Two unlikely people can learn to work with each other towards a common goal.
Akeela Anderson is a 7th grade African American girl who has been dealt a rough life. Losing her father at age 6 is tough. She feels like she just doesn't fit in at Crenshaw Middle School.
Akeelah has unique hobbies. One is playing Scrabble on her computer and her other is talking to her father's picture. One night she sees the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition on television. At school she takes a spelling test and it is discovered that she has a hidden talent. Crenshaw Middle School has never had an entrant at the district spelling bee. Mr. Welch, her school principal, encourages and hires a coach for her. Dr Joshua Larrabee has taken a sabbatical from his professorship at the UCLA due to some family issues.
Akeelah starts on her track to the national bee but is faced with many challenges. Her mother is far from supportive in Akeelah's quest for an achievement. Her coach, Dr Larrabee, is facing some haunting memories, is very strict with her and threatens to quit. She strikes up an unexpected friendship. Her biggest fear is being afraid of herself. Her biggest competition is Dylan Chu, who is a 3 time entrant in the national bee and is coached by his rigid father.
Akeelah's main encouragement is her brother who is a serviceman. He promises her that if she makes it to the national level in Washington DC he will be there for her. She discovers that if she just breaks apart the large words there is no word that she won't be able to spell. She also learns that if she just looks around her there are plenty of coaches. The sense of community and lots of people joining together to help her gives this movie a heartwarming feel.
Giving out the final ending of the movie would not be helpful. This is a movie which can be enjoyed by all members of the family. Every time we have seen this movie we always see something that we haven't seen previously. Heartwarming and entertaining!