Me and Rolly Maloo

Overview

Right after I got the answer, a small paper ball hit me striaght in my right ear. It was a note from Rolly Maloo. What's #8?" it said.

The answer to number eight was 75 percent. Was it really going to hurt anyone if i gave this answer to Rolly?

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Overview

Right after I got the answer, a small paper ball hit me striaght in my right ear. It was a note from Rolly Maloo. What's #8?" it said.

The answer to number eight was 75 percent. Was it really going to hurt anyone if i gave this answer to Rolly?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wong and Buttler thoughtfully explore thorny social and ethical dynamics in this graphic novel/prose hybrid. At home with her single mother, who stuffs envelopes to make ends meet, fourth-grader Jenna is shocked when popular girl Rolly Maloo telephones her. Thanks to an opening cartoon in which Rolly contemplates calling Jenna ("Not that she's not nice. But like Mom says, she's odd"), readers will already know what Jenna suspects: it's too good to be true. Rolly, at the urging of a friend, is seeking help for a math test, and Jenna gets caught passing back a note to Rolly during a test the next day. Jenna knows cheating is wrong, but her rationalizations for helping Rolly ring true: "Maybe helping Rolly Maloo with a math answer would be called charity. And instead of calling her a cheater, maybe you could call her someone who is smart enough to ask for help." Buttler's b&w illustrations adeptly broadcast characters' emotions and substantially broaden the story's scope by revealing that adults (the students' parents and teachers) can be as cliquish and conflicted as the children. Ages 7-10. (July)
From the Publisher
"Middle-grade readers will be easily caught up in the cheating drama." - Booklist
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Rolly Maloo, the most popular girl in school, has called Jenna Lee to come over to her house to play. Jenna is, as Rolly's mom says, odd, and she is definitely not popular. Jenna is so excited to have an invitation from someone like Rolly that she does not stop to think about why Rolly has invited her. Even when she hears Rolly say something about the upcoming math test, she does not really hear it. On the day of the test, Jenna gets hit in the ear by a paper ball from Rolly asking her for the answer to one of the questions. Jenna knows that cheating is wrong but she thinks that Rolly really needs the answer. The rest of the class sees the notes flying and unfortunately so does the teacher. The graphic novel format mixed with traditional text works especially well in this novel, allowing the readers to see Jenna's emotional conflict as well as Rolly's inner thoughts. It also reveals that the motives of some adults are not strictly honorable either. Jenna's teacher finds a way to uncover the truth without making Jenna feel any more guilty than she already does and the solution will make readers think about right and wrong. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
Gr 3–4—Fourth-grader Rolly Maloo is pretty and intelligent but she fears she is not smart enough to win a coveted spot in a math competition. She uses her popularity to win the allegiance of Jenna Lee, who is smarter but in much lower social and economic strata. During the important test, the in-crowd gets the answers they need, and Jenna gets caught. Who is the cheater? Rolly and her friend Patty had manipulated her, and Jenna capitulated to their demands. Complicating matters are the mothers of the popular girls. Grown-up Queen Bees themselves, they are PTO powerhouses spying from the copy room and demanding action from the principal, who just wants the situation to go away. The true heroes are the other social outcasts, Shorn and Hugo (who tell what they know), and the kids' kind and fair teacher, Mrs. Pie. She cracks the case with deductive reasoning, handwriting analysis, and some very interesting "push-back" on Principal Young's efforts to appease the parents. Wong's inclusion of school administration and "helicopter" parents makes this morality play a painfully accurate portrayal of elementary school political and social dynamics. The characterizations are spot-on, and Buttler's frequent graphic-novel-style artwork and dialogue balloons emphasize reactions and emotions. The easy-reading level and heavy use of illustrations may attract an audience not prepared for the moral ambiguity displayed by the adult characters, but the story is one worth telling.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580891592
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet S. Wong is the acclaimed author of dozens of books for young readers, including DUMPSTER DIVER, APPLE PIE 4TH OF JULY, and the Minn & Jake series. She lives near Princeton, New Jersey.

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Read an Excerpt

Ring, ring! Ring, ring! Ring, ring—
The third day of fourth grade, Rolly Maloo called me up at home. Out of the blue, for no reason at all, she asked me if I wanted to come to her house to play. Rolly Maloo has air conditioning, I bet. But even if her house were ten times hotter than ours, I would go in an Appaloosa minute.
Rolly Maloo is the most popular anybody (girl or boy) in fourth grade and maybe even the history of the whole school, except for her older sister. Marissa Maloo left Edison last year for fifth grade at Hilltop, the fancy private school downtown.
Rolly Maloo spends every recess in the middle of a crowd of kids who let her say everything she wants. I spend every recess sitting under a tree, digging holes in the mud with Shorn L.
Rolly Maloo, what on earth has you calling me, Jenna P. Lee, for no plain reason at all?

