work perfectly with the story.

Not today.

My Thoughts
My Storee is due for release on the 1st of August 2018 and is published by EK Books.

Now you may remember I reviewed Grandma Forgets the other month - this book is by the same author. Paul seems to have a way of endearing characters to the reader straight off. According to the notes, this story is based on his own experiences in school and one very special teacher he had.

As a teacher, I can relate to the issues this boy is having. He wants to be creative, he wants to write...but when the teacher corrects the spelling mistakes it discourages him from continuing. I've had students several times who have displayed several issues including one boy who would literally agonise over the spelling of every...single...word - so in half an hour, he might get one short sentence written. I personally decided to separate the concepts of writing for spelling application and writing as a craft. For writing as a craft I gave each student a notebook - they were all encouraged to write as often as they liked and about anything they liked and while I promised to read every single word...I promised I would not correct anything. It truly worked wonders for those students who lacked the confidence to write before.

This book is full of spelling errors - you may have gotten that from the title - but it's to show the boy's story better. Everything is readable (mostly phonetic eg. storee, makeing) but it's a great way to encourage students to focus on content and not spelling when writing. The teacher in the book allows the boy (and the rest of the class) to explore writing, to practise writing - and really, you only get better at something the more you do it.

A must-have book for the start of the school year to encourage those reluctant writers and some food for thought for teachers to consider when planning writing and spelling lessons.

Special thanks to EK Books for the ARC.

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