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on July 31, 2004
I picked this book up at a baby-sitting job expecting it to be a fluffy sixth-grade chapter book. Yet it was much more. DeClements did a great job depicting Helen's challenges with a learning disability as she navigates sixth grade and finally finds some answers in the end. This book is great for teachers like myself because it allows us to see the impact the "little things" we choose to do or not to do can have on a student. It's a great book for students because it depicts Helen's decision-making processes and the ramifications as she chooses to utilize the special ed. room as a resource to help her read.
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on March 5, 2016
Realistic, inspirational book. Highly recommended. Appropriate for grades 4-8.

Grades K-3
It’s Called Dyslexia, Jennifer Mallinos

Knees: The Mixed Up World of a Kid with Dyslexia, Vanita Oelschlager

The Alphabet War: A Story About Dyslexia, Diane Robb
Hank Zipzer series (protagonist has dyslexia), Henry Winkler
Susan Shreve- The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates, Joshua Bates Takes Charge, Joshua T. Bates in Trouble Again

Many Ways to Learn: A Kid’s Guide to LD (2011 edition), Judith Stern
Eli, The Boy Who Hated to Write (2nd edition), Regina and Eli Richards

My Name Is Brain Brian, Jeanne Betancourt
Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You, Barthe DeClements

Succeeding with LD (2nd edition), Jill Lauren

Learning Disabilities and Life Stories, Pano Rodis
Learning Outside the Lines, Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
Brilliant Idiot: An Autobiography of a Dyslexic, Dr. Abraham Schmitt
Reversals, Eileen Simpson
The Human Side of Dyslexia, Shirley Kurnoff

Books About Learning Difficulties
Leo the Late Bloomer, Robert Kraus

The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, Deborah Diesen

Katie’s Rose: A Tale of Two Late Bloomers, Karen Burnett
Jasmine Can (difficulty reading), Bena Hartman

Annie’s Plan: Taking Charge of Schoolwork and Homework (attention, time management, organization), Jeanne Kraus

Thank You, Mr. Falker (difficulty reading), Patricia Polacco

Gifted Hands: The [Dr.] Ben Carson Story, Gregg and Deborah Lewis
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on September 9, 2000
I understand and can sympathize with Helen and her reading challenges. I am glad that she found a constructive solution. I found it frustrating (and socially irresponsible) that Helen was able to launch firecrackers in school, intentionally damage a teachers' clothing and spray paint the school main entrance signage with little repurcussion. In today's schools, those types of actions would warrant serious consequences.
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on March 20, 2002
This is a wonderful book! I am a Special Education Class Instructional Aide. I am currently reading this book with my students and they love it! Since my students are in a Resource Class like Helen, they can really relate. They enjoy laughing at the situations that Helen gets herself into and they can understand with how she feels. An excellent book to read with students, and at my school it just happens to also be an AR book, so not only do the students enjoy the book, but they can take AR test to earn points.
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on February 1, 2015
I liked Helen. I understand why she was so "bad" though I didn't always empathize with her. Her prank with her teacher was cruel. Helen was obviously acting out of frustration.

But I loved how Helen dealt with life. So clear and so beautiful, her father's fear and deep love for her, and how her mother tried to take control.

The feminine part of me enjoyed the shopping expedition with her uncle, and especially when she picked out earrings.

A really great story.
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on May 23, 2013
Sixth Grade Can Really Kill you is a good book. If you are one of those kids who hate school should try this book. Trust me, Helen hates school.
Helen is not the smartest in the class. Over time she learns to be good, or else she might not pass the sixth grade. Louise is friends with Helen no matter how smart she is. Helen's mother is always trying to help her with her school work. Helen's father is always understanding.
She thinks that she is at school all the time. She loves to go over to her friends' house and play baseball. Either way she will not give up. She is a hard worker. She always finds a way to do something bad and get in trouble. She is always fast to fix it though.
This story teaches you to never give up, even when things get difficult. It shows friendship and to deal with things you don't like.
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on May 23, 2001
The book I read was Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You. The book was endlessly funny because of Helen's great sense of humor. It was about a girl named Helen who thinks this year might be better than most. There are some neat people in her class such as her friend , Louise, Leon, Jack and even Elsie Edwards. Helens teacher turns out to be Mrs.Lobb. Mrs.Lobb makes things so hard for Helen that she decides to live up to her nick name ..... BAD HELEN. Being bad is fun until Helen finds out she might have to stay back a year and that's the last thing she wants to do. What will it take for Helen to get out of trouble when she has been in it for so long? You will have to read the book to find out ! I recommend this book to kids who are having a hard time in the sixth grade.
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on March 27, 2000
Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You is a interesting book you've got to read. It will really abduct your mind!It starts with a girl named Helen who hardley made it to the sixth grade.(she's not very great at reading,spelling,and social st.)She thinks this year might be better than the others,but when she gets Mrs. Lobb, everything is back like last year.She decides to live up to her nickname "Bad Helen",until she finds out she might flunk,then everything geos wrong.This is a good book, and I acclaim that you should read it.
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on January 18, 1998
This is an OK book. It's about a girl named Helen who is having trouble in school. It doesn't help that she got the meanest teacher in the 6th grade. Her name is Mrs. Lobb but some kids call her the blob. Helen especially hates Mrs. Lobb. Helen has the spellng and reading ability of a 2nd or 3rd grader. Mrs. Lobb thinks Helen should go to a class for dumb people. Helen's mother doesn't agree. Helen's mother thinks Mrs. Lobb is to blame for Helen's wrongdoings and the "F's on Helen's report card. Helen's mother gets Helen moved to Mr. Marshall's room. He is one of the nicest teachers. The 6th graders went to outdoor school. Helen sneaks some matches and firecrackers in her bag. Then Helen and one of her friends sneak out of their cabin and into the boys side of camp. They see a blinding light and then they hear Mr. Marshall say "Helen?", and say "Helen, I'm very disappointed in you. Meet me in the mess hall after breakfast". The next day Mr. Marshall talked to Helen and her friend about breaking the rules. Both ended up working in the kitchen and missing the hike and swimming. And that's how it ends. What I liked about the book was how funy it was. Believe me, it was funny. What I didn't like was how the author skipped from subject to subject which was confusing. I recommend this book to people that like funny with good stories, like this one. By Jacob Gilden, age 9
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on July 11, 2011
My favorite DeClements book.

Poor Helen. She is always getting into trouble; she just can't help herself. To top it off, she thinks she's dumb because she is reading on a second grade level.

The antics of Helen made me enjoy her as a character even more. She wants to do the right thing, but she seems to be at the wrong end of the spectrum.
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