Spring Break

( 1 )


It was going to be the best vacation ever...

But two days before her trip to Washington, D.C., with her best friend Zoe's family, Cricket Kaufman trips on a curb and winds up on crutches. Worse still, Zoe invites Sara Jane Cushman to go to Washington in Cricket's place! Now Cricket's friendship with Zoe seems as injured as her ankle. All she has to look forward to are seven days stuck indoors. It's going to take some serious creativity to turn ...

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It was going to be the best vacation ever...

But two days before her trip to Washington, D.C., with her best friend Zoe's family, Cricket Kaufman trips on a curb and winds up on crutches. Worse still, Zoe invites Sara Jane Cushman to go to Washington in Cricket's place! Now Cricket's friendship with Zoe seems as injured as her ankle. All she has to look forward to are seven days stuck indoors. It's going to take some serious creativity to turn this woeful week into a lucky break!

Cricket's spring break turns out to be pretty eventful, even though her broken ankle means she cannot go to Washington, D.C. with her best friend as they had planned.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this relatively sedate tale featuring Cricket Kaufman and pals, first introduced in Class Clown, Hurwitz takes a break from the series' predominantly school setting. For the bulk of the noveland all of her spring vacationCricket is laid up with a broken ankle. Luckily, the fifth grader's personality, handily revealed through animated conversation and humorous snippets of the girl's thoughts, is sufficiently appealing to carry the plot, which, given the heroine's homebound status, is unavoidably short on action. Cricket's accident comes at the worst possible time, as she must pass up a long-planned trip to Washington, D.C., with the family of her best friend, Zoe. Adding insult to injury, Zoe invites another classmate to go on the trip in Cricket's place. Hurwitz smoothes out that wrinkle with a breezy narrative showing how Cricket's friends and teacher help her cope with her frustration and boredom. Though not as effervescent as the author's tales of Ali Baba Bernstein, Aldo and Elisa, this bright bauble will give fans of Cricket and company a welcome update. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-up. Apr.
Children's Literature - Tim Whitney
This book continues the series of Cricket Kaufman and her friends Zoe, Sara Jane, Lucas, and Julio during the spring of their fifth-grade year. Cricket is terribly disappointed when she breaks her ankle and is unable to visit Washington with Zoe and her family. Preparing herself to be miserable, she is surprised when her spring break does not turn out to be the disaster that she had anticipated. Readers will enjoy the story's funny moments and likeable characters.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5Cricket Kaufman feels she's the "luckiest person alive." Her most recent fifth grade success, an "A" on a book report about Helen Keller, and an approaching spring-break trip to Washington, DC, with her best friend, Zoe, convince her it is so. Then a bet with the class pest, Lucas, causes her to fracture her ankle. But much to her surprise, vacation at home proves to be a chance to appreciate simple things such as negotiating stairs; making a new friend; tricking Lucas; and trying her hand at cross-stitch and drawing. She also enters a contest designing a postage stamp. Zoe returns with a bagful of souvenirs, and Cricket's parents decide a trip to the nation's capital that summer would be appropriate. Although she doesn't win the contest, Cricket still decides that everything good in her life makes her a winner. The spare, black-ink sketches portray telling facial expressions, adding interest to the story. Hurwitz is always consistent in style, characterization, and writing, and her latest offering runs true to form. The author's many fans will be quick to devour it.Christina Dorr, Calcium Primary School, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380732579
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: First Harper Trophy Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Johanna Hurwitz is the award-winning author of more than sixty popular books for young readers, including Faraway Summer; Dear Emma; Elisa Michaels, Bigger & Better; Class Clown; Fourth-Grade Fuss; and Rip-Roaring Russell, an American Library Association Notable Book. Her work has won many child-chosen state awards. A former school librarian, she frequently visits schools around the country to talk about her books. Mrs. Hurwitz and her husband divide their time between Great Neck, New York, and Wilmington, Vermont.

Karen Dugan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design. Her artwork has been called "warm" (ALA Booklist) and "vibrant" (The Horn Book) and has appeared in publications such as Cricket magazine. Books she has illustrated include Mr. Tuggle's Troubles and Mary D. Lankford's Christmas USA. She lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Bad Break

One Wednesday in early April Cricket Kaufman was walking home from school. It was just two days before the spring vacation. Even though Cricket loved school, she was delighted that the week's holiday was almost here. She had so much to look forward to.

One of Cricket's fifth-grade classmates, Lucas Cott, was walking home too.

There were days when the two of them got along just fine. After all, even though there were four sections of each grade at the Edison-Armstrong School, for some mysterious reason Lucas and Cricket had been in the same class every year.

There were some days, however, when Cricket wished she could say some magic word and just make Lucas Cott disappear. Today had been one of those days. He had belched, not once, not twice, but three times while she was in the midst of reading her book report aloud to the class. After the second belch Mr. Flores, their teacher, had scolded him. Lucas claimed it was because of the franks and beans he had eaten for lunch. Then he gave his third belch.

Cricket had serious doubts about whether *it was the food inside Lucas that had caused him to act that way. Lucas had a reputation for pulling pranks and being a pain.

