Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), an 11-year-old girl from South Los Angeles, shows a knack for spelling. Despite the objections of her mother, Tanya (Angela Bassett), Akeelah is tutored for the upcoming spelling bee season by Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne); her principal, Mr. Welch (Curtis Armstrong); and the residents of her neighborhood. Akeelah's aptitude earns her an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
Vocabulary and Spelling:
Xanthosis - A yellow discolor of skin.
Pulchritude - A great physical beauty. (Derived from the latin word Pulcher.)
Pluviosity - A state of being much rain
Ratatouille - A vegetable stew
Argillaceous - Of or pertaining to matter that is comprised of clay (from Latin "Argilla" meaning clay).
Scheherazadian - Weaving story after story without apparent end. (Scheherazade was the storytelling sultan's wife in The Arabian Nights Entertainments, who told stories so engaging that her husband repeatedly spares her life to hear the next installment.)
Logorrhea - Excessive talkativeness; using many long words to express a simple idea.
Xylem - A tube in plants used to transport nutrients and water up to the top of the plant.
Staphylococci - A genus of gram positive bacteria (plural)
Love - In a state of a deep and serious attraction to another.