What Happens When Your Least Favorite Person Is Your Only Hope for Rescue?
When Channing O’Banning’s BFF goes gaga over new boy Marco, Channing wishes she could send him back to where he came from. Her wish turns into her worst nightmare when Marco tags along on her family’s dream trip to Marco’s home country of Costa Rica.
With her secret sketchbook in tow, a colored pencil stuck in her ponytail, and adorable pot-bellied pig, Teeny, by her side, Channing embarks on a high-flying adventure through the Costa Rican rainforest. But when the feisty fourth-grade artist makes a few wrong turns and gets lost in the jungle, she discovers that maybe Marco isn’t so bad after all.
Through her wild escapades, Channing learns just how important it is to keep the earth—and friendships—healthy.
About the Author
Author Angela Spady is an award-winning educator, curriculum author, and mother to two daughters. Her innovative teaching techniques have been featured on PBS, KY Teacher Magazine, and in various print media around the country. She is a noted advocate for encouraging art and self-expression among elementary school children and is often sought out by both parents and teachers on this critical topic. She and her family live in Kentucky.
Read an Excerpt
Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue
By Angela Spady, Tammie Lyon
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Santa Cruz Press, LLC
All rights reserved.
Snap Out of It!
Summer vacation was only a few weeks away, but none of my teachers seemed to notice. I was up to my eyeballs in homework. My brain was turning into Jell-O. Even my locker smelled like old cheese. I kept forgetting to take home my lunch box, and green fuzzies were growing on my old sandwich crumbs. School break couldn't get here fast enough!
"Remember, class, there will be a quiz tomorrow," said Mr. Doring, our science teacher. "You must know how plants help our environment."
That was the third time he'd reminded us today. No wonder we called him Boring Doring. He was about to drive me bonkers. It was like our teacher didn't think we could remember a single thing! He was the one with Post-it notes all over his desk, after all. He always had a bad hair day (that was one thing we had in common) and always wore that ginormous red tie with a picture of Einstein saying, "Science is cool" on the front. Ugh. My teacher might think science is cool but not me. Why do we have to learn about junk like that?
Art is the only class that I like. After all, I am an artist and will be world famous someday. It's only a matter of time before my drawings will be in a museum. I'll probably be forced to wear sunglasses and hide from all my fans. Luckily, I keep a pencil stashed in my ponytail, just in case I need to give an autograph or draw something cool. But for now, I was in science class.
"He must think we're totally clueless," I whispered to Maddy, my best friend.
She didn't move a muscle, so I wasn't sure she'd heard me.
"He's reminded us ten zillion times about that dumb quiz. Why are we having a test this time of the year, anyway?" I said a little louder.
"Uh, right, Chan ... clueless test ... a zillion times ... mmhmm ..."
Huh? What's her problem?
Every word I'd said had gone in one ear and out the other. Maybe Boring Doring had finally pushed her over the edge. I couldn't blame her.
Maybe she's turned into a science zombie.
I pulled my Lime Lizard Green pencil from my ponytail and dropped it onto the floor on purpose. I needed to check out what Maddy was doing at her desk. If she'd really turned into a zombie, I needed to run for my life.
And then I saw it.
Maddy was in a total daze and writing in her notebook:
Maddy + Marco 4 Ever
This was all Cooper's fault. Wait—no, it was really all Marco Ramos' fault!
Marco was the new kid at school. Well, he wasn't that new. He'd been here for almost a month and seemed like any other fourth grade boy to me. We didn't know much about him, only that he spoke Spanish and English, which was cool, I guess, and that his dad was looking for a new job.
But yesterday Marco told Cooper that he thought Maddy was cute, and, of course, Cooper had to run straight to tell Maddy. Cooper Newberry is one of my best friends, but he blabs everything to the entire planet. And now, thanks to the big mouth, Maddy has gone goofy in science class—all because of a boy.
"Helllloooo, earth to Maddy, come in for a landing ... do you hear meeee?" I snapped my fingers as loudly as possible, trying to get her attention.
Just when Maddy noticed I was alive, I felt our teacher standing right behind my desk. His stare was burning a hole into my ponytail.
"Miss Channing O'Banning, do you have something you'd like to tell the class?" Mr. Boring glared over the top of his glasses, like one of those mad scientists on the sci-fi channel.
"Uh, no ... um ... sorry, Mr. Boring," I said quickly.
The whole class cracked up.
"Oh! I mean Mr. Doring—not Mr. Boring ... sir!" I corrected myself.
Cooper laughed so hard that I thought his head might blow off. His whole face turned red. Almost purple, really. It wasn't that funny.
But just when I was about to get the Boring Doring lecture on "No Talking While the Teacher Is Talking," the bell rang for class to be over. Yes! I couldn't leave science class fast enough.
"Way to go, Chan," Cooper griped. "The last thing we need is for Boring Doring to get mad at everyone during the last week of school. He could really make this test a doozy."
Secretly, I wanted to yell at Cooper for blabbing to Maddy that Marco said she was cute. That's what started this whole thing in the first place. But I couldn't get too mad. Cooper had been one of my best friends since kindergarten. He understood me better than anyone. Maddy understood me too, but now she was in Marco La La Land.
"I don't see why we have to know so much about a bunch of dumb plants," I complained.
"I don't think Mr. Doring cares what you think, Chan. And we still have to take the quiz. Otherwise, we'll flunk and have to take the class again next year."
