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Ms. Bixby's Last Day
     

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

4.3 3
by John David Anderson
 

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New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

“Kids won’t just love this book. They need it.” —Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

“Each page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all.” —Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery

Overview

New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

“Kids won’t just love this book. They need it.” —Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

“Each page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all.” —Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor winner and author of Okay for Now

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Gary Schmidt
Certainly it would not be difficult to amass a longish list of books for young readers with wise, feisty and beloved teachers, perhaps beginning with Ms. Frizzle and rushing to Patricia Polacco's Mr. Falker; E.L. Konigsburg's Mrs. Olinski; Kirkpatrick Hill's Miss Agnes; Kevin Henkes's Mr. Slinger; Roald Dahl's Miss Honey; Harry Allard's Miss Nelson; and J.K. Rowling's Remus Lupin and Minerva McGonagall…Ms. Bixby is in this glorious line, but this is not a book about her precisely; it is a book about three hurt and damaged sixth-grade boys who have been given a tremendous gift by Ms. Bixby's teaching and life: They have been given more to be human beings with. They are about to demonstrate how much more.
Publishers Weekly
★ 04/25/2016
Three sixth-grade boys embark on a tragicomic quest to do something special for their beloved teacher, who has announced that she won’t be able to finish out the year following her cancer diagnosis. Upon learning that Ms. Bixby is in the hospital and this is their last chance to see her, best friends Topher, Brand, and Steve concoct a plan to skip school, acquire certain supplies, and spring Ms. Bixby for one last day of fun. But as good intentions collide with reality, the three are forced to adapt their plan and confront the possibility of defeat. The narrative unfolds in humorous yet insightful ways, illuminating Ms. Bixby’s influence on the students’ personal and scholastic lives and emphasizing the power that a good teacher, mentor, or friend can have. Topher’s rich imagination, Steve’s sharp intelligence, and Brand’s common sense keep the rotating voices distinct and the story lively. Anderson (The Dungeoneers) skillfully balances realism and comic exaggeration in an emotionally rich tale that holds no miracles, other than the small human kind. Ages 8–12. Agency: Adams Literary. (June)
Soman Chainani
“Kids won’t just love this book. They need it.”
School Library Journal
12/01/2016
Gr 4–6—When Topher, Steve, and Brand learn that Ms. Bixby is terminally ill, they decide to cut class and give their beloved teacher a truly special tribute, but nothing goes as planned. Simultaneously heartrending, uproariously funny, and affirming, this is that rare story that centers on loss yet isn't overwhelmed by grief or pain; at its heart, this tale celebrates life, friendship, and the importance of finding one's own voice.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-03-16
Determined to give their hospitalized teacher a worthy "last day," three sixth-grade boys skip school and persevere on an impossible quest, deepening their friendship and discovering inner courage they didn't know they had. Ms. Bixby was one of the "Good Ones"—the kind of teacher you pay attention to and who pays attention to you. For each of the three narrators in this moving story, she meant something special. Topher, Steve, and Brand feel unappreciated at home: white artist Topher's parents are busy working; Japanese-American Steve feels inferior to his perfect sister, who meets his father's high standards; and white Brand has shouldered adult responsibilities because his paraplegic father is too depressed to do household tasks. Alternating chapters chronicle their efforts to acquire an expensive cheesecake, a bottle of wine, and a large bag of french fries for a celebratory picnic in the park across the street from the hospital where Ms. Bixby, who recognized their strengths, is being treated for pancreatic cancer. Not surprisingly, their mission is not entirely successful, but, like Atticus Finch, they see it through. Anderson's dialogue is realistic, and his choice of first-person narration gradually reveals each boy's history and personal growth. His characters are believable 12-year-old boys. The urban setting is appropriately diverse and gritty, and humor and pathos are nicely balanced. Sad and satisfying in just the right amounts. (Fiction. 8-12)
Gary D. Schmidt
“Forget the dragons. Forget the swords and shields. Here is the true quest: to face the unendurable, knowing defeat is inevitable, and yet continuing with dignity and honor and purpose and, even, joy. Each page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all.”
Gordon Korman
“A story of that one teacher we all have who we’ll never forget, told with laugh-out-loud humor and oh, so much heart.”
Tricia Springstubb
“Brand, Steve and Topher are a comic, lovable crew, and wise, pink-haired Ms. Bixby is the teacher every child deserves. This is a touching, often hilarious story of endings, beginnings, and self-discovery. As Brand would say, frawesome!”
Brightly.com
“This surprising, inspiring, and relatable book is perfect for boys and girls who loved Wonder and will make you fondly remember your favorite teacher.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062338174
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/21/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
24,874
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

John David Anderson is the author of many books for young readers, including Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.

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Ms. Bixby's Last Day 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Second one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good , kinda sad too. ~ The Oracle At Delphi #rickriordanrocks!