Synopses & Reviews
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PHINEAS L. MACGUIRE, andlt;BRandgt; BOY-SCIENTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, AKA MAC: andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 1. He's allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can prove it. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 2. He's probably the world's expert on mold, including which has the highest stink potential. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 3. He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend, who he does not -- repeat, andlt;iandgt;notandlt;/iandgt; -- want to upgrade to best-friend status. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 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 andlt;iandgt;soandlt;/iandgt; third grade. Worse still, it seems as though everyone else in his class finds the un-best friend as unlikable as Mac does. But, being a boy-scientist, once Mac notices this, he just might have to do some investigating. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; This very funny young middle-grade novel includes tantalizingly grue- some experiments for exploding your own volcanoes and imploding marshmallows.
"Dowell (Dovey Coe) creates a likable hero who proves that kids can be both smart and funny. Fourth grade does not get off to a super start for Mac in this first installment of the From the Highly Selective Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire series. In his clipped, comical first-person narrative, he explains that his best friend, who shared his passion for science, recently moved away. His 'un-best friend,' also named Mac, is a new classmate whose tough-guy persona immediately alienates his peers. When their teacher pairs the two as partners for the science fair, narrator Mac wants to do their project on mold and the new Mac suggests they do it on dinosaurs (they pick a third that gives the book its title: an erupting volcano). On a visit to his new classmate's apartment, Mac makes some un-scientific discoveries: the boy's name is actually Ben (he changed it so he'd have something in common with someone in his new class), he is an accomplished artist who creates comic books, and he is 'really a pretty nice person.' Dowell nicely builds their blossoming friendship, and Mac devises a plan to re-introduce Ben to their classmates. Several subplots further enliven this amiable tale, among them narrator Mac's friendly rivalry with a smart classmate who insists that she will win first place at the fair. McDaniel contributes spirited half-tone illustrations to the novel, which concludes with directions for performing several experiments mentioned in the story. Ages 8-12. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Readers are invited to meet Phineas L. MacGuire: scientist, boy-genius, allergic to purple. This funny middle-grade novel comes complete with tantalizingly gruesome experiments, including one on how to blow up a volcano. Illustrations.
About the Author
andnbsp;Frances Oandrsquo;Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of andlt;iandgt;Dovey Coeandlt;/iandgt;, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; andlt;iandgt;Where Iandrsquo;d Like to Beandlt;/iandgt;; the bestselling andlt;iandgt;The Secret Language of Girlsandlt;/iandgt; and its sequels andlt;iandgt;The Kind of Friends We Used to Beandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Awayandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Chicken Boyandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Shooting the Moonandlt;/iandgt;, which was awarded the Christopher Medal; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; andlt;iandgt;Falling Inandlt;/iandgt;; the critically acclaimed andlt;iandgt;The Second Life of Abigail Walkerandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Anybody Shining;andlt;/iandgt; and the teen novel andlt;iandgt;Ten Miles Past Normalandlt;/iandgt;. She lives with her husband and two sons in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at FrancesDowell.com.Preston McDaniels is the illustrator of the Phineas L. MacGuire series and Cynthia Rylantandrsquo;s Lighthouse Family series. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska.