One of the trickiest parts about LD is how profoundly it affects school aged children. Many kids don’t quite have the skills to express what’s going on with them, and when they do, it can be hard getting adults to really listen to them.
That’s why I’m always happy to see kids writing about their experiences, especially when LD is involved. That’s exactly what Dyslexic Renegade does.
Leia Schwartz was identified as dyslexic when she was in the fourth grade, and as a way to help other kids transition to the new label, she decided to write a book about her feelings and experiences. Her mom helped her with the edits and publishing side, but the words written are Leia’s, as are the illustrations.
I greatly enjoyed this little book. She wrote about what she went through with honesty, and the illustrations helped back up what she was saying.
I found myself chuckling a bit when I looked at her illustration of how she confused her 9s and 6s, as well as her 2s and 5s, because I still have trouble with that to this day. When I look at that picture, I still can’t see what the difference is without consciously looking for it!
However, my favorite picture was the very first one.
As simple as the picture is, its message is poignant and similar to what many dyslexic kids go through in their early school years. That’s why it’s also a good choice for parents to pick it up for themselves, as well.
You can tell the book was written by a child, due to the choice in words and sentence structure, which is a wonderful way to connect with the young audience. Being a young dyslexic student can be horribly isolating, and being able to connect with other dyslexic kids of the same age is incredibly therapeutic.
There aren’t really any severe problems with the book. The only thing I had problems with was in a few picky aspects of the page format.
I personally have a hard time reading off of bright white paper, because the contrast between the brightness of the background and the darkness of the text makes the lines sort of float around on the page. However, colored overlays or tinted glasses would solve this problem for people who have similar problems.
There are also a few big blocks of text, but I think I may be more sensitive to those, because I try to minimize those in my own writing.
Overall, this is a fantastic book. I enjoyed it greatly, and would suggest it for kids who are just starting out on their dyslexic journey. It may help them feel less alone and offer some much needed insight into what they’re going through, as well.
You can find it on the Barns ‘n Noble’s web page. Leia also donates a portion of all profits to a charity that helps encourage literacy. If you’re on Facebook, check out their page, while you’re at it!