I Was Diagnoosis Retarded

I am very much a strong proponent of helping every child shine. Our educational system should strive to bring every child to his or her full potential. I was greatly interested in Javier Gomez's tale of how how he persevered and thrived even though, as a Mexican immigrant, he was incorrectly labelled as "retarded" by the LA school system. This is exactly the type of story I think should be heard.

Javier's story covers tragic loss and abandonment. It shows how rough the school system was for kids who fell between the cracks. It goes into bullying and violence, into cultural clashes and uncaring teachers.

All of this is great.

However, this is a BOOK. It's not his diary entry. And, unfortunately, it seems like not even the tiniest bit of effort was made in proofing this book to ensure it's worth the fairly high price being charged. The book's only 72 pages, so not very long. Those 72 pages are FULL of typos. Not just a typo a page. Not just a typo per paragraph. There are individual sentences that hold multiple typos in them. And these aren't "mild" typos like its vs it's where a spell-checker might not help out. These are clear and obvious typos that any spell-checker would instantly point out. If an author can't even be bothered run an automated spell-check on his own book before publishing it, that disturbs me a lot. And it disturbs me even more when this author taught for 33 years in the Oxnard School District. He's not just a random person on the street - he's a TEACHER. This writing effort here is what he is presenting as the culmination of those years of experience and knowledge.

Here's just one section. He's discussing a meeting with his counselor when he's in 12th grade.

She snapped her fingers and waved her arthitic (sic) index looking finger liked (sic) a wand at me; motioning me to sit on this beaten up old wooden chair that laid infront (sic) of her desk. While she staggered bowleggedly back over to the opposite side of her desk; sitting down on her patted (sic) rocking chair that screemed (sic) for help. As I obidiently (sic) sat down, she began her interrogation in a rasphy (sic) authoritative voice, commanding me to answer her question, "What are you doing in College Prep Classes, young man?", as I tried to answer, she immediately lifted up her crooked index finger, hinting to me to be quiet; as she adjusted herself on her chair.

Wow. That was a challenge for me to even type the way it is presented in the book. Six typos, a wealth of mis-used words, and a wealth of grammatical mistakes.

I understand that some people - even teachers! - aren't meant to be stunning writers. That's OK. All I'm asking is that he even attempted to use the spell-check button in his word processor. Or maybe talked with some of his fellow teachers who had a grasp of basic grammar and asked them to do a pass through this! The issues are just so thoroughly embedded throughout the story that it makes it nearly impossible to read. There is just error after error after error.

I'll give it three stars for having a great story that should be told. But this book should *never* have been published - especially at the price listed - without at least some effort being made to remove these thousands of typos.