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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you ever heard of dyscalculia? It’s a learning disability that makes learning numbers difficult. Cassidy has dyscalculia. She’s nervous about starting a new school where the children don’t know her. When asked in class to say the numbers from 1 to 10, she gets them all mixed up. The first time the other students laugh at her, but their teacher scolds them and encourages Cassidy to try again. At home, Cassidy has a way to remember the order of her numbers. With Friday being show-and-tell day, she decides to take her props to school and explain how they help her with numbers. She also tells her fellow classmates about dyscalculia.
Dezi Shepperd’s picture book story, Cassidy and the Mixed Up Numbers, is an inspiring story about a little girl with a learning disorder. We all learn differently, and that’s one of the main points that Cassidy shares with her classmates: “I learn differently, and that’s okay!” We all learn differently, but some of us more so than others. This story teaches young readers about a learning disorder with a difficult name, dyscalculia, and how it affects someone who’s trying to learn numbers and the correct order of numbers. The colorful illustrations help carry the story along as Cassidy shares her fears of not being accepted or understood in her new class. This is both an educational story and a compassionate one. Even I learned something new from this story, as I’d never heard of dyscalculia before. It just proves we’re never too old to learn something new and we all have to learn, continually, to understand, appreciate and accept others for their uniqueness and their differences. Beautifully told.