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Leon and the Champion Chip

Leon and the Champion Chip

5.0 11
by Allen Kurzweil

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Leon's back. Having survived the sweatshop methods of Miss Hagmeyer, his needle-wielding fourth grade teacher at the Classical School, Leon braces himself for fifth grade. He arrives armed with a backpack full of pens and pencils, binders and notebooks . . . plus a rag doll that's the spitting image of Henry Lumpkin, the bully who has Leon in his sights. If the


Leon's back. Having survived the sweatshop methods of Miss Hagmeyer, his needle-wielding fourth grade teacher at the Classical School, Leon braces himself for fifth grade. He arrives armed with a backpack full of pens and pencils, binders and notebooks . . . plus a rag doll that's the spitting image of Henry Lumpkin, the bully who has Leon in his sights. If the doll works the way it's supposed to, Leon (and his buddies P.W. and Lily-Matisse) won't have to worry about Lumpkin the Pumpkin!

Better still, Leon has a fabulous new teacher, Mr. Sparks, who conducts science experiments using that most miraculous of research materials -- the potato chip. And a good thing, too. Mr. Sparks's lab work will come in handy when Leon is forced to take on Alphonse "The Chippopotamus" Cipollini at the annual Chipapalooza! Chip-Off.

Once you've sunk your teeth into Leon and the Champion Chip, the hilarious sequel to Leon and the Spitting Image, you'll never eat potato chips the same way again!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The star of Leon and the Spitting Image returns for Leon and the Champion Chip by Allen Kurzweil, illus. by Bret Bertholf. Coming off of a summer that rated "an 8," Leon starts fifth-grade with the perfect invention to pay back bully Henry Lumpkin Jr.-except that it backfires and the hero winds up in a trash can. Will his year improve? Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Can you imagine how cool it would be to study potato chips all year in science if you are a fifth grader? Leon and his two best friends find out that Mr. Sparks is a far-out teacher. Mr. Sparks believes in being creative to capture the attention of his students and, thereby, help them to learn while enjoying it. Talk about creative and cool. Back to School is upon us as the story begins. Leon is preparing his knapsack with his new school supplies and a secret "purple" pouch for the first day of the fifth grade. Tension runs high the night before school begins; there are a lot of things kids worry about. One of them is how to deal with the school bully and live to tell about it. Leon, Lily-Matisse and P.W.— three best friends—form a "think tank" to deal with Lumpkin, the school bully. Through a quirky stroke of luck in the fourth grade, Leon had created a look-a-like doll of a frumpy teacher. The look-a-like doll seemed to have magical powers; when pointed at the teacher, the teacher did what the doll did. The trio decides to recreate the experiment by making a look-a-like image of Lumpkin. The basic idea is to use the doll to "encourage" Lumpkin away from being a bully and hurting everyone. Science experiments can be more fun that you think; much of the book is a delightful story about potato chips and learning about science through very creative lab experiments. Mr. Sparks believes in total participation, finding ways to involve everyone in the process. One of the most exciting events is a field trip to a potato chip factory which is chock-full of surprise ins and outs that only a creative fifth grader would know how to pull off. The conclusion of the book finds our trio andmany new friends involved in a Championship Competition. This is a page turner that will be hard to put down. Wait until you find out what happens to Lumpkin, the purple pouch and Leon. 2005, Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers, and Ages 8 up.
—Joe Ann Hinrichs
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This sequel to Leon and the Spitting Image (HarperCollins, 2003) offers the same laughs and preponderance of plot points involving saliva. Here, Leon Zeisel, potato-chip collector extraordinaire, works hard to create a voodoo doll powered by spit that will give school bully Lumpkin a "turbowedgie." In the meantime, an invigorating and unorthodox new science teacher gets his class involved in a semester of studying Leon's beloved snack, and the fifth grader enters the Chipapalooza, a potato-chip trivia and taste-test competition. Leon's friends Lily-Matisse and P.W. continue to be his abettors, and he still lives in his mother's hotel with an extended family of employees and often-bizarre animals traipsing through the hallways. Playful drawings throughout, including presidential portrait chips on the endpapers, add greatly to the fun. Kids will enjoy this rollicking comedy.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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File size:
7 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Leon and the Champion Chip

Chapter One

The Purple Pouch

The eve ning before the start of fifth grade, Leon Zeisel was feeling unusually chipper. He sat on his bed in Trimore Towers -- the six- story, wedding cake- shaped one- star hotel he called home -- and prepared for school.

Three- ring binder? . . . Check.

No. 2 pencils? . . . Check.

Pens? . . . Check.

Lab notebook? . . . Check.

After making sure all required materials were present and accounted for, Leon reached under his bed and pulled out a large purple pouch containing the unrequired item that was making him so chipper. Keen though he was to peek inside the pouch, Leon resisted temptation. He didn't want to jinx things.

