The Counting Game is about a middle-grade student with dyscalculia. But surrounding the story are so many problems that middle-school kids often deal with on a regular basis. I chose the topic of dyscalculia, like dyslexia for math, it is a common problem. But with math, it is not as well known.
It’s a boy: The character of Max, is based on a friend’s life who had dyscalculia when she was younger. She overcame it and became a well-known mathematician who teaches and does research. Although, she wished to remain anonymous, but felt this would be an excellent topic for kids struggling with math problems.
It’s a girl: When it comes to pets, well, Pecos is my own Double yellow headed parrot and she is a great pet, but very limited in her speech. She looks and acts exactly as she does in the book, walking up the stairs and yelling “Oh Boy” at unexpected times. But, a new addition, we recently found out, she is a female bird.
The different settings of the book are based in NJ, a place where I used to live. My husband, Pecos and myself. The neighbors contributed a great deal to the story, the young girl wrote the song, “Shake it Up,” by Victoria Pagnetti and the dog’s name was Boss. Unlike Max’s dog, Boss was never a lost dog, he always was a part of the family.
So many other elements of the settings that I enjoyed about my old home, Colonial Park, the bird store, Starbucks and even walking on the road in back of the prep school was always fun. And although the story was born in NJ, maybe you know someone like Max, a little quirky. Maybe you have a special park, or place where your family goes to have lunch or snacks.
And there are so many problems that The Counting Game finds out. He is too young for facebook, but uses his parent’s account, a mean kid begins to cyber bully him.
There are many problems and issues that Max and his friends face together. Reading it in book club may you or your friends are like Max?
Here are some organizations where you can find out more about dyscalculia: