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American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds [Format Kindle]

James Maguire

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

What the bestselling Word Freak did for Scrabble, this riveting narrative now does for the National Spelling Bee. Here is a captivating slice of Americana—part sporting event, part absorbing human drama, and part celebration of the magic of words.

Every spring in the nation's capital, after a starting pool of 10 million kids narrows to 250 finalists, America's top young spellers face off in a nail-biting contest. So electric is the drama that millions of viewers tune in to watch ESPN's live telecast

But this national obsession is much more than a sporting story—and this first-ever narrative nonfiction book about the National Spelling Bee immerses the reader in unique subculture, portraying the endearing fraternity of brilliant, eccentric young word nerds who vie for a gold trophy, a hefty check, and a glorious moment of national fame.

Author James Maguire, who like the contestants is an inveterate word nut, captures the agony and glory of this singularly American event. He profiles the top five spellers across the country, exploring their hopes and dreams—and strategies for winning—as they prepare for their moment in the spotlight. American Bee takes readers behind the scenes at the National Bee, providing a narrative thrill ride as the tension mounts round by round.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1000 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 370 pages
  • Editeur : Rodale (16 mai 2006)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00AZX5E8A
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°550.760 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  25 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 From One Who Knows 4 octobre 2006
Par Henry Feldman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Up front I will confess my prejudice about this book: I'm in it, albeit as a minor historical character. For me the spring months of 1958, 1959, and 1960 were largely taken up by study of word lists, culminating in three shots at the National Spelling Bee.

But James Maguire mostly has fresher fish to fry: real time spent with real kids who compete in the modern Bee, lately popularized through television broadcasts on ESPN and ABC. If teenaged kids and their strivings to find identity and accomplishment have any appeal for you, you will enjoy this account.

This has been a very good year for spelling bees. ABC put the 2006 final rounds on prime-time TV. The film "Akeelah and the Bee" vividly captured the home-front and on-stage drama of the Bee, taking off where the 2002 documentary "Spellbound" left off. Starbucks promoted the film with an attractive sprinkling of coasters, coffee collars, mugs, and flashcards decorated with foot-long winning words from the national Bee. The musical "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" continues to play on Broadway and in regional companies.

Now James Maguire gives us a broad and entertaining journalistic book on the subject. He profiles five competitors in depth, having befriended them, visited their homes, and hung out with them among family and friends as they balance "normal" schoolwork and activities with the single-minded pursuit of exotic words and etymology. He follows them to the national competition in Washington, which equals any major-league sporting event in risk and suspense. In between episodes, to break the tension, he light-heartedly fills us in on the mottled history of English words and dictionaries, making it clear how and why we reached the hopeless confusion of modern spelling.

Maguire is an engaging writer and does complete justice to the Bee experience. He brings out the themes of ambition, concentration, luck, anxiety, coping with failure, and support of family as they play out over the considerable age range of the competitors -- anywhere between 9 and 14. Just as most of us enjoy sports dramas whether or not we ever kicked a ball straight, I believe all of us, former spellers or not, can recognize ourselves in these kids as they set an impossible goal and go for it.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read 12 septembre 2006
Par Jacqueline Grossman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Maguire does a stellar job engaging the reader's interest in the characters. He does more than interview them, he spends time with their families, learns their hopes, dreams and fears, which puts many an adult to shame with their incredible work ethic and study habits. We learn that the kids are not automatons but well-rounded kids who often excel in many subjects. For anyone who has competed in competitions, one can appreciate the drive and loneliness one incurs in working towards a goal. There is definite drama and as an excellent speller, I came away impressed with the kids' abilities and determination. The book is not a narrative, there are interviews with prior champions and a history of the English language included. I wholeheartedly recommend American Bee.

-- Jacqueline and Jeremy
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Spellbinding 13 juillet 2006
Par Arthur J. Pais - Publié sur Amazon.com
James Maguire is a wonderful storyteller. He brings the Spelling Bee right into our homes, and by sharing with us the funny, passionate, stirring and inspiring stories of the young boys and girls, Maguire also finds the way into our hearts. Many Spelling Bee fans have known that the competition is much more than memorizing difficult, quaint, strange and longwinded words. And Maguire deftly and vividly shows us how the kids go around preparing for the competition. There is a lot of technical stuff to be explained and Magurie does it with ease. On many occasions during the time I taught feature writing at New York University, students used to ask me about writing technical and science stories for consumer magazines. If I were teaching the course now, I would recommend American Bee.

It is a fun book but it is also filled with wisdom and human stories. And there are many life lessons in it. Maguire also demolishes several myths including the one that only the rich kids can get the resources and help to reach the top.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Misses the Elephant in the Room! 3 juin 2009
Par Loyd E. Eskildson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Spellers of Indian-American descent have won the Scripps Spelling Bee in seven out of the last eleven years, even though they represent less than 1% of the American population. This year's top eleven finalists included seven Indian-Americans as well. Together, these statistics present a powerful message for those wanting to improve American pupil achievement. Unfortunately, Maguire largely misses the point.

The "good news" is that "American Bee" does somewhat appreciate the effort that goes into becoming a finalist. However, a quick scan of this year's finalists also shows that only one attended private school, and three others were home-schooled.

Thus, the "bottom-line" is that hard work and parental support, not more money, are key to high educational achievement. This agrees with the late Prof. Harold Stevenson's (psychologist - Univ. of Michigan) findings comparing American and Asian pupils, as well as those of others that have found that more money is not that answer to improving pupil achievement.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Captures the Bee experience! 2 janvier 2007
Par B - Publié sur Amazon.com
James Maguire has written a fascinating account of the National Spelling Bee in American Bee. The work discusses the broad history of the spelling bee in America, focusing on the National Spelling Bee, as well as bringing us stories of particular spellers. As someone who's made it to "the show" as a finalist (86 and 87), this book really resonated with me. The essential speller experience -- hours spent drilling words; the thrill of (and sometimes disbelief at) winning a regional bee; the excitement of the big event in Washington DC; the camaraderie of the spellers; the gut-wrenching nervousness waiting on-stage; the agony of being eliminated; and the aftermath -- these are all accurately recounted in the book and brought back great memories.
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