The charming sequel to Ms. Rapscott's Girls. Children of busy parents attend a whimsical school where they go on magical adventures. For fans of Mary Poppins and The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Includes beautiful black-and-white illustrations throughout.
Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents is not your typical boarding school. Students arrive in boxes, birthday cake is served for breakfast, and two very talented corgis assist the rather quirky headmistress. This semester, the girls will learn how to get to The Top, but the semester is not off to a good start. One of the girls doesn’t make it back to school and when her friends try to rescue her, they wind up at the Bottom of the Barrel. Luckily, Ms. Rapscott knows that learning to fail is the secret to Going Far in life.
About the Author
Elise Primavera, the bestselling author of Auntie Claus, has been writing and illustrating books for children for more than twenty-five years. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Ms. Rapscott's Girls and its follow up novel Making Mistakes on Purpose.
Read an Excerpt
A Bad Start for Ms. Rapscott’s Girls
On September tenth at 5:45 a.m. BeatriceChissel pushed her box all by herself outside to a WIDE OPEN AREA. Bea (as she was called for short because her parents were always tryingto save time) had learned a lot during the summer semester at Great Rapscott School. FormerlyKnown for Being Loud, Bea no longer screamed to be heard, she brushed her teeth, and she even changed her underwear daily. Bea knew that she had behaved just like a Head Girl should for the whole six-week summer break.
She hopped inside the box, settled herselfcomfortably into the packing material, and waited to be transported back to school. She hoped she would be Head Girl for the entire fall semester.
And why not?
Bea had pluck. Ms. Rapscott had said so the moment she saw the short sturdy girl with the choppy black hair, and Bea knew that Ms. Rapscott would be very proud of her now. But as the sky grew lighter it occurred to Bea for the first time that the box hadn’t been sealed. She stood and struggled with the flaps, but the kwik-close tape was on the outside and the E-Z shut flaps were impossible to close from inside the box!
Bea gave up and flopped into the packing material to mull over the likelihood of plummeting out of an unsealed box. That’s exactly what had happened to one of her classmates, Dahlia Thistle, and they’d spent the entire summer session searching for her.
To make matters worse a raindrop plopped on Bea’s head. The patch of sky that she could see overhead had turned navy blue, and a gust of wind roared out of nowhere. It was strong enough to move her and the box several feet and loud enough that she never heard the large truck pull up next to her house. A moment later she felt the box being lifted.
A man grunted and said, “Wow! What’s in here, rocks?”
Thank goodness! The delivery truck to take me to school . . . maybe I can ask the deliveryman to seal the box!
But it was not a delivery truck.
It was yet another one of the dangers that were constantly befalling girls of busy parents. So while it was true that Bea had learned a lot at Great Rapscott School, she still had much to learn.
That same day, around the same time, Mildred A’Lamode sat inside her own box. She’d missed the lighthouse, the corgi assistants, Lewis and Clark, and even her classmates during the break.But Mildred was Known for Being Lazy and she’dslipped back into her old ways. Ms. Rapscott was not going to be happy with her—Mildred was sure of that.
She nervously flipped through her Rapscott journal where she’d written an account of all that had happened last semester and marveled at the many adventures she’d managed to survive. Mildred had been terrified, but she had to admit it had been exciting.
She had felt brave back then, like Amelia Earhart. In fact, they had used Amelia Earhart’s very plane to fly back from one of their adventures. But since she’d been home she’d barely left her bedroom.
No, Ms. Rapscott would not approve of how Mildred had spent the break. The plump red-haired girl shifted in the packing material, aware that her uniform was too tight now. It didn’t seem possible that later today she would be back at school and so far from home. What Mildred didn’t know was that before the day was over she’d be on her way to a place a whole lot farther than Great Rapscott School.
On September 10th at 5:00 a.m. Annabelle Merriweather, Known for Being Old for Her Age, was ready for the fall semester at Great Rapscott School. Her backpack was filled, she was dressed in her uniform, and the Rapscottian Medal she’d earned, “For Finding Your Way,” was pinned to her sailor shirt. It gleamed from the arduous polishing she had just given it.
The box was outside in a WIDE OPEN AREA and all that was left to do was to get her parents to seal her inside.
Annabelle marched off to find them. She knew this part was not going to be easy.
