Dani Pepper and the Spelling Bee by Cathan

Dani Pepper is the second-best speller at Fisher Pitt Junior School. When she’s chosen for the State Spelling Bee Championship finals, she’s thrilled. She and her nemesis–the stuck-up, first-best-speller Mary Ellen–prepare for the tournament. The whole class takes a bus trip to the library to work on essays and learn new words. In the spirit of competition, Dani and Mary Ellen are caught in a kerfuffle over the word ‘catastrophe’. Finally, the big day is upon them. Who will win the coveted spelling championship trophy?

  

Genre: Mid-Grade Reader      ASIN: B075CKGD3D    ISBN: 978-1-925191-36-3     Word Count: 6,624

Chapter One

 

Mrs. Shaw, my teacher, said we should learn a new word every week. We had to know what it meant and how to spell it. We needed to use it for a whole week. Then, she said, it would belong to us.

I tried it last week. I asked Mom for a big word. The word she gave me was ‘catastrophe’. It was really hard to spell but I practiced it over and over.

Catastrophe means something awful that happens. I used the word when Mom spilled some coffee. I used it again when Dad cut himself shaving. They told me that wasn’t exactly the right meaning but I kept on using it until I could spell it with my eyes closed.

Now, guess what…Mary Ellen fell off her bike at recess.

She said, “What a catastrophe!”

Jumpin’ crackers, was I ever mad!

“That’s my word,” I told Mary Ellen. “It belongs to me. Mrs. Shaw said so. I practiced it all week.”

Mary Ellen was crying, but she said catastrophe was the word she practiced the week before and it belonged to her. I think she just fell off her bike and hurt herself so she could show off her word. She went home early after the nurse put a bandage on her leg.

I’m still not sure if the word is hers or mine. Mrs. Shaw said she would explain it later. When Mary Ellen came back to school she had an even bigger bandage all the way up to her knee. She went around saying catastrophe all day until her mom came to pick her up.

Unless I’m lucky and something awful happens to me before Mary Ellen gets her bandage off, Mrs. Shaw will probably let Mary Ellen have my new word.

When I grow up I’m going to learn more words than stuck up Mary Ellen and I won’t let her use any of them.

Mrs. Shaw taught us to spell, who, what, where, why, when and how. ‘How’ is spelled HOW. We knew that ‘hound’ (that’s a kind of dog) is spelled HOUND. The beginning sounds the same. Words like this make it harder to learn to spell.

I’m going to call up the principal of schools and have him make all the words that sound the same spelled the same.

Woodn’t that be smart?

Haha, that was a spelling joke!

 

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