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Science Fair

Science Fair

4.5 53
by Ridley Pearson

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Grdankl the Strong, president of Krpshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government. His plan is to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School, located in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington. The rich kids at Hubble cheat by buying their projects every year, and Grdankl's cronies should have no problem selling them his


Grdankl the Strong, president of Krpshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government. His plan is to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School, located in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington. The rich kids at Hubble cheat by buying their projects every year, and Grdankl's cronies should have no problem selling them his government-corrupting software. But this year, Toby Harbinger, a regular kid with Discount Warehouse shoes, is determined to win the $5,000 prize-even if he has to go up against terrorists to do it. With the help of his best friends, Tamara and Micah, Toby takes on Assistant Principal Paul Parmit, aka "The Armpit," a laser-eyed stuffed owl, and two eBay buyers named Darth and the Wookiee, who seem to think that the Harrison Ford signed BlasTech DL-44 blaster Toby sold them is counterfeit. What transpires is a hilarious adventure filled with mystery, suspense, and levitating frogs.

Editorial Reviews

Grdankl the Strong has concocted an ingenious, insidious plan to achieve world domination. If all goes well, the president of far-off Kprshtskan will infiltrate the Hubble Middle School science fair, sell the rich kids virus-laden software and wait until the entire U.S. of A. crumbles in total computer freeze. The only thing that Grdankl had counted on was the honesty and savvy of regular kid Toby Harbinger, a middle schooler on a mission. High adventure; nice light tone. Now in paperback.

VOYA - Christina Fairman
Eighth grader Toby Harbinger finds evidence of cheating at an annual science fair, but no one wants to believe him when he points to the wealthiest students in the school. Instead teachers and administrators decide that Toby is a liar whose goal is to disparage those who always win the contest. Their projects, however, have been purchased from a mystery person and include dangerous and classified information. Through a series of offbeat adventures, Toby learns that the plans are really part of a larger terrorist plot orchestrated by the dictator of fictional Kprshtskan, whose leaders are hapless buffoons with inflated egos and no awareness of their irrelevance on the global stage. Middle readers will enjoy the heroic depiction of a young person who challenges unreasonable adults for what he believes. Plenty of humorous moments will also appeal to younger readers. Older readers, on the other hand, will question the wildly improbable premise. Some may also bristle at the farcical portrayal of Kprshtskan. The ridiculousness of its leaders (and by extension, its citizens) is overworked and ultimately condescending. Even though it is a fictional country, for example, one still feels embarrassed when the President of the United States refers to it as a "dirtbag little nation." Most perplexing, however, is the odd juxtaposition of humor and terrorism. The incorporation of terrorists, even if their motives are ridiculous, injects a stark reality into the story that weakens the plot. This book is best as a secondary purchase. Reviewer: Christina Fairman
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

When Grdankl the Strong, president of the small, but extremely unhappy country of Krpshtskan, declares war on the United States, no one is safe. Its agents are en route to Hubble Middle School where an operative has been working for several years to create award-winning science-fair projects for underachieving children and their overinvolved parents. This is the year that the top projects will be designed to work in concert to bring down the United States in one enormous, electromagnetic pulse strike. All that is standing in the way of this diabolical plan are three students, a science store operator, a handful of bumbling FBI agents, and a giant Weinermobile. Barry and Ridley have created a wild story of danger, espionage, stinky cheese, exploding vats of Coca-Cola, and one floating frog. This nonstop, action-packed novel will appeal to every kid who has ever had to do a science-fair project.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

Kirkus Reviews
Eighth-grader Toby Harbinger and his outcast friends would look forward to the science fair if it were a fair competition. However, every year the rich (and obviously brainless) kids submit wonderful projects they had about as much to do with as they did the creation of the Parthenon, and one of them always wins. Toby discovers how they're doing it, but no one will believe him. Suddenly, someone is framing him for cheating. He's suspended, then grounded, then arrested for terrorism. There's more going on at this year's science fair than anyone (except Toby and his friends) knows: Turns out fixing the fair might just save the country! Barry and Pearson, co-authors of numerous Peter Pan-based novels (Cave of the Dark Wind, 2007, etc.), turn their attention to our reality (sort of) with laugh-out-loud results. A wildly unbelievable page-turner that's all the more fun for its over-the-top silliness, this is Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (2002) on suspect mushrooms. The short chapters plus the promise of a sequel will please reluctant readers as well as those seeking laughs, suspense and floating amphibians. (Science fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.02(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
13 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Dave Barry
is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of more than a dozen books, including Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far); The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog; Dave Barry's Money Secrets; and Big Trouble. With Ridley Pearson, he is coauthor of Peter and the Starcatchers; Peter and the Shadow Thieves; Peter and the Secret of Rundoon; Peter and the Sword of Mercy; Escape from the Carnivale; Cave of the Dark Wind; and Blood Tide.

Ridley Pearson
, in addition to coauthoring the Peter and the Starcatchers series with Dave Barry, is the award-winning author of Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark; Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn; Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow; Steel Trapp: The Challenge and Steel Trapp: The Academy. He has also written more than twenty bestselling crime novels, including Killer View and Killer Weekend. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University.

Brief Biography

Miami, Florida
Date of Birth:
July 3, 1947
Place of Birth:
Armonk, New York
B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969

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Science Fair 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
gloriabookes More than 1 year ago
Written with lots of Dave Barry style humor. Lots of adventure and suspense that kept me wanting to read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic. Very funny humor. Completely for people who love peter and the starcatchers. Next reccomended book: The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was so funny! My 8 year-old (she's an advanced reader) and I read it together and even I didn't want to put it down. She still quotes parts from it. Just imagine a high speed chase with a Wiener Mobile involving constumed Star Wars fans and spies with cheese in their pants and you'll get the picture of just how out there this book is.
M-dog More than 1 year ago
funniest book iever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome! If you like Star Wars, weird things, Mento Coke Explosons, and high speed hot dog chases ,then his is for you! ( There is a woman wearing a Princess Laia Metal Bra!) So this book rocks and this book is awsome i am 10 and love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! I could see a movie being made after it someday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best comedy book ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious, with a surprising twist at the end. One of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First rhobngs first i hate you people who go around govong oome star just because read something for a change gosh darn it and this book is best pn bpok and tape totlly awesome i think its read by the athour or pne pf them ateast i admire their creativity dernsky and verlsk as well as jimmijimmi are the nest namever this book made .e laugh out loud
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious. Cou not put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! Great story and a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the most thrilling esponiage adventure with a heck load of crazy. Plus it was witty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever! I read it 20 times and it never gets old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly reccomend this book to anypne who likes humor and adventure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read Peter and the Shadow Thieves by the same people and it was really good, but for some reason I'm kind of reluctant to buy this book. Is it really as good as every one is saying? What if I don't like it? The only reason I'm saying this is because it doesn't sound like something I would like to read, but at the same time part of me thinks I should give it a try. Any tips?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book awile ago. I looked it up on my nook to find the author. I cant believe that this piece isnt enjoyed. It is def worth the money. I recomend it for ages 10 through 15.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get the sample or go to you closest library and read parts of it before u dicide about if u like the book or not.ok.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago