Read an Excerpt
My Weird School #10: Mr. Docker Is Off His Rocker!
By Dan Gutman
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2008 Dan Gutman
All right reserved.
Science Is for Nerds
My name is A.J. and I hate school.
Why do we need to learn how to read if we have books on CD? Why do we need to learn social studies if that stuff happened a long time ago and we can't do anything about it now? I hate that stuff. But there's one subject I really hate.
Well, Andrea is not exactly a subject. She's this annoying girl in my class. Even her curly brown hair is annoying.
"Guess What, A.J.?" Andrea said as we were putting our backpacks away.
"Your butt," I replied. (Anytime somebody asks, "Guess what?" you should always say, "Your butt." That's the first rule of being a kid.)
"I know what A.J. stands for," Andrea said.
We went back and forth like that for a while. There's no way Andrea could know what A.J. stands for.I never told anyone. Even my best friends, Ryan and Michael, don't know. If anyone ever found out what A.J. stands for, I'd have to get a new name. I'd have to leave town.
"A.J. stands for -- "
Andrea never got the chance to finish her sentence because our teacher, Miss Daisy, came in.
"Enough chitchatting," Miss Daisy said. "It's time for Show and Share."
Oh man! I forgot all about Show and Share! We were supposed to bring in somethingthat starts with the letter D and tell the class about it. I looked in my desk for a D word. Nothing. I looked in my pockets. All I had was lunch money.
But wait! A dime! "Dime" begins with D!
"I brought in a dime," I told Miss Daisy.
"Good," she said. "What can you tell us about the dime, A.J.?"
"It's worth ten cents," I said, and everybody laughed even though I didn't' say anything funny.
Andrea was waving her hand in the air, and she got called on, of course.
"The word 'dime' comes from the Latin word 'decimus,'" Andrea said.
I hate her.
"Very good, Andrea!" said Miss Daisy. "How did you know that?"
"I looked it up in my D word," Andrea said. "I brought in a dictionary. I use it all the time at home to look up words."
Andrea grinned her little I'm-so-smart grin.
Ryan, who sits next to me, whispered, "If she was really smart, she wouldn't have to look stuff up."
"Andrea, would you please look up the word 'science'?" asked Miss Daisy. "S-C-I-E-N-C-E."
What a dumb spelling! There's no reason why that word should have a C in it. Andrea turned the pages of her dictionary.
"S...S-A...S-C," she said. "Here it is. 'Science is knowledge made up of an orderly system of facts that have been learned from study, observation, and experiments.'"
Andrea smiled her I-know-everything smile and said she was going to keep her dictionary on her desk from now on in case she had to look up any other words.
Why can't a box of dictionaries fall on her head?
"I have good news," Miss Daisy said. "We have a new teacher at Ella Mentry School. His name is Mr. Docker, and he used to be a real scientist. He's retired now, but he agreed to come back to school to each us science."
That was good news? It sounded like bad news to me. We never had to learn science before. Now, just because some old guy doesn't like being retired, we had to learn a new subject. It wasn't fair.
Why did I have to learn science? It's not like I was going to be a scientist someday. When I grow up, I'm going to be a football player. I play Pee Wee football. Tackling people is fun.
Suddenly Mr. Klutz, our principal, poked his bald head into the doorway.
"Has anybody seen Mr. Docker?" he asked. "I think he ran away."
"We better line up in ABC order and go look for him!" said Miss Daisy. "Quickly! To the science room!"
I didn't need any dictionary to tell me what science is. Science is for nerds.
Excerpted from My Weird School #10: Mr. Docker Is Off His Rocker! by Dan Gutman Copyright © 2008 by Dan Gutman. Excerpted by permission.
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.