Unlike many kids who collected trophies for participating in sports in late elementary and junior high school, I somehow ended up collecting dictionaries. I have no idea why spelling bee organizers think dictionaries make good prizes for the kids who probably need them the least, but it’s a common participation or runner-up gift. I started by winning my class spelling bee and somehow worked my way up from there. While I never managed to get to go to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, I came very close a few times.
I have been fascinated by the articles of the six year old that made it to Nationals this year. She is such a smart girl yet has no interest in being in the spotlight. When talking to interviewers, she made them come along as she hunted for rocks in a stream. While she will likely not win this year, she will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.
I remember studying with my mom at the bus stop in the mornings before school. I can’t even imagine the pressure to study for Nationals. The competition is cut-throat and some kids study all year hoping to make it. That’s a lot of studying for just a few days of competition!
If you want to watch this year’s competition, it starts today on ESPN3. Click here for schedules and links to watch each round live. You can even watch a special play-along version to test your own spelling skills!
If you enjoy spelling bees, check out some of these great books the library has to offer:
- Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
- Spelldown by Karon Luddy
- Spellbound by Janet McDonald
- So You Think You Can Spell by David Grambs and Ellen Levine
There are also a few movies and documentaries: