Sam has made it most of the way through sixth grade, barely able to read and write, but now Sam's family have moved again and he is faced with the prospect of attending a new school. How long will he be able to keep his problem secret?
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Jamie Gilson has written sixteen books, all of them about children, most of them about children in school. And the elementary school where she gets many of her ideas is Central, which all three Gilson children attended. While Tom and Anne are now lawyers and Matthew a photographer, their mother still goes to Central School classes, notebook in hand, looking for stories.
She describes Central's cafeteria in Do Bananas Chew Gum?, its Spit Pit in Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub, and the contents of some of its fourth grade desks in Hobie Hanson, You're Weird. Central students have taught her how to sing "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells," how to chew a mint so it sparks in the dark, and how to play soccer on a field of mud.
She spent two weeks with the whole fifth grade class while, in a kind of total immersion, they studied the Western Movement. On the first day the boys and girls found out who they'd be married to for those two weeks. Then they took pioneer identities, joined a wagon train, chose supplies, decided whether to cross a rushing river at midnight, made pumpkin butter, dipped candles, and built mock fires with fake buffalo chips. They had a wonderful time--mostly. Jamie wrote a book about it: Wagon Train 911.
"It's true, though," she says, "that while Central is very special to me, every school is brimming with rich stories. I talk with children all over the country about my writing, and the one question they always ask is, 'Witt you put us in a book?' If I were there tong enough, I expect I could."
Jamie Gilson's professional life has always involved writing and communications. Formerly a teacher of junior high school speech and English, she was a staff writer and producer for Chicago Board of Education radio station WBEZ, a writer of Encyclopaedia Brittanica films, and continuity director for fine arts radio station WFMT. She was, for ten years, a monthly columnist for Chicago magazine.
Born in Beardstown, Illinois, Jamie Gilson spent her early years in small towns in Illinois and Missouri where her father worked as a flour miller. After graduating from Northwestern University School of Speech, she married Jerome Gilson, then a law student and now a trademark lawyer. They live within sight and sound of Lake Michigan in a suburb of Chicago.
Michael Garlandwas inspired to write King Puck when he visited the beautiful Irish town of Killorglin. (He was also inspired by the heavenly Killorglin Golf Club!) He has illustrated several enchanting picture books, including James Patterson's Santakid and his own The Mouse Before Christmas. Most recently, he illustrated Gloria Estefan's The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog and Noelle's Treasure Tale. Michael Garland lives in Patterson, New York, with his wife and three children. He hopes to visit Ireland again very soon.
Michael Garland es un autor y artista ganador de diversos premios y escritor de numerosos best sellers. Ha ilustrado más de veinte libros para niños, uno de los cuales es Las Mágicas y Misteriosas Aventuras de una Bulldog Llamada Noelle, por Gloria Estefan. También ilustró santakid, por James Patterson.
Read an Excerpt
It wasn't raining all that hard as I ran toward the corner office building. I could see the big letters on the silver canopy as clear as sunshine. But even after two months of glancing up at that sign, I still didn't know what it said. Not that it mattered much, so I didn't bother looking hard.
I knew my orthodontist was on the second floor. And that's where I was headed. But for all I knew the sign said Maniac Orthodontist Inside. I couldn't read it or any other long words without a whole lot of wheels burning rubber in my head.
See, I read like a second grader. And I'm not a second grader. I'm in sixth.
I ducked under the canopy and started to shake the rain off my leaky tan poncho when the revolving door whirled around a couple of times at about eighty miles an hour. Out flew this red-haired kid from my class at school. Wally Whiteside. He shot into me like a stone from a slingshot.
It's a good thing it wasn't into the old lady in a wheelchair just getting out of the cab at the curb behind us. She'd have been in real trouble. I grinned to let him know it was OK, that I knew he didn't mean anything by it.
"Oh, hi, Tinsel Teeth," he said without cracking a smile.
If there's one thing I hate it's people calling me names. It makes me sick. I don't know why they can't call me just plain Sam Mott. I mean, why not? But I found out when I was in third grade that if you make a really big stink about it, kids keep it up, on and on. I lived in New Jersey then and these kids in my Penguinreading group (the slowest one) kept calling me Dumbhead Sam when the teacher wasn't looking. The other kids in the class started it, too. I kept yelling back at them, but they never let up till we moved. My dad said just forget it, but I didn't know how to do that.
