There is something quintessentially Australian about this ripping yarn, perhaps attributable to The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee’s wholehearted championing of the underdog and its embrace of the spectacularly silly gesture . . . It demands to be adapted for film, containing as it does, all the desired elements for a successful Australian film including a quirky humour, exaggerated characters and projecting an image of ourselves as a generous-minded nation.
Tali Lavi, Magpies, Vol 31
A most heart-warming, spirit-lifting story of a family and a community getting together to overcome all sorts of obstacles and hardships to make a dream come true . . . This is an inspirational story that would make a great read-aloud and a wonderful read-alone . . . Deborah Abela has written a most profound book, very different from much that is available to younger readers today, and created not only an engaging, what-happens-next story but one built around a family who will be readily recognisable by readers.
Barbara Braxton, thebottomshelf.edublogs.org/
In small country towns there is often a vigorous community spirit, especially for the ‘battlers’ and this story exemplifies that . . . Sending a really positive message about striving for dreams and having a support network [The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee] is a great read for children from around 9 years upwards. It would also make a terrific ‘read aloud’.
Sue Warren, losangzopa.wordpress.com