Read an Excerpt
“Remember, class, we’re not the only school visiting the planetarium today, so I expect you to be on your best field-trip behavior,” Mrs. Kelly said as she led the Edith B. Sugarman fourth-graders into the Beaver Brook Planetarium. “Your very best field-trip behavior,” she added, looking straight at George Brown.
George frowned. Teachers always looked at him when they said stuff like that. He sat down at the end of the row and stared up at the round ceiling. Mrs. Kelly had nothing to worry about with him. He wasn’t going to cause any trouble during the field trip.
At least he was going to try not to cause any trouble.
Just then, the lights went down. Bright stars twinkled overhead. A recording of a man’s deep, booming voice came over a loudspeaker.
“The stars in our night sky have been burning for centuries,” he said. “The same stars we see now were viewed by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome. Those people long ago noticed that the stars were grouped together in shapes, which we call constellations.”
George frowned and squirmed around in his seat. Bo-ring.
“These stars form the Big Dipper,” the voice continued, as lines connecting some stars appeared on the ceiling of the planetarium. “And these form the Little Dipper.”
George wiggled around in his seat some more. Was this ever going to get more interesting?
“And these stars . . .”
The man on the loudspeaker was saying something else, but George wasn’t paying attention. He couldn’t. Not while there was something much more exciting going on—right inside his belly.
There were bubbles in there! Not just your usual, run-of-the-mill kind of bubbles. Strong, powerful bubbles. Bubbles that slam-danced against George’s spleen and kickboxed with his kidneys. Bubbles that hip-hopped on his heart and leaped to his larynx. Bubbles that could burst out of him and . . .
Just then, George let out a powerful burp. A super burp. A burp so loud, and so strong, it could knock the Big Dipper right out of the sky.
Alex looked over at George. “Dude, no!” he shouted.
Dude, yes! The magical super burp had escaped. And now, whatever the burp wanted to do, George had to do.
“This constellation is Draco,” the recorded voice said. “The dragon.”
“ROAR!” Suddenly the burp made George roar like a fire-breathing dragon. “ROAR!”
A few of the kids in the planetarium laughed. None of the teachers did.
“And this is Lepus, the hare,” the recorded voice continued.
That was all the burp had to hear. The next thing George knew, he had leaped out of his seat and was hippity-hoppitying around the planetarium.
“George, sit down!” Mrs. Kelly scolded.
George wanted to sit down. But George wasn’t in charge now. The burp was.
“And this is Pisces, the fish,” the recorded voice continued.
Uh-oh! Suddenly the magical super burp made George’s whole body start flipping and flopping, like a fish out of water. George sucked in his cheeks and made a fish face. Then he leaped over the seats and planted a big, wet fish kiss right on Louie’s cheek!
“Yuck!” Louie shouted. He wiped George’s spit from his face. “Get off of me!”
Yuck was right. The last thing George ever wanted to do was kiss Louie Farley. Stupid super burp. It was going crazy. George was helpless to stop it.