Gloria Rising

( 1 )

Overview

Gloria is thrilled when she goes to the store to buy an onion and meets Dr. Grace Street, an astronaut. It's there that Dr. Street tells Gloria to have confidence in herself and that the big things aren't always as big as they seem. But Gloria doesn't really understand Dr. Street's advice. Right now her problem seems gigantic. It's the beginning of fourth grade and Gloria can't do anything to please her teacher Mrs. Yardley. When Gloria writes a report about meeting Dr. Street, Mrs. Yardley doesn't believe her. ...

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Overview

Gloria is thrilled when she goes to the store to buy an onion and meets Dr. Grace Street, an astronaut. It's there that Dr. Street tells Gloria to have confidence in herself and that the big things aren't always as big as they seem. But Gloria doesn't really understand Dr. Street's advice. Right now her problem seems gigantic. It's the beginning of fourth grade and Gloria can't do anything to please her teacher Mrs. Yardley. When Gloria writes a report about meeting Dr. Street, Mrs. Yardley doesn't believe her. Gloria knows she's telling the truth. How can she prove it?

A chance meeting with a woman astronaut encourages Gloria to try to be her best self, even with her difficult fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Yardley.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Cameron’s crisply direct advice, all of which is right on, ranges from practical items . . . to profound character-building insights—and the learning goes on in an author’s note citing Internet resources about space exploration.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Kids will be thrilled by the possibility of running into an astronaut in the checkout line.”—The Bulletin, Recommended

Publishers Weekly
The sequel to Gloria's Way, Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron, illus. by Lis Toft, starts out at the supermarket, where the fourth grader's chance encounter with Dr. Grace Street, a famous astronaut, leaves her pondering some sage advice. ( Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Gloria, Julian's best friend from The Stories Julian Tells (Pantheon, 1981) and the main character of her own Gloria's Way (Farrar, 2000), takes center stage in this easy chapter book. In the summer before fourth grade, the girl has a serendipitous encounter with an astronaut, Dr. Grace Street, who gives her this important advice: "-be careful what you tell yourself-because whatever you tell yourself you're very likely to believe." Soon after this meeting, Gloria returns to school and her new teacher, "the Dragon of Doom," announces, "We are not going to have hamsters, turtles, or algae in jars. We are going to have flash cards." Mrs. Yardley's impression of Gloria and her classmates is immediately influenced by the antics of Billy Watkins, who appears blameless while the other students stand accused of his misdeeds. As much as she tries, Gloria cannot win her teacher's trust. When she reports on her chance meeting with the famous astronaut, Mrs. Yardley refuses to believe her and humiliates her in front of the class. Finally, Dr. Street pays a surprise visit and helps the teacher see the error of her ways. While this solution to a difficult situation is a bit too facile, readers will still identify with all involved and cheer when these appealing characters are satisfyingly vindicated. Toft's simply drawn but expressive pencil illustrations add just the right amount of visual support for those readers graduating to easy chapter books. Fans of Julian and Gloria won't be disappointed.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Having made it her mission to impart life information to middle-graders, Cameron brings Julian's friend Gloria (Gloria's Way, 2000) to the forefront once again for a series of edifying encounters. After the woman in line behind her in the store, who turns out to be former astronaut Dr. Grace Street, fills her head with starry visions and lectures her on negative thinking, Gloria heads to fourth grade. There bully-er, Billy Watkins gets her in trouble, and her burned-out teacher, Priscilla "Dragon of Doom" Yardley, decides that she's a liar for claiming to have met an astronaut. Ultimately, Gloria gets to see Dr. Street visit the class, to deliver another inspirational lecture, and to set Mrs. Yardley straight, then screws up her courage to climb Old Rocket, the biggest pine tree in the park, to reflect on big things, little things, and mastering fear. Toft's penciled portraits capture Gloria's pigtailed likability nicely; Cameron's crisply direct advice, all of which is right on, ranges from practical items like never looking directly at the sun, to profound character-building insights-and the learning goes on in an author's note citing Internet resources about space exploration. "Live and Learn" is the unstated theme, and by the end, readers will have a sense of what makes even Mrs. Yardley and Billy tick. (Fiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440419983
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/8/2004
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM) Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 276,566
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.29 (w) x 7.66 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Cameron is the bestselling author of many popular children's books. She lives in Guatemala.

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Read an Excerpt

The Astronaut and the Onion

My mother was making spaghetti sauce. She said, "Gloria, honey, would you go buy me an onion?"

"Sure," I said. She gave me some money, and I went.

The store was crowded with old people holding tightly to their shopping carts, little kids hollering to their parents for candy, and lots of people staring at shopping lists and blocking the aisles.

I ducked around all the carts and went to the back where the vegetables are. From all the onions in the bin, I took the prettiest—a big round one, light tan and shiny, with a silvery glow to its skin.

I carried it to the express checkout and stood at the end of a very long line.

