Ferret in the Bedroom, Lizards in the Fridge

( 7 )

Overview

Liz's house is like a zoo. Thanks to her dad, a zoologist, there are turtles in the kitchen, an ibex in the backyard, a hawk in the shed, a sun porch full of lizards — and Fred the ferret.
Liz has had enough! At school, her nickname is Lizard. Her classmates think she's weird and her friends are afraid to go to her house. WIth problems like those, how is she ever going to win the election for class president?
Liz tries her hardest, but she runs...

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Overview

Liz's house is like a zoo. Thanks to her dad, a zoologist, there are turtles in the kitchen, an ibex in the backyard, a hawk in the shed, a sun porch full of lizards — and Fred the ferret.
Liz has had enough! At school, her nickname is Lizard. Her classmates think she's weird and her friends are afraid to go to her house. WIth problems like those, how is she ever going to win the election for class president?
Liz tries her hardest, but she runs into one disaster after another. So she makes the startling decision — the animals must go. Even Fred, her pet ferret. That will make all the difference in the world...won't it?

Liz tells her zoologist father he must get rid of all the homeless animals he keeps at their house or she'll never win the sixth-grade class presidency, but when they're gone she misses them and learns there are more important things than winning.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Liz (known as ``Lizard'' at school after an unfortunate happening in second grade when her show-and-tell lizard got loose) is having trouble coping. She is running for president of the sixth grade and her stiffest competition is the class glamour queen, who has a mean mouth. Wallace writes convincingly of the trials of a 12-year-old faced with derision from schoolmates because her dad, a zoologist, has a collection of weird pets that sabotage every campaign-strategy meeting in her home. Deciding that the animals must go so that she can lead a ``normal'' life and win the election, she pleads her case with her father. Understandingly, he finds homes for the animals, but Liz comes to realize that perhaps she has lost more than she has gained. The book is as much about an adolescent's interaction with animals as it is about her relationship with parents and peers. Young readers should relate to and enjoy this story. (812)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671680992
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 11/1/1988
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 272,230
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.64 (w) x 5.16 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun.
One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.
Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story.
Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

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Read an Excerpt

His eyes held mine, but it was only for a couple of seconds, then the darned bell had to ring. Everybody leaped up and headed for the door.

"There are parents in the hall," Mrs. Jones shouted above the racket. "Don't run over them."

Right then, who else but Jo Donna Hunt jumped out of her seat, walked right up to Shane Garrison, and started talking. She tossed her head so her long blond curls bounced. Even from way back at my desk, I could hear that oozy-sweet voice of hers and her fake, gushy giggle. She had her back to me, but I could almost see her long eyelashes fluttering at Shane — flipping and bouncing like some heroine I'd seen in an old-time movie.

Something went clunk on my desk. I looked up.

Sally dropped her book bag in front of me and frowned.

"You all right?"

I gave a half smile. "Sure. Why?"

"I thought you were asleep or something," she teased. "Sitting there with your mouth flopped open. Come on." She grabbed my arm and dragged me away from my desk. "We got a million things to do. Only got a week to get your campaign really rolling. Let's go."

When I was on my feet, she crammed her book bag into my arms. "You know the combination to my gym locker. Go get my stuff and put it in here. I got to catch some of the other girls before they leave. We got to get posters and stuff done this weekend. Hurry up! I'll meet you at the flagpole."

She shoved me toward the door, then climbed over two rows of desks so she could catch Tina Simmons before she left.

I walked real slow by the front of the room, hoping to hear what Jo Donna was saying, and hoping that maybe, just maybe, Shane might look at me again.

I was almost close enough to hear what they were saying when Ted Barton walked over and slugged me on the shoulder.

"Hey, good going on the runoff," Ted was almost yelling. Then, even louder, he said, "I didn't know you'd make it that far, Liz-ard."

My eyes scrunched up real tight when I turned on him. He laughed and took a step backward.

"Oh, excuse me," he said, putting a hand over his mouth. "I forgot you don't like your nickname, Liz-ard. You want people to call you Elizabeth, right?"

My eyes were scrunched up so tight, I could barely see. I wanted to reach out and punch him in the nose. Only, I was standing right in front of Shane and Jo Donna, so I took a deep breath and kept walking.

