Article Title

Akeelah and the Bee


Abigail Packard


Dependable, Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult, Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Doug Atchison, Spelling Bee, Words, African Americans, California

Document Type

Movie Review


Akeelah Anderson is good with words; not in the eloquent flowing way, but in the spelling way. She’s so good, in fact, that her teacher suggests she enter the school’s spelling bee. Akeelah doesn’t want to be pegged as a nerd and she doesn’t want to show that she cares in a school in which she feels that no one else cares. Despite her worries and protests, she enters the bee and wins! But she’s a big fish in a little pond. What ensues is a touching story of how she meets Dr. Larabee, trains for each level of the spelling bee, makes it to the national spelling bee, and ties for first place. But that story, although fun and uplifting, is almost second to the friendships she makes and the girl she becomes because she realizes how important it is to be herself.