Phineas L. MacGuire...Erupts! (From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire Series #1)

( 17 )

Overview

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PHINEAS L. MACGUIRE,
BOY-SCIENTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, AKA MAC:

1. He's allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can prove it.

2. He's probably the world's expert on mold, including which has the highest stink potential.

3. He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend, who...

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Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment

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Overview

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PHINEAS L. MACGUIRE,
BOY-SCIENTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, AKA MAC:

1. He's allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can prove it.

2. He's probably the world's expert on mold, including which has the highest stink potential.

3. He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend, who he does not — repeat, not — want to upgrade to best-friend status.

But disaster strikes when his teacher pairs Mac and his un-best friend together for the upcoming science fair. Worse, this un-best friend wants the project to be on dinosaurs, which is so third grade. Worse still, it seems as though everyone else in his class finds the un-best friend as unlikable as Mac does. But, being a boy-scientist, once Mac notices this, he just might have to do some investigating.

This very funny young middle-grade novel includes tantalizingly grue- some experiments for exploding your own volcanoes and imploding marshmallows.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dowell (Dovey Coe) creates a likable hero who proves that kids can be both smart and funny. Fourth grade does not get off to a super start for Mac in this first installment of the From the Highly Selective Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire series. In his clipped, comical first-person narrative, he explains that his best friend, who shared his passion for science, recently moved away. His "un-best friend," also named Mac, is a new classmate whose tough-guy persona immediately alienates his peers. When their teacher pairs the two as partners for the science fair, narrator Mac wants to do their project on mold and the new Mac suggests they do it on dinosaurs (they pick a third that gives the book its title: an erupting volcano). On a visit to his new classmate's apartment, Mac makes some un-scientific discoveries: the boy's name is actually Ben (he changed it so he'd have something in common with someone in his new class), he is an accomplished artist who creates comic books, and he is "really a pretty nice person." Dowell nicely builds their blossoming friendship, and Mac devises a plan to re-introduce Ben to their classmates. Several subplots further enliven this amiable tale, among them narrator Mac's friendly rivalry with a smart classmate who insists that she will win first place at the fair. McDaniel contributes spirited half-tone illustrations to the novel, which concludes with directions for performing several experiments mentioned in the story. Ages 8-12. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Ingenious fourth grader Phineas Listerman MacGuire, known as Mac, identifies himself as a scientist and mold expert. He reads Scientific American; can prove he is allergic to many things, including girls; and is a seasoned model volcano builder. Missing his best friend Marcus, who moved soon after school began, Mac dislikes new classmate Mac Robbins, who boasts he is smarter than everyone at Woodbrook Elementary School. The children's quirky teacher, Mrs. Tuttle, keeps a jar packed with rubber frogs on her desk to reward pupils. She insists that students pair up to prepare science fair projects. Mac reluctantly recognizes Aretha Timmons, a smart girl who usually is his rival, as the most likely classmate to achieve a prize-winning project with him, but Mrs. Tuttle partners her with someone else before pairing the two Macs together. While working on their project, the boys' friendship develops realistically. Mac comes to respect Mac R's artistic talent as he realizes truths that explain Mac R.'s unpleasant behavior. Mac and Aretha resourcefully apply scientific methods to solve a classroom mystery together. Pencil sketches effectively convey the novel's humorous tone. Instructions for three experiments, which readers will be eager to try, supplement the text. Designated as the first experiment "From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire" series, pair this book with Wendelin Van Draanen's "Shredderman" books.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-What do you do when your best friend moves in the second week of 4th grade? That is the situation facing Phineas Listerman MacGuire (Mac). Everyone in class already has a best friend, except for the new kid-Mac Robbins, known as Mac R., who has gone out of his way to alienate his classmates. The one bright light in Mac's life is the science fair in a few weeks. He is a scientist who specializes in volcanoes, a passion that his friend Marcus shared. When Mac R. is assigned to be his partner, Mac is sure it will be a disaster. Surprisingly, he finds that the new kid has some good ideas about their project, has a talent in art, and isn't as tough as he pretends to be. His real name is actually Ben. Though their science project hits a few bumps along the way, the volcano has a successful eruption and it looks like Mac just might have a new best friend. Three science experiments are appended, including, of course, an erupting volcano. Readers who enjoy Suzy Kline's "Herbie Jones" (Putnam) and "Horrible Harry" books (Viking) will find Mac appealing.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Budding scientist and fourth-grader Mac has just lost his best friend to a move. Now at lunch he sits at "the table for people who don't have anyone else to sit with." He does, however, have an "un-best friend," Mac R., newly arrived from Seattle and pugnaciously determined to hate everything at Woodbrook Elementary. In the way of young middle-grade novels, Mac and Mac R. are thrown together for the big science-fair project, which itself proves a Petri dish for the cultivation of their unlikely friendship. Mac is a thoroughly likable kid, whose easy sense of self makes it that much harder to understand the spiky Mac R., but which also helps him to help his partner win over their classmates. Dowell adapts to this shorter and simpler mode of storytelling easily, painting her characters with deft strokes and providing them with enough emotional complexity to make them comfortably three-dimensional. Mac's chatty narrative includes several references to science projects, which are described and explained in an appendix. All in all, a smart, funny read-the first in a promising series. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Dovey Coe, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; Where I’d Like to Be; the bestselling The Secret Language of Girls and its sequels The Kind of Friends We Used to Be and The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away; Chicken Boy; Shooting the Moon, which was awarded the Christopher Medal; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; Falling In; the critically acclaimed The Second Life of Abigail Walker; Anybody Shining; and the teen novel Ten Miles Past Normal. She lives with her husband and two sons in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at FrancesDowell.com.

