Class Clown


Lucas Cott—one of the smartest kids in the third grade—is also the most rambunctious. "Realistic dialogue, short sentences in large print, and commonplace situations that sparkle with humor combine to make this a fine choice."—School Library Journal

Lucas Cott, the most obstreperous boy in the third grade, finds it very hard to turn over a new leaf when he decides to become the perfect student.

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Lucas Cott—one of the smartest kids in the third grade—is also the most rambunctious. "Realistic dialogue, short sentences in large print, and commonplace situations that sparkle with humor combine to make this a fine choice."—School Library Journal

Lucas Cott, the most obstreperous boy in the third grade, finds it very hard to turn over a new leaf when he decides to become the perfect student.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hurwitz ( Class Clown ; Class President ) presents the irrepressible Lucas Cott in a new venue. Here, his high spirits are played out not at school but at home, with a French au pair who is spending the summer with the Cotts as his foil. The pranks and mischief Lucas undertakes, in the mistaken belief that Genevieve is as naive as she seems, are vintage Hurwitz: bright, funny and fast-paced. His gradual acceptance of Genevieve in particular; of other things that seem weird or ``different;'' and, even more broadly, of his own responsibiities within the family provide a solid emotional underpinning to this engaging chapter book. Hamanaka's ( The Journey) drawings add to the story's lively spirit. Ages 7-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Lucas Cott is worried that his summer will be ruined when he learns that his mother has hired a French baby-sitter to take care of him and his two-year-old twin brothers. It contains amusing and insightful observations of this grade schooler's everyday life. Garden State Children's Book Award.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- Lucas Cott is back but he's lost some of his bubble. Hurwitz picks up where Class Clown (Morrow, 1987) leaves off--his last day of third grade. Lucas is a likable little prankster, and his story is told through an accessible, easy vocabulary. His summer is filled with homey activities and a little excitement when his mother hires an 18-year-old French girl to take care of Lucas and his two-year-old brothers. Although Lucas has a few successes at outsmarting Genevieve, she ``has his number.'' By summer's end, he has begun to think of her as part of the family. Several themes are nicely handled: the idea that one must work to regain a parent's trust after misbehaving, the positive qualities of being a good older brother, and that daring enemies to do something can backfire, as can playing tricks on someone. The full-page black-and-white drawings, one per chapter, will encourage those just beginning chapter books, but they are quite static. This light summer fare is acceptable, if somewhat dull and predictable, and the dialogue doesn't ring as true as in the previous books. The many titles by Cleary, Blume, Lowry, and Gilson are funnier. --Susannah Price, Boise Public Library, ID
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590418218
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 98
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.82 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Johanna Hurwitz is the award-winning author of more than sixty popular books for young readers, including Faraway Summer; Dear Emma; Elisa Michaels, Bigger & Better; Class Clown; Fourth-Grade Fuss; and Rip-Roaring Russell, an American Library Association Notable Book. Her work has won many child-chosen state awards. A former school librarian, she frequently visits schools around the country to talk about her books. Mrs. Hurwitz and her husband divide their time between Great Neck, New York, and Wilmington, Vermont.

Sheila Hamanaka is an award-winning fine artist whose work has also appeared in Scholastic magazines as well as in Permanent Connections by Sue Ellen Bridgers and Barbara Campbell's Taking Care of Yoki. Ms. Hamanaka lives in Tappan, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Note From Mrs. Hockaday

The first Tuesday in October was very much like any other day in Mrs. Hockaday's third grade. Lucas Cott felt bored and restless. He always felt restless in class.

During social studies, be sat digging his initials into his desk with the tip of his ballpoint pen. The L was easy to make because it was just two straight lines. It was the C that gave him some trouble. He wanted it to curve evenly.

"Lucas is writing on his desk," a voice called out.

It was Cricket Kaufman, who sat in the seat across the aisle from Lucas. She was always Spying on him.

"I am not, " said Lucas, slipping his pen up the long sleeve of his shirt.

"Yes, you are," Cricket insisted. "I saw you do it."

Mrs. Hockaday came over to investigate. "Someone has written LC on this desk", she said, looking at Lucas.

"It could have been someone else. It didn't have to be me," Lucas pointed out.

"It is unlikely that someone else would bother to vandalize your desk with your initials," said Mrs. Hockaday.

"You didn't see me," Lucas protested.

"But I did , said Cricket proudly.

