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Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Cover of Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

John David Anderson, author of Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers, returns with a funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking contemporary story about three boys, one teacher, and a day none of them will ever forget.

Everyone 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.

John David Anderson, author of Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers, returns with a funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking contemporary story about three boys, one teacher, and a day none of them will ever forget.

Everyone 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.

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About the Author-
  • John David Anderson is the author of many books for young readers, including Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 25, 2016
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrators Jesse Bernstein, Ramon de Ocampo, and Maxwell Glick prove their excellence as they quickly define the trio of sixth-graders featured in this story: Topher is a bit sarcastic, Steve is big on getting the facts, and Brand enjoys wordplay. At first, the story takes a light tone as the boys run from a girl with cooties. But the tone changes abruptly when their teacher, Ms. Bixby, announces she must leave to start cancer treatment. The boys come up with a plan to honor her. It gains in complexity and demands extreme courage. Soon, the boys' collaborative power becomes clear as do the reasons for their devotion to this life-changing teacher. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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Ms. Bixby's Last Day
Ms. Bixby's Last Day
John David Anderson
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