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Children's Fiction Special Needs

Special Edward

by (author) Eric Walters

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2009
Special Needs, School & Education, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Edward is a classic slacker. He's got better ways to spend his time than toiling over homework, and as long as he gets passing grades he's happy. When his fifty percent average is threatened he has to find a way to pull up his grades without applying himself. Edward discovers that special education students get more time to complete tests, and he thinks he's found the perfect scam. Little does he know that manipulating everyone around him will take more work than he ever imagined.
Also available in French.

About the author

Eric Walters is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling novels for children and young adults. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Silver Birch, Blue Heron, Red Maple, Snow Willow, Ruth Schwartz, and Tiny Torgi, and have received honours from the Canadian Library Association Book Awards and UNESCO's international award for Literature in Service of Tolerance.

Eric lives in Mississauga with his wife, Anita, and three children, Christina, Nicholas, and Julia. When not writing or touring across the country speaking to school groups, Eric spends time playing or watching soccer and basketball, or playing the saxophone.

To find out more about Eric and his novels, or to arrange for him to speak at your school, visit his website at

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Eric Walters' profile page


  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books

Excerpt: Special Edward (by (author) Eric Walters)

You've been designated special ed?" Kevin gasped.
"Not yet. They still have some testing to do, but they're letting me work there on a trial basis."
"Wow," Kevin said. "I can't believe that you did fooled them."
"It wasn't hard."
"You're, like, a genius," Ahmad said. He sounded impressed.
"An evil genius," Cody said.
"There's nothing evil about this. Nobody gets hurt. Besides, I don't want any more talk about me being a genius. I'm just Ed... special Ed."

Editorial Reviews

"The author deftly weaves subtle clues into Edward's character that will leave readers nodding in agreement with his true condition. The title also refutes the stereotype that special-education students are profoundly disabled, emphasizing that a child can be gifted and still have learning issues, an important identity concept for teens to explore. A refreshing read."

School Library Journal

"Give[s] the reader valuable insight into realm of the Special Education room—and its importance and value for exceptional students who need the services that it provides...The vocabulary, short chapters and simple sentence structures will make this novel a good choice for readers."

Resource Links

"Nice characterization and good plotting. The book is full of stereotypical references to students with special needs at the beginning, but it is all part of the point of the book as Edward begins to understand what learning disabilities are all about. Recommended."

Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group

"The story line is believable, with an ending that will encourage reluctant readers to keep reading and trying in school…Recommended."

CM Magazine

"Bold, edgy...This is a topic too often skirted, and there's an inherent fascination built into Eddy's plot to be known as a 'plucky fighter' rather than a 'lazy underachiever.'"


Other titles by Eric Walters