The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester

by Barbara O'Connor


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Owen Jester wishes his family hadn't moved to his grandfather's house after his dad lost his job. For one thing, his grandfather's live-in nurse sure knows how to ruin anyone's idea of a good time. And then there's Viola, the girl next door, who can't ever mind her own business. She even thinks Owen should put his freshly captured bullfrog back into the pond. Then late one night, Owen hears a curious noise when the train passes by his grandfather's house. Something mysterious and wonderful has fallen off the train. When Owen finally discovers what it is, he realizes he just might need a know-it-all after all. But can he trust Viola keep the most fantastic secret to ever tumble into Carter, Georgia?

This title has Common Core connections.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312674304
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 242,061
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Barbara O'Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia; Me and Rupert Goody; Greetings from Nowhere and How to Steal a Dog. She has been awarded the Parents' Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.

Reading Group Guide

Reading Comprehension: Good readers make connections to what they are reading. This means they think about how the story relates to something from their own life or someone they know. It could also remind the reader of another book, movie, or television show in some way. Making these connections helps readers stay tuned in to the story instead of letting their mind drift away. As you read the book,

make at least two connections in each chapter. Write them on a sticky note and leave them on the pages where you connected. Then share the memories, connections, and ideas with a reading buddy.

Writing: In Chapter One, Owen writes about three good things and three bad things about moving in with his grandpa. Write your own list of three good things, three bad things about something in your own life. Examples: playing soccer, being in the sixth grade, or learning to play an instrument.

History: It was the ancient Egyptians who finally inspired the answer of how to move the sub. Learn more about the Egyptians and how they influenced the future with all the techniques they used to build the pyramids. Draw a picture and explain what you learned.

Art: Create some type of three-dimensional art inspired by the story. It can be any shape (realistic in form or from your imagination) and color. For full credit you need to write a paragraph about your art piece and why you made the choices that you did.

Science: Graham Pond is an example of a freshwater biome. Research the food chain in an ecosystem as small as a pond and then draw a food web that shows how each organism helps the other to survive.

Research exactly what it is that Tooley needed to survive. Would he have continued to survive if kept in captivity?

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The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
AScattergood More than 1 year ago
Owen Jester's life may not be perfect, but he's found the perfect treasure, and it fell off of a passing train. In the middle of the night. With a thud. Once he discovers this mysterious "thing" in the woods, he and his best buddies set out to keep the secret from Viola, the irritating neighbor girl who's trying to weasel her way into their mystery. And who can blame her? It's a pretty amazing secret and Owen's not sharing it with anyone. As if this weren't enough, there's Tooley, an (almost) pet frog who has his own story that young readers will take to. This is an adventure and a story of family and of friendships, all rolled into one perfectly written gem. It's a terrific novel that begs to be read aloud: short chapters will leave kids clamoring for "just one more," plus plenty of laughs. This book will join Barbara O'Connor's long list of classroom favorites. Kids will love it- boys and girls. This one's got winner written all over it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book with my 9year old son and we truly enjoyed it.
penandbrush7 More than 1 year ago
Owen Jester plops "the biggest, greenest, slimiest, most beautiful bullfrog ever to be seen in Carter, Georgia," into the soup & Barbara O'Connor plops us into a charming tale as Owen unravels the mystery of the summer, despite a pesty neighbor, forced circumstances & disbelieving buddies. As always, O'Connor's voice, setting and mixed up circumstances shine.
Jennifer Young More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books and dcfs that i have ever read i was not able to put it down until i was finished. All in all i loved it
Kel Vorhis More than 1 year ago
This is a good book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CatheOlson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet story about a young boy, Owen Jester, trying to deal with the move to his grandfather's house. Two big things happen to him in this story: 1) he catches the world's most beautiful bullfrog and 2) he discovers the mysterious and wonderful thing that fell off the train that runs behind his grandfather's house. How he deals with these two events, make up the course of the book.Let me start by saying that I love Barbara O'Connor's writing. How to Steal a Dog is a book I love and recommend often to my elementary school students. I was not that thrilled with this book, however. The first 7 or 8 chapters were repetitive . . . Owen worried about frog, Owen and friends trying to get rid of know-it-all Viola. While the short chapters and easy reading seem like they should appeal to reluctant readers, not much happens in his book until the last couple of chapters. It's a sweet story but I'm not sure if young boys (who this book seems to be geared toward) will stick with it. Hopefully, I'm wrong.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. It looked like a fun little read. It ended up being okay but was a bit simpler and less wondrous than I was hoping for.Owen Jester lives in a house with his parents, grandfather, and housekeeper. No one does much with him and he is left mainly to his own devices; he has two friends he hangs out with and there is a girl who bothers them from time to time. Most of the book is spent dealing with Owen's struggles about whether or not he should keep this magnificent frog he caught or release him. The other parts of the book deal with Owen and his friends trying to find something that fell off of a train in the middle of the night.The story is well-written and paced well enough. It teaches about responsibility, a little about ecology, and about friendship. Honestly I thought it was a bit boring, but a younger reader might find it to be more interesting.Owen's parents aren't really more than place-holders and his friends aren't that well-developed as characters either. The highlights of the story are definitely Owen himself and the girl that shadows Owen and his friends.Overall a simple story that is well written and tells of a boy's summer adventures. An okay read, but nothing very wondrous or fantastic here. I thought it was a bit boring and that the characters were underdeveloped. Younger readers might find the story more intriguing. Personally I would recommend "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" or "The Year Money Grew on Trees", as better stories about middle grade kids spending their summers in interesting ways and learning interesting things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!!!!!!!:) #frogsub
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for yunger kids 8-10 perfect for group reading in class
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that book the fantastic secret of owen jester is a really cute book to read even though i havent read all of it i think is going to be a really fun and funny book
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
The first thing you notice about The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester is the artwork on the front cover:  It is beautiful, stunning, intriguing and a bit funny, and you have to wonder just what kind of a book would be between those covers.  Then you notice that it is a Barbara O'Connor book, and, if you're me or anyone who has ever read a Barbara O'Connor book, you know that it is a book that you will want to read.  Barbara O'Connor can tell epic (using that word properly) tales in less than 200 double-spaced pages.  She can create four distinct personalities in the four distinct children in single sentences or even single phrases, and she can work that same magic for the four main adult characters.  Not only that, the setting of her books is more than just a location; it, too becomes a character, and the where becomes as important as the who, the what, the why and the how.  Even the frog in The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester has a voice, one that grows stronger as the frog croaks less.  As a struggling writer, I would read anything that Barbara O'Connor writes -- and I probably do.  If broken down by their elements, her books would make an excellent study on how to write a children's book.  And if broken down, they would still be fun to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book how it suprised me in the end was very cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was okay it was not that exciting as i thought it would be but overall it was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy who is trying to make a better house for his frog,trying to find out what fell off the train that passes the woods every night(the woods is right by his house so he heard a huge BUMP!)and he finds out that a bossy,know it all girl can HELP him.(Ithink thats a shocker!)I think this is a really great book.I would recommend this book for ages 9-13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For me this book held not one fantastical secret and really lacked any action at all plus it is centered around a frog.... no disrespect to the author though i guess the writing style was okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I checked out the sample of this even though the sample was not that long it was still pretty good. The people in chat n chew at my school read this book in one of the groups but since i did not attend this year i sampled it good book for 7 and up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It had boring parts it was a ok book but its a battle book!it helped me try to reach the team!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the book its great it s worth it
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