The Spencer Girls
By Kathy Green
106 pages Gallifany Press
Reviewed by Deborah Muldawer
For those with an interest in learning disabilities, Kathy Green's The Spencer Girls is a must read. The Spencer Girls focuses on the life of ten-year-old Michelle Spencer. As an undiagnosed dyslexic, Michelle faces misunderstanding and emotional abuse because of her learning disabilities. However, over the course of the novel, she learns exactly how smart and capable she can be.
Michelle's journey of self-discovery is at the crux of this book. Green poignantly shows the effort involved in trying to keep up, as well as the emotional consequences of having an undiagnosed learning disability. Michelle spends a lot of time questioning herself and trying to find ways to minimize her weaknesses. Her issues are ones that all children with learning disabilities struggle with, and Green has done a good job of portraying the confusion that arises when Michelle can't reconcile her giftedness with her dyslexia. She also does a good job of showing Michelle's conflict with her teacher, an older woman who believes that dyslexia is an excuse for being lazy.
In addition to Michelle's journey of discovery, Green includes a second plot involving a mysterious doll and a series of robberies. This plot climaxes in a life-threatening situation, which eventually allows Michelle to triumph over her fears and accept both her strengths and weaknesses.
The Spencer Girls is a charming novel that deals with significant issues. At $5.00, it's well worth the investment.