I Put a Spell on You: From the Files of Chrissie Woodward, Spelling Bee Detective by Selzer, Adam This is the first novel I've read by Selzer Adam though I've heard a few things about his writing and lucky for me they are all true. I loved I Put a Spell on You.
In Preston they have the spelling bee and its a very big deal. There is no little league, high school football or cheerleading for the town to go crazy over. Chrissie Woodward is a seventh grader at Gordon Liddy Community School and a P.I. in training. There was a time when Chrissie would snitch on classmates to the principal. She stops though when she realizes how corrupt the system is. Chrissie decides to use her power of deduction to investigate the Spelling Bee. The novel opens with Chrisse sending a note to the board of directors telling them they stink. Its been a week and they have yet to fire anyone after the all school spelling bee. Chrisse takes it upon herself to make it an open and shut case. Interviewing all the seventh graders involved in the Spelling Bee scandal. The chapters alternate between each bee contestant and Chrisse. I Put a Spell on You is filled with a bunch of characters and I loved every one of them. Well maybe not Marianne, she seemed like type to remind the teacher to give homework on a Friday. This book was so much fun, I laughed out loud from beginning to end. There are several main characters, Selzer developments each character very well. Though all the parents don't make an appearance the ones that do are very interesting
Contestant Jennifer with her mom
First, I casually told my mother that I was thinking of not entering the spelling bee. Its was important that I told my mother she's not quite as nutty as my father. Not entering my mother asked, making just as nasty a face I hoped she would. Well of course you're going to enter. And you're going to win . Your only real competition is from that snot nosed little brat Marianne Cleaver. And we will take her down by any means necessary.
Contestant Mutual being dropped off by his parents (prior to this yr he was homeschooled)
Mother turned back to look at me, You be very careful in there Mutual. I know what goes on in places like this, and we do not want you to be hurt. They will surely try I know their tricks and manners. Now listen to the teacher but do not listen too carefully. Just sit there and think about spelling. And do not let anyone breathe on you or you might catch a virus
This book is filled with funny but there is also underlined seriousness- questioning your leaders and their authority when it no longer works.
Why Chrisse took on the spelling bee case
This wasn't about my quest to know everything about everyone anymore. It wasn't about upholding law and order in exchange for extra cookies and a permanent hall pass. It wasn't about stupid and pointless rules that didn't make sense and did more harm than good. This was about truth justice and democracy. Three things that did not exist at Gordon Liddy Community School. Not anymore
Selzer has written an interesting, thoughtful and funny novel. I absolutely loved I Put a Spell on You. I lost a few hours sleep finishing this novel yesterday but it was totally worth it.