"Hey, Cricket," Lucas yelled. "Wait up."

"Why should I wait for you?" asked Cricket in disgust.

"All right. Don't walk with me. See if I care," said Lucas. "Is it true that you're going to Washington, D.C., with Zoe Mitchell during the vacation?" he called to her.

At this Cricket had to stop. "Yes," she said, beaming proudly. "It was all arranged last night. Zoe's mother called my mother and invited me. Herfather has to attend some sort of conference there, and Zoe and her mother and sister are all going along."

Zoe had hinted to Cricket that perhaps she could accompany them on their trip. But when the invitation actually came the evening before, Cricket had nearly burst with excitement. She had never been to Washington. There was so much to see and visit there: the White House, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Museum. They all were places she had heard about. The invitation was one of the most wonderful things that had ever happened to Cricket.

"So how come you're going too?" Lucas wanted to know.

"Zoe's parents decided that Zoe and Halley could each bring one friend. They're going to get two hotel rooms, and the kids will sleep in one and the grown-ups in the other. I've never stayed in a hotel before. Have you?" she asked Lucas.

"Yeah. Once when I was a baby. But I can't remember it at all, so it doesn't count." Lucas looked at Cricket. "You're really lucky," he said. "I'm not going anywhere 'or doing anything during the spring break."

Cricket shrugged. "You'll probably be busy goofing off with Julio and the other guys," she told him.

"Yeah. Maybe we'll go to a movie or something ,during the week. But I wish I could go away someplace special like you," he admitted. "Lucky duck."

"Well, when you think about people like Helen Keller, we're all lucky," Cricket pointed out. Helen Keller had been the subject of her book report. When Helen Keller was a little girl, she had gotten very sick and as a result had become blind and deaf. It had been very interesting to read about her. Everyone in their class had read a biography of someone famous. Lucas had read about a man named jean-Henri Fabre, who had spent his whole life studying bugs. That was just like Lucas, to find something gross to read and write about.

"What did you get on your book report?" she asked him now.

"A," Lucas said.

Cricket wondered if Lucas was telling the truth. Of course she had gotten an A. She almost always did. And Mr. Flores had even written at the end, of her report, This is an excellent job. Congratulations. She wondered if he had written anything on Lucas's paper.

The thought of the words on her book report and the anticipation of the super trip ahead of her put Cricket in a wonderful mood. She really felt like the luckiest person alive.

Turning toward Lucas, she said, "Did you ever think what it would be like if you were blind?" While she was working on her report, she had sat in her bedroom with her eyes closed and tried to imagine it. Pretending that she was blind like Helen Keller, she had even gotten up from the chair by her desk. She had walked all the way to the door of her room without bumping into anything.

"Yeah," Lucas admitted. "And deaf too. Which do you think is worse?"

"Deaf," said Cricket without a moment's hesitation. She had given the matter serious thought while she was writing her report. "If you're deaf, you can't hear voices or music or anything."

"Yeah, but if you're blind, you can't even walk without falling over things-unless you have a Seeing Eye dog, of course," said Lucas.

"I bet I could walk all the way home without using my eyes and without a dog" Cricket asserted. "If you know the way, it's easy."

"I bet you can't," said Lucas.

"Can too," said Cricket.

"Can't," said Lucas. "I'll bet you." He stuck his hand in his pocket and held out a nickel and three pennies and some lint. It wasn't very much. "I'll bet you my new wristwatch," he said, pulling up the sleeve of his jacket to show it off.

"You can't bet your watch," said Cricket.

"Why not? It's mine. And besides, you won't win it."

"Yes, I will," said Cricket firmly. "Watch me. Here I go....

Spring Break. Copyright © by Johanna Hurwitz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

1. A Bad Break 1
2. Stuck at Home 11
3. Mr. Flores Pays a Visit 23
4. Another Visitor 31
5. Hot Cupcakes 39
6. The Contest 53
7. In the Middle of the Night 64
8. Surprises from Zoe 72
9. Mr. Flores Is Speechless 79
10. A Shoe on Each Foot 92
11. Cricket Gets a Letter 103
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2005

    week of fun

    i loved this book. not just because it was fun but because i could relate to it. i was on chuches all summer if you read this book you will love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2004

    this was a great book

    i loved the book. i know how it feels to break your ankle. i broke mine in a different way. but she missed her break and a time with her best friend while someone else went with her friend insted of her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2003

    Broken Ankle

    I like this book, Spring Break, because it has someone named Cricket who broke her ankle by tripping on a small rock with her eyes closed. I like books where someone gets hurt because I know how it feels when I get hurt. It was sad when she tripped. I know it would hurt if I broke my ankle. Cricket has to stay home for spring break when all of her friends went away to Washington D.C. I felt happy when Cricket enters a stamp contest. People who like to read about someone who broke an ankle doing a dare for their friend would like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2000

    Spring Break

    This book was great! I had to do a 'Book Sale Presentation' for my Language Arts class. This was the book that I used. I love this book and I got a good grade on my project too! Johanna Hurwitz writes so many good books! I love her books, especially this one! GO BUY OR CHECK OUT THIS BOOK NOW- and thanks for your time ~Alyssa~

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