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Children's LiteratureSam 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