The Biggest Test in the Universe

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Sam thinks he is the luckiest boy in school because he has Mr. Albright for a teacher. He thinks he is the luckiest boy, that is, until Mr. Albright announces that the Big Test is the following Friday. The Big Test is designed to assess how much Sam and the other students have learned, and Sam is worried. His worries grow when he hears rumors about how hard the test is. He hears that his head will turn into a marble and he will "get blisters on [his] brain." His arm will fall off and "nobody finishes." On the day of the test Sam puts on his lucky hat and sets off for school. Nervous, he finds he knows some answers. When his pencil breaks, Mr. Albright comes to the rescue with a new pencil. After the test is over, Sam's friend, George, says it was not too bad. Sam says it "was easy. I took it upside down for fun!" Sam and George then tell the younger children how hard the test is, warning them that nobody finishes, and their heads will turn into "a marble!" A humorous testament to the standardized testing rite of passage, this bright picture book will boost the confidence of new generations of test takers. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
—Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Sam and his classmates are facing the Big Test! The older children tell them exaggerated stories: "The test is so hard-your head looks like a marble when it's over," the "booklet is like a telephone book," and "Nobody finishes," and Sam begins to worry. When the big day arrives, the children have been well prepared, and all goes swimmingly. Outside, the smaller children wait to know how it was, and, of course, Sam and his friends tell them the same tall tales that they were told. Enlivened by colorful and humorous illustrations depicting the students' worries, this book is fun and cheerful, as well as unique in its subject. With the increased emphasis on testing, there is a real need for books like this one that spoof and reassure simultaneously. Good hints are given for how to prepare for exam day, such as "get a good night's sleep," etc. This book should find a home in most libraries.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young Sam has heard stories about the end-of-year test in Mr. Albright's class. It's as big as a telephone book, older students groan. Your head will look like a marble when you're done; your arm will be in a sling. ("Some arms fall off," shrieks one girl at Sam.) Understandably, Sam has a gathering case of the willies. Even his family is (inadvertently) undercutting his teetering confidence; his mother remembers endless reports, his grandfather remembers teachers measuring his head at the end of term-if it hadn't grown, woe was he. Mr. Albright is as cool as a cucumber, pouring oil on troubled waters, but the waters still tremble. Poydar works her magic here, playfully kindling a little blaze under Sam's apprehension, all the while defusing it with the goofy preposterousness of the legends surrounding the test. Said and done, Sam's class now has their own legends to pass on: "Yeah," said one kid to a younger one. "I know a kid who had to eat it!" The tradition continues. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823419449
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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