"Yeah? Well, it's just your word against mine," Lucas said, turning to face the girl who always seemed to get him in trouble. As he turned, the pen fell out of his sleeve and onto the floor.

"See," said Cricket, pointing to it. "There's the proof."

Everyone in the class knew that Cricket was planning to become a lawyer when she grew up. She practiced all the time

Mrs. Hockaday sent Lucas out of the room to get some wet paper towels and soap from the boys' room. "I want youto wash that desk as well as you can," she told him.

Lucas grinned as be rubbed on the desk. It was more fun doing that than social studies.

The day continued as usual with Lucas getting in trouble three or four more times. just before dismissal, Lucas reached in his pocket and removed a drinking straw that he had placed there at lunchtime. He sat listening to Mrs. Hockaday reading, and at the same time, he pretended that he was smoking a cigarette. Once or twice he carefully tapped off the imaginary ash that was growing on his cigarette, as he had seen actors do in the movies.

Mrs. Hockaday looked up from the book. "Lucas Cott. What are you doing now?" She walked up the aisle and took the straw away from Lucas. "This is the last straw."

"No, it isn't," said Lucas, smiling. He removed a second plastic drinking straw from his pocket. "I have another," he announced. The class laughed and Lucas looked around the room, grinning happily. He liked to make everyone laugh. He had a reputation for being a real clown.

Mrs. Hockaday sat down at her desk and wrote a message on her personal stationery just as the dismissal bell rang.

As Lucas was walking out of the classroom, Mrs. Hockaday stopped him. "Please give this note to your mother, " she said.

Lucas looked at the note. It was just a folded sheet of paper, not even put into an envelope. The temptation to read it was very strong. Lucas wondered what Mrs. Hockaday had to say to his mother. He waited until he was walking home before be opened the paper. Luckily, he had learned how to read cursive writing. The note said: "Please call the school to make an appointment to speak to me. I find that Lucas is very obstreperous in class."

The first sentence was easy for Lucas to read. But be did not know what the big word in the second sentence meant. Obstreperous bad never been on any of the vocabulary lists that Mrs. Hockaday had assigned to the class.

Lucas looked around and saw Cricket waiting for the crossing guard to signal that the children could cross the street. Even though Lucas did not like Cricket, there was no denying that she was the smartest girl in third grade. Her papers were always neat and finished before anyone else's. And she was always waving her hand in the air to be called on. Cricket always had an answer and her answers were always right.

Lucas went over to Cricket and showed her the note. "Can you read this word?" he asked her.

"That's the letter that Mrs. Hockaday told you to take home for your mother," she said, recognizing the teacher's pink stationery.

"I'm taking it home right now," said Lucas. "But I want to know what she wrote."

"You shouldn't read letters that aren't addressed to you," said Cricket righteously. "I would never do a thing like that." Nevertheless, although the letter was not addressed to her either, she looked at the paper that Lucas held out to her.

"What's that big word?" Lucas asked.

Cricket sounded out the syllables. "It's a kind of doctor, " she said knowingly. "It's the kind of doctor that a lady goes to when she is having a baby. I know all about it because my mother is going to have a baby next month. I'm going to be a big sister." She swelled with importance.

"I'm a big brother already," said Lucas. Cricket always thought she was so special. Wait until she discovered that it wasn't such a big deal to have a baby in the house. "I have two brothers and they are twins," he reminded Cricket. Then Lucas paused for a moment. An idea had just occurred to him. "Why would Mrs. Hockaday call me a doctor?"

"Maybe she thinks you are going to be a doctor when you grow up," said Cricket. "I could be a doctor if I wanted, but I'm going to be a lawyer instead. Then when I get older, I can be elected president of the United States."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    book talk summary

    This book is about Lucas Cott one of the smartest kids in his teachers class and she is Mrs. Hockady. He is always getting in trouble by racing his pencils, telling jokes, and shouting out without raising his hand! But he doesn't try to be the class clown. He tries to be the best student but everything doesn't go like he wanted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2003

    Just clowning around

    Luis Cott in Mrs. Hocoaday¿s third grade class is always clowning around. But when his teacher writes a note to his mother, Luis decides to try and be a perfect student. But first he had to stop clowning around. I like the part when Luis says he wants to be a doctor,but his mother says I thought you wanted to be a wrestler. Luis says that was yesterday. If you like funny books, read this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2001

    Class Clown

    this is a very funny book on a book on a kid that is very smart but he does not show it. So he gets his act together and the most unexpected thing happens........ read the book to find out

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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