Cooper did have a point. I couldn't face the future if Boring Doring were in my life for two years in a row. Cooper always thinks of things ahead of time, which is exactly why he is the smartest kid in class. He remembers to study for every single quiz, and he always remembers to complete every assignment. Basically, Cooper is exactly the opposite of me. I tried not to think about things that stunk. And to me, science is one of the stinkiest things ever. Cooper Newberry loves it.
"I'll help you guys study for the quiz," said someone behind us. "I know a lot about plants and animals and stuff."
That's when I looked over my shoulder. Ugh. It was You-Know-Who.
Apparently, Marco liked stinky science too. Of course.
Marco and Maddy were walking right behind us. I couldn't help but glance over at Cooper. He didn't seem to be as bugged about it as I was.
"Oh, yeah?" I asked Marco. "Are you a plant and animal expert or something?"
I didn't need anyone's help—especially from Marco, the Best Friend Thief.
"We learned about all kinds of plants at my old school in Costa Rica. There's every plant you can imagine in the rainforest. In fact, some of the plants and animals don't exist anywhere else in the world."
I looked over at Maddy, and she was grinning from ear to ear. She looked at Marco like he was some kind of genius. I couldn't help but roll my eyes.
I wanted to scream.
"We have zoos around here, you know," I pointed out. "And planetariums."
"Uh, Chan, planetariums study planets, not plants," Cooper whispered.
"You may know something about plants, Marco, but I happen to know everything about animals," I said.
That was one thing I was sure about. After all, I could draw any and every kind of animal. I looked over at Cooper, hoping he'd agree that I was an animal expert. I finally had to poke him with my elbow to make sure he got the hint.
"Owl Yeah, Chan knows tons about animals and stuff," Cooper said.
I thought Maddy might speak up and agree with Cooper, but no such luck. I doubt that she even knew I was standing there.
"Have you ever seen a blue jeans frog, Channing O'Banning?" Marco asked. "Or a quetzal bird? They're very hard to spot in the wild since their tail looks like a long green fern."
A blue jeans frog? And what kind of bird did he say?
I couldn't help but laugh. So did Cooper. Marco must have thought we'd believe anything. I couldn't even pronounce the type of bird he had mentioned. It sounded like the word pretzel to me. And no wonder they're hard to spot—I'm sure they don't even exist!
"Yeah, right!" I said. "I guess you've seen purple elephants or giraffes that wear sneakers too, huh?"
Everyone laughed at my comeback—everyone except Marco and Maddy, of course.
"Whatever, Channing O'Banning. Come on, Maddy, let's get to class. Some people are just rude."
Maddy zoomed around Cooper and me with her nose stuck up in the air. If the sprinkler system had gone off, she would have drowned. My ex-best friend walked around with Mr. Plant Expert, acting like we didn't exist.
Oh, why did that boy have to move to Greenville?!
I couldn't wait to go home and get out my Candy Apple Red pencil and my secret sketchbook. I already knew what I was going to draw: a picture of Maddy with a big red X over her face.
Best friends—who needs them?CHAPTER 2
I remember the very first time I met my best friend Madison Martinez. Our preschool teacher had put our desks in alphabetical order. Since Martinez came before O'Banning, Maddy sat right in front of me. She had the curliest brown hair I'd ever seen. And Maddy said she'd never seen a kid with as many freckles as I had. She asked if anyone had ever tried to connect the dots on my arms and legs. I tried that later with a purple marker and got in big trouble.
Once in preschool, when I was really bored, I slid a jumbo crayon into a curl on the back of Maddy's head. She didn't even notice it until Cooper blabbed about it. I thought it looked good with her pink outfit, but Maddy didn't think so. She tattled on me to the teacher in two seconds. I had to stay in at recess and everything.
I drew a picture of a pink giraffe and told Maddy that I was really sorry. We've been best friends ever since—or had been best friends—until Marco Ramos came along.
Maddy and I always had fun at sleepovers too. She took ballet lessons and would try to teach me a few of her moves. In exchange, I'd give Maddy a few drawing lessons and let her use my colored pencils. We soon decided to stick to what we liked best, though. My legs felt like pretzels when I tried standing in one of those ballet positions. And Maddy couldn't even draw a turtle, which seemed like the easiest thing in the world to me.
Sometimes we'd have a sleepover at my Nana O'Banning's house. She's the coolest grandmother on the planet, and Maddy thinks so too. Maddy once brought over some old dance costumes from her ballet recitals so we could play dress up. We even dressed up Teeny, my Nana's pot-bellied pig, in a pink tutu. He didn't seem to mind at all. Actually, I think he kind of liked it. Teeny twirled and twisted around like he was on a real stage. Nana even gave him a rose, but I can't remember if he smelled it or ate it.
Excerpted from Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue by Angela Spady, Tammie Lyon. Copyright © 2015 Santa Cruz Press, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. Snap Out of It!, 1,
2. BFF, 9,
3. Beware of Frogs Wearing Sneakers, 14,
4. D for Doomed!, 21,
5. We're Doing What?, 26,
6. Salad Surprise, 33,
7. Asombroso!, 39,
8. Birds of a Feather, 45,
9. Stinkville, 50,
10. Oh, Why Did I Do That?, 56,
11. Is That What I Think It Is?, 62,
12. Time to Fly, 68,
13. Going Green?, 73,
14. Green in Greenville, 78,
15. Paper or Plastic?, 84,
Did You Know?, 89,
Want to Save the Rainforests? Here's How!, 91,