He placed the school supplies -- plus the pouch -- into his backpack, hung the backpack on the doorknob, and pushed the extra item out of his mind.

For a while.

But in the middle of the night, Leon awoke with a start. A single word pulsed through his head.

The word beat quietly at first: pouch! pouch! pouch!

But soon it got louder: pouch! pouch! pouch!

Then louder still: pouch! pouch! pouch!

Leon tried to ignore the chant. He couldn't. Eventually he hopped out of bed and padded over to the door, dragging his blanket behind him. He placed the blanket across the doorjamb, to keep light from seeping into the living room, then grabbed the backpack and switched on the lamp beside his bed.

As soon as his eyes adjusted, Leon unzipped the pack and removed the purple pouch. He took a breath. He squinched his eyes and clucked his tongue, a good-luck ritual performed to ward off worry. (And Leon Zeisel was feeling worried -- and thrilled and antsy and eager.) He loosened the drawstrings of the pouch and extracted two objects: a small glass bottle filled with tarry brown liquid and a nine- inch- long, handmade rag doll. He set the bottle aside and directed his attention to the tiny doll -- a boy dressed in an olive- drab army jacket. The boy had bright orange hair, a surly- looking mouth, and beady eyes that seemed to glower at Leon.

Leon glowered back. "You staring at me, Pumpkinhead?" he whispered sternly.

Pumpkinhead remained silent.

"Wipe that look off your face now, soldier!" Leon commanded in a low voice.

Pumpkinhead failed to obey the order.

"Okay, lamebrain, you asked for it." Leon dispensed a disciplinary noogie to show who was boss. Or rather, he made Pumpkinhead give himself a noogie by bunching up the tiny cloth fingers and grinding them into the figure's soft, stuffing- filled skull.

"And there's more where that came from," Leon promised.

Comforted by the one- way exchange, he began packing up. But as he reached for the bottle of brown liquid, he felt a slight tug on the leg of his pajamas. Suddenly his bed lamp came crashing down. A cord had wrapped around his shin.

Almost at once a voice called out from the living room. "Sweetie? You okay?"

"Fine," Leon managed as he groped about in the dark.

"What are you up to in there?"

Leon could hear the creaky springs of the pull- out couch, a sure sign his mother would soon burst in. "Just or ga niz ing stuff for school," he shot back, fumbling to re- pouch the bottle and rag doll.

The doorknob turned.

"What's blocking the door?" Emma Zeisel demanded.

Leon zipped up his backpack seconds before his mother pushed the blanket aside. She entered the bedroom and flipped on the wall switch.

Sniffing the air, she said, "I smell something fishy. You've been going through that collection of yours, haven't you?"

"No, Mom. It's just back- to- school jitters," Leon improvised.

"Well, jitters or no jitters, this is no time for mischief -- not the night before the start of fifth grade. Get it?"

"Got it."

"Good," said Emma Zeisel firmly as she picked up the blanket. "Now get your behind back in bed."

As soon as Leon was under the sheets, his mother gave the blanket a single expert flick. It landed over her son with pinpoint accuracy. Quickly and effortlessly, she tucked in the corners. "There we go," she said, fluffing up the pillow. She gave her son a kiss and returned the bed lamp to the nightstand. "I'd tell you 'Lights out,' but you seem to have taken care of that all by yourself."

"I was just -- "

"Hush now, and get some shut- eye," she scolded gently. "You have to be up by six- thirty to walk Trudy Lite."

"Six-thirty?" Leon whined.

"At the latest, sweetie. You're the one who told Napoleon you wanted to get to school before the first bell. Remember, he's picking you up at a quarter to eight on the dot."

Leon and the Champion Chip. Copyright © by Allen Kurzweil. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Allen Kurzweil is a prize-winning novelist, children's writer, inventor, and journalist. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Smithsonian, and Vanity Fair. He is a graduate of Yale University and the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Bret Bertholf is a painter, writer, musician, and the yodeling singer for Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams, an acclaimed traditional country/western band, as well as the coordinator of children's events at the Tattered Cover Book Store. The artist is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Leon and the Champion Chip 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
V v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is great. Rrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaaaddddd.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All-state potato chip association a awesome book. Another good book by allen is potato chip science. Man i love leon and the champion
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nan Skier More than 1 year ago
This is liek the most gud book ive ever read ever its so good and stuff and i luv where leon tries to bully the bully i wish there was a 3ird book in this series its so gud i relly recoomed this book its relly good its soooooooooo gud.
Nicole Greenleaf More than 1 year ago
sooooooooooo goooooooooood
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this was a funny book and a great sequel. I want to buy it so bad! Who knew potato chips could be so cool?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most best book I have ever read. It is so funny and GOOD. I LOVE this my teacher read it to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patatoe Chips are the tastiest part of this exstatic squeal! Excellent!