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Table of Contents

Cast of Characters iv
1 Rolly Maloo and Me.....4
2 Mrs. Pie and I.....16
3 The Math Test.....22
4 Cheating—or Not?.....36
5 Confession Time.....50
6 Rumors.....56
7 The Bad News.....68
8 Detective Loop.....76
9 Me and Shorn L......96
10 Momma’s Pies.....100
11 The Math Test, Round Two.....113
12 The Results.....120

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First Chapter

Me and Rolly Maloo


By JANET S. WONG

Charlesbridge

Copyright © 2010 Janet S. Wong
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-58089-158-5


Chapter One

Rolly Maloo and Me

Ring, ring! Ring, ring! Ring, ring—

The third day of fourth grade, Rolly Maloo called me up at home. Out of the blue, for no reason at all, she asked me if I wanted to come to her house to play. Rolly Maloo has air conditioning, I bet. But even if her house were ten times hotter than ours, I would go in an Appaloosa minute.

Rolly Maloo is the most popular anybody (girl or boy) in fourth grade and maybe even the history of the whole school, except for her older sister. Marissa Maloo left Edison last year for fifth grade at Hilltop, the fancy private school downtown.

Rolly Maloo spends every recess in the middle of a crowd of kids who let her say everything she wants. I spend every recess sitting under a tree, digging holes in the mud with Shorn L.

Rolly Maloo, what on earth has you calling me, Jenna P. Lee, for no plain reason at all?

No one had ever called me up special to ask if I wanted to come to their house to play. Never. Except Shorn L. did once, but that doesn't count for much around school, because I am the only one who likes Shorn L. And even though I do like Shorn L., I won't go back to her house, because nobody wants to be fooled by a bunch of Shorn L.'s brothers dropping ground-up bugs in your pop.

When I heard Rolly Maloo say her own beautiful name, I couldn't believe my good luck. I felt so special. I felt chosen. Then I wondered if she had called the wrong number. She said my name three times in a row. I guess she thought she had the wrong number because I couldn't talk with my mouth hanging open. When I finally croaked out my hello, Rolly asked, "Jenna, you want to come over?"

I twirled and twirled until I tied myself up in the telephone cord like a rope-tied cow at the rodeo.

While I was busy untwirling, I didn't hear what Rolly was saying. I realized later on that she was saying something about the math test, but if you asked me then, I'd say she was talking about lunch. This is because I was busy thinking of us sitting together at lunch. I would share my everyday apple and she would share her cafeteria cake. While she was chewing, everyone would listen to everything I had to say for once. Shorn L. could come sit at our table, too. Maybe not the first week, but later on, once I got the okay from Rolly.

I said, "You know, Rolly, I could bring my special spinner toy to your house, you'll really like it. And my gray Arabian horse, the one with the red leather saddle." I was so excited I said "leather," even though it's really made of plastic. As soon as I made the mistake, I started to worry that Rolly Maloo would consider me a liar. "Sheesh-O-Mighty, light the liar on fire!" is what Shorn L. would say, except she says "liar" like "lawyer," and no one would ever accuse me of being one of those.

Again Rolly said something-something about math and something, but math was the last thing on my mind. Then I heard Rolly's mother remind her to remind me to ask my mother if it was okay. I said, "I'm sure it's okay." I pressed the phone against my chest and shouted out to Momma in the laundry room. Momma shouted back that she couldn't hear me. I left Rolly hanging on, and I ran over to the laundry room to ask.

Momma did not even stop to think. She said, "No, not today." How about tomorrow, I started to ask, but she put on that four o'clock frown of hers, and she said, "Don't give me that. You know you have your chores."

I lied to Rolly. "Maybe tomorrow," I said. Rolly did not say "Maybe tomorrow" back. We hung up, and I knew I had missed my chance.

Every once in a while you get a chance, and it's there, and then it's gone. I felt my chosen feeling falling away. Something had gotten into Rolly Maloo for the meantime, but it might not be there ever again.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Me and Rolly Maloo by JANET S. WONG Copyright © 2010 by Janet S. Wong. Excerpted by permission of Charlesbridge. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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