Preston McDaniels is the illustrator of Phineas L. MacGuire...
Erupts!
and Cynthia Rylant's Lighthouse Family series. He lives in
Aurora, Nebraska.

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Read an Excerpt

chapter one

My name is Phineas Listerman MacGuire.

Most people call me Mac.

It's okay if you call me Phin.

You can even call me Phineas.

Forget about calling me Listerman.

I am allergic to fifteen things. My mom says this is not true, that I'm only allergic to two things, peanuts and cat hair. But I am a scientist, and she's not. I have scientific proof that it makes me itchy to think about the following items:

Avocados

Yogurt, any flavor

Cottage cheese

Grape jelly

Any kind of kissing,

especially when there's lipstick

Celery

Purple flowers

Purple Magic Markers

Purple crayons

Anything purple

Moist towelettes in foil packs

Telephone calls

All girls

I started fourth grade three weeks ago. When I started, I had a best friend. His name was Marcus Ballou. Marcus is also a scientist. We were a scientific team. We specialized in volcanoes, caves, fossils, all insects, and the solar system. But mostly volcanoes.

We have made and erupted over eighty-seven volcanoes in our lifetime. It's very simple. You take an empty soda bottle (big) and put it in a baking pan (also big). Fill the bottle with lots of baking soda and four or five squirts of dishwashing liquid.

Then add vinegar and stand back.

You should do it outside, in case you were wondering. Unless you have a less irritated mom than mine. Then maybe you could do it on the kitchen table. If you're like me and spill stuff everywhere even when you're trying really hard to be careful, you should definitely do it at a friend's house.

Here is the problem with Marcus: He moved. To Lawrence, Kansas. This is bad for at least two reasons. Now we aren't a scientific team anymore. Also, he waited until the second week of school to move. If he had moved before school started, then I would have known to look around for a new best friend on the first day.

But I didn't know to do this. I still had Marcus.

Everybody knew that me and Marcus were best friends and a scientific team. No one else tried to be best friends with us. They picked other best friends.

Here's what you would hear all the time:

"Mac and Marcus"

"Mac and Marcus"

"Mac and Marcus"

Now all you hear is:

"Mac"

"Mac"

"Mac"

Scientifically speaking, it's a pretty lonely sound.

Copyright © 2006 by Frances O'Roark Dowell

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Willowstar

    "Frostpaw, how could you." She said mewing sadly. Pads off to The Sapphire result 9. ~ Willowstar ~ @,---

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Frostpaw

    She nods "Thank you"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Runningpaw

    May i join?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    To mosshadow

    Hes at old camp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Mossshadow

    All non evil cats can join!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Wingstar to all

    Camp is being moved to carcal result 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Darkheat

    Looked around and cought fresh kill for the clan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Thornfall to Mossflame

    Son. You wish to speak to us?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    Mossflame

    See Shadowheart's message at res three. Applies to Opalpaw, Firepool, Everpaw, Skypaw, Forestpaw, Talonpaw, some other apprentises I can't think of because of the headache...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    URGENT

    AM LOCKED OUT OF RES THREE PLZ MOVE TO RES 6

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Phineas L. MacGuire ... Phineas L. MacGuire... Erupts! The First Expeeiment

    IT WAS GREAT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    AWSOME BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is a very funny good book.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    good book

    i love this book

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    It is so hard to find books for boys that aren't Sci Fi or Scary. My son is 8 and loves books that make him laugh and think! He was reading "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" but while we are waiting for the next one, I started looking for a new book and found this one. Its about a little boy starting the school year without his bestfriend. Good book, We need more of theses for our boys!! Thank you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    erupts!

    Erupts is an extrodinary read, kids all over have this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2006

    Phineas is a hoot!

    This appears to be the first book in a series called From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire and it's a great start. Phineas, aka Mac is a very likeable, if clumsy fourth grader, who loses his best friend to a move a week or two into the start of the year. 'If he had moved before school started, then I would have known to look around for a new best friend on the first day.' He is also a scientist who was looking forward to pairing with his best friend to win the fourth grade science fair. Now there is no one with anything near his scientific ability except Aretha and while he admires her ability, she is a girl and he is allergic to girls as well as the color purple among other things. Just as he makes his mind up to volunteer to be Aretha's partner, what should his teacher do but pair him up with Mac R, the new kid, who made it very plain on his first day that his new school is far inferior to his old school and is an all-around obnoxiously opinionated person. The book is quick, clever and laugh-out-loud funny and I am looking forward to more books featuring Phineas L. MacGuire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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