Sparks

by Graham Mcnamee

December 9, 2003 | Trade Paperback |

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Last year Todd was the smartest kid in Special Needs; this year, he was promoted to the regular fifth-grade class, where they call him "Retardo" and "Braindead." He's really trying to keep up, but he's in danger of being sent back to Needs. Then a history project about the pygmy Ota Benga inspires Todd to use his secret strength-imagination.

Being promoted also meant Todd had to leave his pals behind in Special Needs, even his best friend, Eva. Why can't Eva understand that they can't be friends anymore? Why can't he stop missing her? What's the right answer to that?


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 128 Pages, 5.12 × 7.48 × 0 in

Published: December 9, 2003

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 044041847X

ISBN - 13: 9780440418474

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Sparks

Sparks

by Graham Mcnamee

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 128 Pages, 5.12 × 7.48 × 0 in

Published: December 9, 2003

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 044041847X

ISBN - 13: 9780440418474

About the Book

From the versatile author of "Nothing Wrong with a Three-Legged Dog" and "Hate You" comes a story that challenges readers to rethink "smart," "dumb," and "the right answer."

Read from the Book

1 My mouse died yesterday. He was white with pink eyes and he once ate a whole grape in one sitting. I remember thinking how impossible it was for him to finish that grape--I mean it was half the size of his head. It took him ten minutes. Then he washed up for ten minutes. Then he went to sleep. I loved watching him, even when his cage smelled bad. His name was Psycho, named after a movie my parents won''t let me see. This morning at breakfast I tell Mom the grape-eating story. "It would be like me eating a whole watermelon," I say. My sister, Christie, flicks a Froot Loop at me from across the table. It hits me in the forehead and makes me blink. She has good aim. "I''d pay to see that," Christie says. She really bugs me. She once stuck an apple seed so deep into my ear, I had to go to the emergency room. Every time she comes near me I blink like she''s going to hit me, which she sometimes does. But she did give me one of her jewelry boxes to bury Psycho in. It had blue velvet lining. He''s buried in the backyard, under the tree for shade. I look down at my cereal. The Froot Loop landed in my Frosted Flakes. It looks lost, a Loop all alone in the middle of all those Flakes. "Eat up, Melonhead," Christie tells me. "Someday I''m going to eat a whole watermelon. Then you''ll be sorry," I say. But even before I finish saying it I hear how stupid that sounds. Inside my head it sounded a lot better, like something the President might say. Sh
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From the Publisher

Last year Todd was the smartest kid in Special Needs; this year, he was promoted to the regular fifth-grade class, where they call him "Retardo" and "Braindead." He's really trying to keep up, but he's in danger of being sent back to Needs. Then a history project about the pygmy Ota Benga inspires Todd to use his secret strength-imagination.

Being promoted also meant Todd had to leave his pals behind in Special Needs, even his best friend, Eva. Why can't Eva understand that they can't be friends anymore? Why can't he stop missing her? What's the right answer to that?


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Jacket

Last year Todd was the smartest kid in Special Needs; this year, he's been promoted to the regular fifth-grade class where they call him Retardo and Brain-Dead. He's really trying to keep up, but he's in danger of being sent back to Special Needs. Then a history project about the pygmy Ota Benga inspires Todd to use his secret strength -- his imagination.

Being promoted also means Todd has to leave behind his pals in Special Needs, even his best friend, Eva. Why can't Eva understand that they can't be friends anymore? Why can't he stop missing her? What's the right answer to that? Ages 7-10.

About the Author

Graham McNamee is the author of three novels. His novel Sparks won the first PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship.

Editorial Reviews

"Poignant, convincing."-Publishers Weekly, Starred

"McNamee . . . tells the story from the inside for a middle-grade audience."-Booklist, Starred

"This sweet story sparkles with wit and warmth."-Kirkus Reviews

"A solid choice for any reader, but especially reluctant ones."-School Library Journal

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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