Ted looked kind of disappointed when I didn't at least yell at him. He shrugged and reached down for his books. And right when I got to the door, he called:

"Good luck, anyway, Lizard."

I just wanted to die!

I felt even worse by the time I got to the girls' gym. It was bad enough that Ted Barton had embarrassed me in front of the cutest boy in school, but when I got to digging around in my locker and found the socks...yuck!

They were wadded up in the back. I remembered the day I got them wet and stuffed them there, but I thought I'd taken them home two weeks ago.

Wrong!

They were dirty and grungy since I'd worn them for two weeks. Then I'd gotten them wet and tossed them into the locker and accidentally laid a towel over them. Now they were so dry and crusty they stuck together, and they smelled like something dead

I looked around to make sure nobody was watching, then reached in with two fingers and picked them up. Real quick, I stuffed them into the bottom of my book bag and crammed the rest of my gym stuff on top of them.

I decided to leave my locker open while I got Sally's stuff. I just hoped nobody walked by. If the girls ever found out that it was my old socks that were stinking up the locker room, I'd be the laughing stock of the whole school. They might even change my nickname from Lizard to Stinky. Even worse they might start calling me Stinky Lizard.

Quick as I could, I worked the combination to Sally's locker. When I opened it, I couldn't believe the pile of junk she had. There were about three pairs of socks, four tops, and three shorts. One pair of shorts didn't even look like it had been worn.

Sure hope I can cram all this into that one book bag of hers, I thought.

Everything went fine till I got down to the bottom of Sally's locker. There I found some smelly towels that she had thrown in. The one on the very bottom was dry in the middle but had this sort of green stuff growing on the edge. I hated to pick it up, and after I finally did, it was so stiff I couldn't even get it to uncrinkle. It just kind of sat there, in a lump, the way Sally had thrown it into her locker.

I stood holding it between my thumb and finger, wondering what to do. I hated to put it in Sally's bag with the rest of the stuff. If I were in the backyard at home, I'd find a shovel and bury it.

From the other side of the locker, I heard Miss Wimberly. "How long have these shorts been in here, young lady?" she scolded. "They're downright dingy. And the waistband is so stiff...and the smell..."

I held my breath and crammed the towel into Sally's bag. I zipped it shut before Miss Wimberly could come around from the other side of the lockers. Then I slammed the doors and left.

Sally was waiting for me by the flagpole. I handed her the book bag and tried to warn her about the towel, but she didn't care. She was too busy thinking about my campaign.

"I'll tell you my 'master plan' on the way home." She motioned me to follow. "First off, we got to have more and better posters than Jo Donna, only that's not enough. What we really need are people, and I figure the best way to get people to vote for you is to get people to help us with your campaign. If we get a bunch of people to help with posters, then they're gonna feel like they're part of your campaign and really get out and get others to vote for you, right?"

She didn't give me time to answer.

"So what we're gonna do is get all our friends to come over to your house Sunday afternoon and paint posters. I'll come over tonight and we can make up a list of everybody to invite. We'll get a list of all the girls and guys that you went to grade school with and all the people that were in our homeroom in fourth and fifth-grade center. Then we'll..."

Sally kept talking, ninety to nothing, but somehow, I quit listening. I didn't stand a chance against Jo Donna. She was beautiful. Her clothes were perfect, it seemed like she wore a new dress almost every day, and no matter what we did in school, she never got mussed up. Her hair was something else, too. Either her mother sent her to a beauty shop every day after school, or they got up and fixed it first thing every morning. Maybe both.

I remembered one time in second grade when we got in a fight. I told everybody that Jo Donna had fake eyelashes. One rainy day, during inside recess, when the teacher was out of the room, I grabbed hold of one of them to prove it to everybody. Only, the thing didn't come off. Jo Donna ran to the teacher, screaming and crying. I sure got in a bunch of trouble over that. I missed a whole week of recess.

'Course, Jo Donna and I never did get along too well. Remembering back, I think it all started in first grade. My daddy, who's a zoology professor at Oklahoma University, let me take one of his lizards to class for Show-and-Tell. The thing got loose and crawled across Jo Donna's foot. She squealed and screamed and acted real sissy-like. Then at recess she and her friends ran around calling me Lizard Lady. Well, after a year or so, they dropped the "Lady" part. Since my name was Elizabeth, and since everybody called me Liz, they just added the -ard to the end of it. It was all Jo Donna's fault that I got the name Lizard.

