A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers learn the meanings and pronunciations of vocabulary words, including "ptarmigan," "onomatopoeia," and "perseverance," along with how to use many of them.
Words are powerful. Hard work pays off. Trying something new helps you grow. Never give up, because you only fail when you stop.
Positive Role Models
Stacey is a likable and relatable character. While she feels like she's different from other kids, she has thoughts and feelings that many will identify with. She has an interest that she pursues wholeheartedly. She empathizes with her friends who are bullied by a kid. She finds her voice so that she can stand up for her friends. She works hard to achieve a goal. She commits to persevering in the face of challenge.
Stacey is a Black female character who loves studying words. She uses the power of her words to stand up to a White character and provoke change. Supporting characters reflect different genders and ethnicities.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Stacey's Extraordinary Words is the first picture book written by politician, lawyer, and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams. The story promotes kindness, passion, and perseverance in a fictional story based on one of Abrams' childhood experiences. Although the story is about her participation in a spelling bee, it can be interpreted as an allegory for her run for governor in 2018. Ethnically diverse characters are featured on many pages of the book, along with extraordinary words -- such as "ptarmigan," "onomatopoeia," and "persnickety" -- that young readers may want to learn and use themselves. The author's note gives readers an up-close-and-personal message about Abrams' relationship with words and how she learned to use words to do good in the world. There are a few important themes that parents and kids can discuss, and there are opportunities to make real-world connections.
Is It Any Good?
This heartwarming and motivating story makes for an enjoyable read-aloud, in a classroom or cuddled up on the couch. Stacey's Extraordinary Words empowers and entertains, and delivers a visually appealing experience. Though the book introduces readers to a bunch of exceptional new words (like "dither," "perseverance," and "sesquipedalian"), it's written in short sentences (and sometimes fragments) that kids can understand and relate to. The story itself is easy for kids to grasp, and the very personal author's note makes the story and its themes even more real for young readers. Fans and supporters of Stacey Abrams will especially enjoy discovering how the resilience and tenacity she displayed in her 2018 race for governor was shaped by her childhood experience.
Kitt Thomas brings the story to life with stunning illustrations. Diversity contributes to the beauty on the pages. The colorful spreads are bold, yet warm. Overall, this simple story is an extraordinary endeavor.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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