Next to me there was a giant Berkbee's Baby Food display. It was like a wall of glass, and taller than I am. All the little jars were stacked up to look like a castle, with pennants that said "Baby Power" sticking out above the castle doorways and windows. At the top there was a high tower with a red-and-white flag that said "Berkbee's Builds Better Babies!" I started counting the jars, but when I got to 346, I gave up. There must have been at least a thousand.

The checkout line didn't move. To pass the time, I started tossing my onion from hand to hand. I tried to improve and make my throws harder to catch.

A woman wearing a sky-blue jogging suit got in line behind me. She was holding a cereal box. She smiled at me, and I smiled back.

I decided to show her what a really good catcher I am. I made a wild and daring onion throw.

I missed the catch. The onion kept going, straight for the middle of the baby food castle. The castle was going to fall!

My folks would have to pay for every broken jar! The store manager would kill me. After that, my folks would bring me back to life to tell me things that would be much worse than death.

I was paralyzed. I shut my eyes.

I didn't hear a crash. Maybe I had gone deaf from fright. Or maybe I was in a time warp because of my fear. In fifty years the onion would land, and that would be the end of me.

I felt a tap on my shoulder. If I opened my eyes, I would see the store manager and all the broken jars.

I didn't want to see him. I didn't want to know how bad it was.

There came a tap again, right on the top of my head.

I heard a woman's voice. "I have your onion."

I opened my eyes. The woman in the jogging suit handed the onion to me.

"Lucky I used to play baseball," she said.

"O-o-o-h," I said. I clutched the onion.

"O-o-o-h," I moaned again.

"You're welcome," was all she said.

She had brown eyes with a sparkle in them, and her hair was in shiny black ringlets. She wore blue-green earrings that hung on tiny gold chains. When she tilted her head, her earrings spun around, and I saw they were the Earth—I mean, made to look like the Earth, jeweled with green continents and blue oceans.

"Your earrings are beautiful," I said.

She smiled. "Some friends got them for me," she said, "to remind me of a trip we made."

When she said "trip," her face started to look familiar, but I didn't know why. Then I remembered.

"I've seen you!" I said. "I saw you on TV!"

She smiled. "Could be."

"And you come from right here in town, but you don't live here anymore," I said.

"That's right," she said.

"And you are—aren't you?—Dr. Grace Street, the astronaut!"

She tilted her head, and the little Earths on both her ears spun round. "That's me," she said.

I was amazed, because I never thought I would meet a famous person in my life, and yet one was right beside me in the supermarket, and I myself, Gloria Jones, was talking to her, all because of my onion throw.

"We learned about the space station in school last year," I said. "You were up there, orbiting the Earth."

"My team and I were there," Dr. Street said.

"What is space like?"

"You know," she said.

"How could I know?" I said.

"We're always in space," Dr. Street said. "We're in space right now."

"Yes," I said, "but what was it like out there, where you went? Out there it must seem different."

"Do you really want to know?" she asked, and I said yes.

"The most awesome part was when we had to fix things on the outside of the station. We got our jobs done and floated in our space suits, staring out into the universe. There were zillions of stars—and space, deep and black, but it didn't seem exactly empty. It seemed to be calling to us, calling us to go on an endless journey. And that was very scary.

"So we turned and looked at Earth. We were two hundred miles above it. We saw enormous swirls of clouds and the glow of snowfields at the poles. We saw water like a giant blue cradle for the land. One big ocean, not 'oceans.' The Earth isn't really chopped up into countries, either. Up there you see it is one great big powerful living being that knows a lot, lot more than we do."

"What does it know?" I said.

"It knows how to be Earth," Dr. Street said. "And that's a lot."

I tried to imagine everything she had seen. It gave me a shiver.

"I wish I could see what you saw," I said. "I'd like to be an astronaut. Of course, probably I couldn't."

Dr. Street frowned. "Why do you say 'Probably I couldn't?' "

"Practically nobody gets to do that," I said.

"You might be one of the people who do," she said. "But you'll never do anything you want to do if you keep saying 'Probably I couldn't.' "

"But maybe I can't!" I protested. I looked down at my onion. I didn't think a very poor onion thrower had a chance to be an astronaut.

Dr. Street looked at my onion, too. "It was a good throw—just a bad catch," she said. "Anyhow—saying 'Maybe I can't' is different. It's okay. It's realistic.

"Even 'I can't' can be a good, sensible thing to say. It makes life simpler. When you really know you can't do one thing, that leaves you time to try some of the rest. But when you don't even know what you can do, telling yourself 'Probably I couldn't' will stop you before you even start. It's paralyzing. You don't want to be paralyzed, do you?"

"I just was paralyzed," I said. "A minute ago, when I threw my onion. I didn't enjoy it one bit."

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    chocolategirls

    Excellent reading. Read it twice. Give it as a gift often.

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