The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Hardcover)

By Winky Wheeler (Illustrator), Christy Scattarella

Black Heron Press, 9781936364046, 44pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2013

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is the story of a real boy who turned I can't! into I can! and Shadow, the dog who loved him. School was hard for Alex. He had learning challenges that turned reading into an endless chase after runaway words and made it difficult to pay attention, focus, and follow directions-as if he was learning upside down.? Christy Scattarella, the author, had no idea what her young son was going through. She knew Alex had learning disabilities, but she didn't realize how hard school was for him or how discouraged he had become. Then one day Alex (aided by his mischievous mutt, Shadow) confided in his mom, and together they set out to make school more rewarding for him and for other children who were struggling. Christy started a program that Alex named after his dog. The Shadow Project launched in Portland, Oregon as a tiny mom 'n pup operation in Alex's special education classroom.?Today, The Shadow Project has teamed with teachers to help more than 6,500 boys and girls recognize themselves s capable, courageous and able to learn. Christy is the nonprofit's executive director. Alex is a college graduate. The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is based on Alex's real-life journey. The book shows that what causes a child (or an adult) shame might be the source of his or her greatest gift. Because Alex learns upside down, he sees things other people miss. Artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs who once wondered What's wrong with me? have gone on to change the world. The Shadow Project has been studied by The Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, which found the program instills critical attributes that lead to life success for children with learning challenges.

About the Author

Winky Wheeler began drawing before she was two. In the sixth grade the children were asked what they thought they would be in the year 2000. Winky's first thought was that she would be very, very old. But she also knew she would be an artist. Today her whimsical, vivid watercolors are internationally distributed on fabric design, puzzles, flags, ornaments, posters and greeting cards. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts and a native New Yorker, she now lives in Portland, Oregon. Christy Scattarella has been honored locally and nationally for helping children with learning disabilities to discover their potential. She is the recipient of Portland, Oregon's Making a Difference in Education Award, was named Education Citizen of the Year by the Oregon Education Association, and was chosen as one of Nabisco's 100 Extraordinary Women. She was a reporter at The Seattle Times and Willamette Week, and has worked on documentaries that for The History Channel.

Praise For The Boy Who Learned Upside Down

“Gorgeous, rainbow, whimsical illustrations express Alex’s perception of the challenges of being different while learning things. The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is a terrific story about coping with learning challenges and accepting differences.” — The Midwest Book Review

“Christy Scattarella presents this beautifully written story with understanding and warmth. And the illustrations, in their artistry and boldness, are a perfect match to the story.” — Willa Gold, author of Stella and Tulip: a Home for Us

“The illustrations in primary colors include brightly patterned letters that sprout limbs and cavort across the pages, indicating the learning problems the boy encounters. Alex’s difficulty is never labeled, making the story generic enough to share with a variety of special learners.” — School Library Journal

“I love it! This book would be easy for me to recommend to young readers and teachers. We desperately need more books about this subject, especially ones that are so captivating and well-written.” — Brianne Williams, Children’s Librarian