Sixth grade was exciting for Droozy.  She now understood and pronounced English very well, except for a few sounds which were still a little hard to make. The “w” would sound strange and Droozy would sometimes slip and say “veeners” instead of wieners. She began to feel more comfortable with her classmates and they accepted her more. Of course when she made a mistake they would giggle and tease her, but this did not happen too often any longer.

A spelling contest was to take place for all sixth graders and Droozy was eager to participate. She had always been a good speller in Germany and she felt certain that if she studied her spelling book and the dictionary she might be able to do well. The test began in the classroom, first written and then oral. The teacher, Mr. Randall, would read the word and each student would attempt to spell it. Twenty-five children entered the bee. The words they had to spell became more and more difficult as one student after the other misspelled.  The first day of the contest ten students failed and were excluded. The second day fifteen students tried very hard to do well. Five more dropped out. By the end of the third day there were only four boys and girls left in the competition. On the fourth day the only one remaining was Droozy. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself She jumped up and down with glee.

The following week all sixth grades in the town of Weirton participated and sent their winners to compete with one another. The words the boys and girls were asked to spell became progressively more difficult. Droozy believed that she would probably fail but she persisted and continued to do well. She did not want to be one of those spellers who would be out of the game and have to sit down. To her amazement she was again the last to be up. All the others had misspelled a word. There was loud applause as Droozy left the auditorium stage. The contest was not over yet. The winners of all of the West Virginia schools were invited to come to Wheeling, West Virginia and the finalist there would win a prize -  a savings bond. Droozy daydreamed that she would win and share her winnings with her beloved parents.

Droozy was very excited at the thought of getting on the big yellow bus with her teacher and all the other spelling bee winners. She studied for hours every day until the big day arrived. How thrilling it all was! Droozy no longer felt like a European refugee but like a real American girl.

The Wheeling High School auditorium was very large. Several hundred students with their teachers sat in the audience while the winners were seated on the stage. Droozy’s legs shook with fear when her name was called and she stood up to take her rightful place among the other contestants. The spelling bee lasted two hours. Droozy succeeded in correctly spelling one word after another. Finally there were three pupils still standing, then two. Now it was Droozy’s turn again. The lead teacher’s booming voice rang out the word: circuit. With faltering voice Droozy spelled the word correctly, except in German an I is pronounced E. Because of the language barrier Droozy lost the contest. Poor Droozy was crushed. Tears welled up in her eyes. She had worked so hard to win. What hurt her most of all was that she knew how to spell that word. In spite of her defeat Droozy bravely congratulated the winner who instead of her had won the spelling championship of West Virginia.  

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author