By sixth grade, at least I knew enough to laugh most of the time. "Ha, ha. Very funny," I chuckled, like Wally had really laid down a knee slapper. I'd only had braces a month, but when I moved to Stockton in March, Wally was already flashing his own. "If I'm Tinsel Teeth," I told him as I drip-dried, "you must be the original Magnet Mouth. I bet you've worn them a lot longer than I have." I reached down to pick up a dime that was stuck between the cracks in the sidewalk. "Hey, good luck," I said.
When I straightened up, Wally was beaming, a pure white, metal-free, straight-teeth grin. "Just got 'em off," he said, "and I'm going straight to the drugstore to buy a huge bag of gunky caramels. A year and eight months I haven't had any candy that really grabs my teeth, and I'm dying for some." He leaned toward me and shook his head. "You know what? My mouth feels absolutely naked without traintracks."
The rain was falling much harder and it was getting crowded under the canopy. One kid who ran under had on a crazy T-shirt with an arrow on it in metallic green that pointed to the guy with him. I stared at it. It read, I'M . . . WITH . . . But I couldn't figure out the last word. Who cares? T-shirts with words on them are dumb, anyway.
"Wallyl" somebody called out. This short lady with long blonde hair came running through the puddles carrying her shoes, a big red purse swinging from her shoulder. She didn't seem to care that it was raining. "Wally, you're just the person I wanted most to see," she said. But you could tell by his face that he'd have rather seen a bag of caramels than her.
She nodded to me. I must have been frowning or something because she reached up and shook my shoulder. "Cheer up. May showers bring June something or other."
"Floods," I said, staring out at the streams rushing down the gutters.
"Wally, 'I don't think I've met your friend," she said, smiling.
"Uh, Mrs. Glass, this is, uh, Sam, uh . . . and Wally looked at me, blinking, trying to remember my last name.
"I'm Sam Mott," I told her. "We just moved here two months ago." I looked down to see which hand my dragon-head ring was on. I never could remember the hand to shake with so Mom bought me this ring from a kind of gum-ball machine at the grocery store to remind me. Now all I've got to do is look. I stuck out my right hand.
"Oh,"' she said, shaking it. "You've got good manners. I try to get my boys to shake hands, but Alex holds out his left hand and Chuckie puts his hands behind his back." She turned to Wally. "I got a job," she said. "I just now got a job. Be sure to tell your mother." She beamed at us both. "And guess what I've got a job for you, too." She touched Wally on his nose.
"What kind of job?" Wally asked suspiciously, shifting away from her into the splash of the rain.
"I answered a 'Help Wanted' ad and got a job at the Stockton News Advertiser," she said, lighting up like a kid who'd just won a big panda pitching pennies. She lowered her voice. "I'm not a reporter or anything. I'll just be taking ads from one to five o'clock Tuesday through Friday.Do Bananas Chew Gum?. Copyright © by Jamie Gilson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Emily closes her computer when she hears her cell phone ringing. Picking up her phone, she sees that it's her mom. She swipes the screen and lets out a quiet "hello?" into the phone. "Emily? Is that you? Where are you? Why don't you pick up your phone more often?" Her mothers voice came across the line with a small click in the back of her mouth. Emily bit her finger with irritation. "Why does she always do that? Why do I get so bothered when she does?" she asked herself silently. Then she remembers that her mom is on the phone still. "Mom, I'm fine. I just needed to get away and find some answers." her voice sqeeks out. "Emily. Listen to me. Jonathan has been trying to find you. Your father is worried sick. I'm scared for you. You don't know what's out there." said her mother, her voice set firmly. Emily's jaw set. "No mom. My father isn't worried sick and neither is my mother. My adopted parents maybe, but nobody who i really apart of me". She heard a slight gasp and whimper on the other end. "Is that truly how you feel? You know that WE love you so much. Don't you? Honey? I'm sorry that we didn't tell you about you being adopted sooner. We felt like you would hate us, but it looks like you might have anyway....this...disorder...that you have. I think that it developed when you found out and got mad at us. I think that you should go get therepy for it. You can't be annoyed with everything we do".
Y u ask? Yolo. Thats y my friend.