Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to spelling bees. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about spelling bees.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about spelling bees, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee to popular sellers like Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 1: Spelling Trouble to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Spelling Bee Before Recess.
We hope this list of kids books about spelling bees can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
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.
Will Judy’s lucky penny lead her to the nation’s capital – or to third-grade C-A-L-A-M-I-T-Y? And what do her spelling-bee nemesis and a potbellied pig have to do with it? The lucky penny in Judy Moody’s pocket sure does seem to be working. She can’t stop winning – at bowling, spelling, the unbeatable Prize Claw, everything! For sure and absolute positive, she’ll ride that wave of good fortune all the way to Washington, D.C. Watch out, District of Cool, here comes Judy Moody, the luckiest kid ever, until . . . oh, no! Her lucky penny just did a belly flop into a porcelain bowl of yucky, blucky UNluck. Has the coin’s magic gone kerflooey?Are some people, like Jessica Finch or Stink, destined to have all the luck, while she, Judy Moody, gets stuck with a yard full of three-not-four leaf clovers, a squealing potbellied pig in an elevator, and a squashed penny with cooties? ROAR!
India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…
“India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen!
But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”
Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book Three: Cookie Catastrophe - Ah, the great outdoors. Tents, sleeping bags, nature walks, campfires . . . and maybe a few spells thrown in for good measure! In this entry in the series, Salem takes her first camping trip with the Squirrel Girls, but neither Whammy nor Salem is cut out for roughing it. Salem believes a bit of magic will smooth the way . . . but as usual, it creates more problems than it solves. Salem and Whammy are an irresistible duo in a book perfect for the youngest independent readers.
Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2: Big Birthday Bash - Young witch Salem Hyde is stubborn, impulsive, and loves flying. Her cat companion, Whammy, is nervous, careful, and loves staying on the ground. Somehow, though, they’re best friends. In this second book in the series, Salem is invited to a birthday party, and she wants to make sure everything goes perfectly. But from the invitations to the presents, party games, and spells gone awry, nothing happens exactly the way it should, and she’ll need Whammy’s help to sort it all out.<br /><br /><b>Praise for <i>The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book Two</i></b><br /> “Cammuso’s lively art conveys wonderful expressions with just a few strokes, and young readers will enjoy the humor of Salem’s predicaments. Salem manages to give Edgar a memorable birthday party, and readers a very fun book.”<br /> –<i>Booklist<br /><br /> “</i>With lots of laughs and lots of heart, this sophomore offering doesn’t disappoint.”<br /> –<i>Kirkus Reviews</i><br /><br /> “Salem Hyde is a whimsical character. The bright two-color pink and black illustrations convey the spunky heroine’s energy. Dark shadows lend volume and height where needed. Frames, wide and magnified in varying degrees, are filled with action and high jinks.”<br /> –<i>School Library Journal</i><br />
Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 1: Spelling Trouble - Salem Hyde just isn’t like other kids. For one thing, she’s stubborn, independent, and impulsive. For another, she’s a witch. Salem acts first and thinks later–which means most of her thinking involves coming up with excuses!<br> Good thing she’s been assigned an animal companion, Lord Percival J. Whamsford III. This over-anxious cat doesn’t like Salem calling him “Whammy,” and Salem doesn’t like listening to his long-winded explanations as to why she shouldn’t do something . . . like enter the class spelling bee.<br> Salem knows she can beat all her classmates at spells, no problem. Too late, she realizes the competition is about spelling <i>words</i>, not magic. And there’s nothing like a misspelled spell to cause all kinds of havoc! <br> <b>Praise for <i>The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book One</i></b><br> <b>STARRED REVIEWS</b><br> “A fledgling witch receives necessary guidance from a talking cat in this utterly adorable page-turner… A delightful buddy story and an auspicious series opener; be sure to make room on shelves for Salem and Whammy.”<br> –<i>Kirkus Reviews</i>, starred review <p/> “It’s just about the perfect story for comics-loving fathers to read with their comics-loving daughters.”<br> –<i>Publishers Weekly</i>, starred review <p/> “Cammuso evokes both the sarcastic spunk and gentle warmth of <i>Calvin and Hobbes </i>in this humorous tale of unlikely pals.”<br> –<i>The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books <p/> “</i>Young readers will eat up Cammuso’s (<i>Otto’s Orange Day</i>, 2008) action-packed panels, full of cartoonish antics, silly puns, and playful slapstick humor.”<br> –<i>Booklist</i> <p/> “The humor, appealing artwork, and underlying message of friendship will attract readers.”<br> –<i>Library Media Connection</i>
Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ - The students in Miss Molina's third grade class are abuzz with excitement about the upcoming spelling bee, where they will be competing against the two other classes in third grade. Simon Ellis, who just happens to be good at a lot of other things, is also very good at spelling. But Simon's best friend, Jackson, tells him that it's getting boring losing to Simon all the time. Simon is stuck in an impossible situation: Jackson will be mad whether he spells all the words correctly for their team or if he makes a mistake on purpose and causes his team to miss out on the all-you-can-eat pie buffet. Simon's competitive spirit takes over until he realizes that sometimes the best way to win is to take a chance and let other people shine.
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