Ms. Bixby's last day

John David Anderson, 1975-

Large print - 2019

Topher, Brand, and Steve, dismayed when their gifted teacher announces she is leaving due to illness, share their stories while cutting class and journeying across town together.

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jFICTION/Anderson, John David
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jFICTION/Anderson, John David Due Jul 14, 2022
Thorndike Press large print middle reader.
Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press 2019.
Large print edition
Physical Description
397 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Ages 8-12.
Main Author
John David Anderson, 1975- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* When Ms. Bixby tells her sixth-grade class that she has cancer and will be leaving before the school year ends, her students are stunned. But the following week, when they learn that she's already gone into the hospital to start treatment several days early, three boys swing into action, carrying out an ambitious (and mostly legal) plan to create a grand gesture of appreciation, bravado, and connection. Facing a series of practical challenges but armed with Bixbyisms (their teacher's favorite sayings), Topher, Steve, and Brand display a winning mixture of courage and naïveté as they collect an odd assortment of necessities and head for the hospital. The boys are at an interesting stage. In an early scene, they're running from a girl who supposedly has cooties, but soon they're carrying out a serious, chivalrous mission. The first-person narration rotates among the three boys, and readers at first may have a bit of trouble keeping who's who straight. Through dialogue, action, memories, and reflections, the narrators move the story forward, filling in gaps in understanding until the complex puzzle is complete. Through their individual, interwoven narratives, these well-developed characters become the most intriguing elements of the story. A smart, funny, ultimately moving novel. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Three sixth-grade boys embark on a tragicomic quest to do something special for their beloved teacher, who has announced that she won't be able to finish out the year following her cancer diagnosis. Upon learning that Ms. Bixby is in the hospital and this is their last chance to see her, best friends Topher, Brand, and Steve concoct a plan to skip school, acquire certain supplies, and spring Ms. Bixby for one last day of fun. But as good intentions collide with reality, the three are forced to adapt their plan and confront the possibility of defeat. The narrative unfolds in humorous yet insightful ways, illuminating Ms. Bixby's influence on the students' personal and scholastic lives and emphasizing the power that a good teacher, mentor, or friend can have. Topher's rich imagination, Steve's sharp intelligence, and Brand's common sense keep the rotating voices distinct and the story lively. Anderson (The Dungeoneers) skillfully balances realism and comic exaggeration in an emotionally rich tale that holds no miracles, other than the small human kind. Ages 8–12. Agency: Adams Literary. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—When Topher, Steve, and Brand learn that Ms. Bixby is terminally ill, they decide to cut class and give their beloved teacher a truly special tribute, but nothing goes as planned. Simultaneously heartrending, uproariously funny, and affirming, this is that rare story that centers on loss yet isn't overwhelmed by grief or pain; at its heart, this tale celebrates life, friendship, and the importance of finding one's own voice. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Topher, Brand, and Steve, dismayed when their gifted teacher announces she is leaving due to illness, share their stories while cutting class and journeying across town together.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"New York Times Book Review Editor's ChoiceKids won't just love this book. They need it. &;Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and EvilEach page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all. &;Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor winner and author of Okay for NowEveryone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind.Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them--and what the three of them mean to each other."