Kate Scott is a very talented author in my local critique group. I had the pleasure of reading her debut novel Counting to D in advance of its release, and today share my thoughts on it. Counting to D officially launches February 11, but you can enter Kate’s Rafflecopter giveaway between now and February 2 for a chance to win your own copy!
To the review!
Book: Counting to D
Author: Kate Scott
Publisher: Elliot Books
Release date: February 11, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb. That’s what it means to be dyslexic, smart, and illiterate. Sam is sick of it. So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Without her paradox of a reputation, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust. When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect. But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret. The books are stacked against her and so are the lies. Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight—without being able to read. —Goodreads
Warning: May contain spoilers!
Any kid who’s ever moved will be able to identify with Sam Wilson, who at the beginning of Counting to D moves to Portland and away from her two close friends and the safety she’s known all her life. Moving is scary enough, but add to that a learning disability that means illiteracy and the pressure is on not just to find her place at Kennedy High, but to keep anyone from discovering her secret…
In addition to the brilliant, Sam-shaped portrait of dyslexia Counting to D paints—taking refuge in numbers, count patterns, advanced math; having to listen to textbooks, pretending to take notes during class, discreetly conning lab partners into reading directions and writing up reports; the paradox of wanting to be like everyone else and embracing the differences that predispose Sam to unusual talents—what resonated with me even more was a universal theme: wanting to be accepted.
At least as much as surviving Spanish and improving her ability to read and spell, Sam worries about having friends—and that opens this book up to so much more than dyslexia. As she meets new people and gets to know them, Sam is constantly asking, Does that make us friends? Does this mean we’re friends now? and evaluating how they perceive her.
And the friends she makes are half the fun: everything from smart geeks with slight BO problems to two-faced popular girls, a star athlete, and a somber valedictorian boyfriend. I LOVED the characters in this book! They were complex, surprising, and more than anything human: with their own shortcomings and vulnerabilities, same as Sam.
Contains other high school drama/rites of passage: cliques, bad grades, prom, relationships, parties, etc.
An inspiring read. Perfect for anyone looking for insight on dyslexia or just the kid next door trying to fit in.
And don’t forget the giveaway! Enter between now and February 2 for your chance to win.