If she hadn't been such a sissy about Daddy's lizard crawling on her foot...It wasn't my fault my daddy was a zoologist. It wasn't my fault that he had animals all over the house. It was all Jo Donna's...if she...

"Are you listening to me?" Sally jabbed me with her elbow.

"Huh?"

"You act like you're a million miles away, Liz. Pay attention."

We were in front of my house, on the sidewalk that led to the sun porch where Daddy kept his lizard collection. Darned old lizards, anyway, I thought.

Sally slugged me with her book bag.

"I'm gonna go through this one more time," she said. "You pay attention. First off, I'll be over after supper. We'll make out our list of people to call and help us with your campaign. Then, Saturday, we'll call them. Sunday we'll get together and make posters and stuff, and Sunday night we'll do your hair and get you all made up for Monday. "

"Do my hair?"

Sally nodded. "Yes. I knew you weren't listening. We're gonna do your hair and use some of my mother's makeup on you. Come Monday, you're gonna be simply gorgeous. We're gonna beat that darned Jo Donna at her own game."

"You're kidding, " I gasped. "For gosh sakes, Sally. Look at me. My hair's so straight I could stick my finger in a light socket and it wouldn't curl. It's a yucky brown color. It's about the color of Daddy's ferret. I got freckles all over my nose and cheeks, and my eyebrows and eyelashes are so short my face looks almost bald. And you're telling me you're gonna fix me up and overnight I'm going to look better than Jo Donna?"

Sally smiled and threw her head back.

"That's right. You're pretty."

All I could do was shake my head.

"Sally." I sighed. "You're nuts. Ever since you went to the library with your parents and took that course on 'positive thinking,' you've been nuts! I may be a lot of things, but the last thing I am is pretty. " Sally kept right on smiling

"You are pretty, Liz. You just don't know it yet. I've got to get home. See you after supper."

She took off down the block toward her house, leaving me standing on the sidewalk, shaking my head.

Copyright © 1986 by Bill Wallace

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Table of Contents

1 Boys Are Yucky 3
2 "Liz-ard" 13
3 "Stinking Little Varmint!" 22
4 "Do They Eat Dead Stuff?" 32
5 "Get Rid of Them" 44
6 Daddy 54
7 The Big Black Oldsmobile 59
8 The Town Freaks 66
9 "It's All My Fault" 74
10 Vote for Robbins 79
11 Lizard-Busters 87
12 A Total Disaster 97
13 A Rotten Day at School 107
14 Just Like Fred 114
15 The Speech 121
16 Shane the Snake 126
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    Amazing book - Read it!

    This book is a great book for kids that love animals and like funny things. I thought that this book was a great book because of the funny animal parts that happen, the sad parts in the book that happen, and the things in the book that could be related to real life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008

    This book my review

    A lot of people who read this book said it was a 'girl book' and thats partly true but its still a good book!!! My brother read this book and he really liked it!! I thought this book was hilarious!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2003

    Beware loose animals!

    Ferret in the Bedroom, Lizards in the Fridge by Bill Wallace is a pretty good book about a girl named Elizabeth Robins, whose nickname is Lizard. Liz¿s dad studies animals, so she has a bunch of animals living in her house. She doesn¿t think it¿s safe to have friends over. Then she gets elected as one of the top three candidates for the class president. She needs to invite friends over to work on a campaign. What will she do? Will she regret inviting them later? This story has friendship, truth and trust. It also has some funny parts in it, like when they make posters for the campaign. Girls would probably like this book better than boys.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2000

    I couldnt stop laughing

    This title was so helarious me and my dad wouldnt stop laughing even at the cover. I like it alot

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2000

    Cute Book w/ an Inaccuracy

    I still have a worn copy of this at home. It's a great story. I am 22 now, and have four of my own ferrets, along with a lizard, dog, and a cat. Well, everything is adorable about this story. The ferret's antics all sound like what happens in my house...but...the main character, Liz, has a father who says something to the effect, 'It's a shame people keep these wild critters as pets. They are sweet, but really should be in their natural habitat.' Well, folks, ferrets are domestic. There are other species that are wild, but mustela furo is a domesticated animal. That's my only complaint and I mention it because it is a widespread misunderstanding and causes legal problems for MANY ferret owners!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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