Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment

Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment


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Here's what you need to know about Phineas L. MacGuire, boy-scientist extraordinaire, aka Mac:

1. He's allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can prove it.

2. He's probably the world's expert on mold, including which has the highest stink potential.

3. He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend, who he does not — repeat, not — want to upgrade to best friend status.

But disaster strikes when his teacher pairs Mac and his un-best friend together for the upcoming science fair. Worse, this un-best friend wants the project to be on dinosaurs, which is so third grade. Worse still, it seems as though everyone else in his class finds the un-best friend as unlikeable as Mac does. But, being a boy-scientist, once Mac notices this, he just might have to do some investigating....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416947349
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/08/2007
Series: From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 146,727
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Dovey Coe, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; Where I’d Like to Be; The Secret Language of Girls and its sequels The Kind of Friends We Used to Be and The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away; Chicken Boy; Shooting the Moon, which was awarded the Christopher Award; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; Falling In; The Second Life of Abigail Walker, which received three starred reviews; Anybody Shining; Ten Miles Past Normal; Trouble the Water; the Sam the Man series; The Class; and most recently, How to Build a Story. She lives with her family in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at

Preston McDaniels is the illustrator of the Phineas L. MacGuire series and Cynthia Rylant’s Lighthouse Family series. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska, with his wife and two daughters.

Read an Excerpt

Phineas L. MacGuire ... Erupts!

The First Experiment
By Frances O'Roark Dowell


Copyright © 2006 Frances O'Roark Dowell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4169-4734-9

Chapter One

My name is Phineas Listerman MacGuire.

Most people call me Mac. It's okay if you call me Phin. You can even call me Phineas. Forget about calling me Listerman.

I am allergic to fifteen things. My mom says this is not true, that I'm only allergic to two things, peanuts and cat hair. But I am a scientist, and she's not. I have scientific proof that it makes me itchy to think about the following items:

Avocados Yogurt, any flavor Cottage cheese Grape jelly Any kind of kissing, especially when there's lipstick Celery Purple flowers Purple Magic Markers Purple crayons Anything purple Moist towelettes in foil packs Telephone calls All girls

I started fourth grade three weeks ago. When I started, I had a best friend. His name was Marcus Ballou. Marcus is also a scientist. We were a scientific team. We specialized in volcanoes, caves,fossils, all insects, and the solar system. But mostly volcanoes.

We have made and erupted over eighty-seven volcanoes in our lifetime. It's very simple. You take an empty soda bottle (big) and put it in a baking pan (also big). Fill the bottle with lots of baking soda and four or five squirts of dishwashing liquid.

Then add vinegar and stand back.

You should do it outside, in case you were wondering. Unless you have a less irritated mom than mine. Then maybe you could do it on the kitchen table. If you're like me and spill stuff everywhere even when you're trying really hard to be careful, you should definitely do it at a friend's house.

Here is the problem with Marcus: He moved. To Lawrence, Kansas. This is bad for at least two reasons. Now we aren't a scientific team anymore. Also, he waited until the second week of school to move. If he had moved before school started, then I would have known to look around for a new best friend on the first day.

But I didn't know to do this. I still had Marcus.

Everybody knew that me and Marcus were best friends and a scientific team. No one else tried to be best friends with us. They picked other best friends.

Here's what you would hear all the time:

"Mac and Marcus" "Mac and Marcus" "Mac and Marcus"

Now all you hear is:

"Mac" "Mac" "Mac"

Scientifically speaking, it's a pretty lonely sound.


Excerpted from Phineas L. MacGuire ... Erupts! by Frances O'Roark Dowell Copyright © 2006 by Frances O'Roark Dowell. Excerpted by permission.
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