Sahara Special (Hardcover)

By Esme Raji Codell

Disney-Hyperion, 9780786807932, 192pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2003



There are two files on Sahara Jones. The one the school counselor keeps is evidence that she's a fifth-grader who needs special education. The other is the book Sahara is secretly writing, her Heart-Wrenching Life Story and Amazing Adventures. The latest chapter in her book unfolds when her mother insists that she be taken out of special Ed. So Sahara is facing fifth grade in the regular classroom, again. But why even try to do the work, Sahara wonders, if everything just winds up in the counselor's file? Enter Miss Pointy, the new fifth-grade teacher. With her eggplant-colored lipstick, and strange subjects such as "Puzzling" and "Time Travel," she's like no other teacher Sahara has ever known. Through Miss Pointy's unusual teaching, storytelling, and quiet support, Sahara finds the courage to overcome her fears and prove which file shows her true self.

About the Author

Esm Raji Codell is the author of "Hanukkah, Shmanukkah!, "illustrated by LeUyen Pham, "Diary of a Fairy Godmother," with illustrations by Drazen Kozjan; a memoir for young readers, "Sing a Song of Tuna Fish: Hard-to-Swallow Stories from Fifth Grade, "and the IRA Children's Book Award winner, "Sahara Special." Her first book was the memoir "Educating Esm: Diary of a Teacher's First Year," and her most recent book for adults is "How To Get Your Child to Love Reading. "She has worked as a children's bookseller, teacher, and school librarian, and now runs the popular children's literature Web site, and literary salon, The Planet Esm Bookroom. Esm lives in Chicago with her husband and son.