Ms. Rapscott had said many times: “It’s not that your parents don’t love you, Annabelle, it’s just that they’re busy!” This was true, for the Merriweathers were professional exercisers and always on the go. Since she’d been at home Annabelle had tried to be more understanding and helpful. She no longer moped around reading theEncyclopedia Britannica all day long. Instead she put to use all that she’d learned at Great Rapscott School. She grew carrots, pruned the rosebushes, and always picked out a good cantaloupe. She knew how to do the dishes, and the laundry, and sweep crumbs off the floor. She always made sure there was plenty of toothpaste and dental floss in the house. Annabelle had learned so much at school that soon she was doing all the food shopping and even balancing her parents’ checkbook.
“Good-bye,” Annabelle announced as soon as she found her mother and father.
“Good-bye?” The Merriweathers stopped right in the middle of a set of push-ups—they had done 9,367 in a row and were going for a world record.
“But we’re all out of peanut butter!” her father whined, and tossed her the car keys.
Ah! Peanut butter! She’d almost forgotten. Annabelle hurried into the car, and floored it. Gravel flew out from the wheels as she sped away in great haste to get her errand done and be back in time to get to school, which is how it is when you’re old for your age.
At 5:55 a.m. Dahlia Thistle sat inside her box at Mt. Everbest Academy, clutching her stuffed lamb, Harold. She was very afraid. On her last trip to Great Rapscott School she’d fallen out of this very box when her parents (who held the distinction of being the two busiest people on the face of the earth) had forgotten to seal it.
“How much farther?” a voice called. Dahlia was so short that even if she stood, she couldn’t see over the side of the box. She knew it was Reggie asking, though.
“Push me to a wide open area!” she shouted back.
The box stopped and Reggie’s face appeared over the side. He was her favorite boy because he always seemed to know exactly how she felt. His lower lip trembled. “Are you sure you have to go?”
“I’m sure,” she replied unconvincingly.
“We’ll hide you if you want to stay. Right, guys?” Reggie said desperately.
Six more anxious faces were looking down at her now.
“We’ll bring you food,” Nathan cried.
“And we can teach you all the stuff we learn,” Ernest added, and Oscar agreed.
“I can bring you crayons and paper,” Theodore (who liked to draw) volunteered.
Even the new boys, twins Ricky and Nicky, were upset. “When they ask where you are—” Ricky said.
Nicky shrugged innocently. “—We’ll just say we don’t know!”
Dahlia shook her head. “Seal me up!”
The boys stared at her pitifully without moving.
Reggie gripped the edge of the box. “Are you sure you’re sure?” he asked again.
The thing was that she wasn’t sure. Dahlia reached up and placed her small hand over Reggie’s. After she’d fallen out of her box she had found her way to Mt. Everbest Academy. She had worked hard to become one of the boys, and for the first time in her life she had friends. She had grown to love it there so much that now she thought of herself as an Everbest Boy. She hated to leave but if there was one thing she’d learned it was that an Everbest Boy was always brave. She squeezed her friend’s hand. “Good-bye, Reggie,” she whispered. Then she squared her tiny shoulders. “Seal me up!” she ordered.
Reggie’s stricken face was the last thing she saw before the flaps were closed. She heard the boys call to her, “Good-bye, Dahlia! We’ll miss you! Don’t forget to grow!”
“Good-bye!” she called back. “I’ll miss you all, too!” But her voice sounded small and far away even to herself.
Fay Mandrake woke up on September 10th at 5:45 a.m. “I’m late!” she cried. She leaped out of bed and tripped over a bucket and mop, which wasn’t surprising since she slept in the broom closet.
Fay was Known for Not Being Able to Do Anything Right. Of course Ms. Rapscott saw more in the rabbity-looking girl than that—had in fact seen a definite sparkle in her eye which was a sure sign of an adventurous spirit. Fay had learned a great deal at Great Rapscott School and since she’d been home she hadn’t done half as many things wrong as she used to.
That’s why she couldn’t believe she’d overslept. Fay scrambled to her feet. She only had fifteen minutes to dress in her Rapscott uniform, place her box in aWIDE OPEN AREA, and most importantly get her little brothers and sisters to properly seal her inside. After all, she never wanted to have what had happened to Dahlia Thistle happen to her!
For weeks she had practiced over and over.
But unfortunately Fay had not gotten it right, because the flaps were not sealed promptly at 6:00 a.m. They’d been sealed at 6:01 a.m.
It was a huge mistake.
Excerpted from "Making Mistakes on Purpose"
Copyright © 2017 Elise Primavera.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
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