The Spelling Bee Before Recess

Deborah Lee Rose (Author) Carey Armstrong-Ellis (Illustrator)


The students were squirming
but none made a sound,
as the spelling bee entered
its championship round.
It's right before recess, and the annual school spelling bee is down to just three spellers: Cornelius the Genius, Smart Ruby, and The Slugger, who never strikes out. Round after round, the words whizz at them, but with one minute left until recess, there's still no winner. Who will triumph? It all comes down to one final word, and a curveball that no one sees coming!
Deborah Lee Rose's clever rhyming text packs a laugh-out-loud wallop with words that young readers will enjoy spelling and reading aloud again and again. Fun and whimsical illustrations by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis provide the perfect balance of humor and suspense as readers find out whether The Slugger will hit a grand slam or finally strike out.
The book includes three spelling lists that can be used for spelling bees at home, in school, at the library, or for community events. An author's note describes why and how words were chosen.

Praise for The Spelling Bee Before Recess
"I enjoyed and laughed my way through this epic spelling bee story."
--USA Today

"Cute characters, lively rhymes, ample word lists and a good level of dramatic tension bolster the clear message that to succeed, you must understand the meaning of words - not just memorize spellings - and the key to that is reading."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Colorful, expressive illustrations support the excitement and anticipation created through the text. This story will fill a need in school libraries for books about spelling, vocabulary, sportsmanship, and school community-building."
--School Library Journal

"The book's potentially static topic yields some dynamic, imaginative illustrations, created using ink, gouache, and colored pencils in a quirky style that suits the story's tone quite well. A lively picture book."

"Fun-filled illustrations bring this book to life. A vocabulary list at the end of the book emphasizes the importance of learning words and reading. This is a great addition to any library."
--Library Media Connection

Product Details

Harry N. Abrams
Publish Date
August 06, 2013
10.4 X 0.4 X 10.1 inches | 1.1 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Deborah Lee Rose is an internationally published author whose award-winning books are among the New York Public Library's 100 Books to Read and Share. She is the author of Abrams' Twelve Days series, All the Seasons of the Year, and Someone's Sleepy. She lives with her family in Walnut Creek, California. Visit her online at Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis has illustrated Ten Creepy Monsters and the Twelve Days series. She lives with her family in Cape Neddick, Maine. Visit her online at