Chillin' at the School Store
My name is A.J. and I hate school.
The only cool part of Ella Mentry School is the school store. It's a little room near the office where they sell stuff. Mostly they have pencils and pens and junk like that. They never have anything useful, like skateboards or video games. Still, it's cool to buy stuff when you're at school.
The school store is open in the morning before the bell rings. The only problem is, I spent all my allowance over the weekend on a new football because some kid stole mine. So I didn't even have a dime to buy anything at the school store. Bummer in the summer!
"Guess what I bought with my own money?" this girl with curly brown hair named Andrea Young whispered to her crybaby friend Emily. Knowing Andrea, it was probably an encyclopedia.
"What did you buy?" asked Emily.
"An encyclopedia!" Andrea said, all excited. "It's an encyclopedia for kids!"
Ugh. Andrea loves reading and books and school and anything else that's boring. She keeps a dictionary on her desk so she can look up words and show everybody how much she knows. Andrea is like a human filing cabinet.
"You know what I'm going to do with my encyclopedia?" Andrea asked Emily.
Knowing Andrea, she would probably read the whole thing in ABC order so she would know everything in the world.
"I'm going to read it in ABC order," Andrea bragged. "If I finish one letter every day, by the end of the month I'll know everything! Won't that be cool?"
Yeah, cool like an oven. I wish a set of encyclopedias would fall on Andrea's head.
The bell rang and we all rushed to class. Our teacher, Miss Daisy, told us to put away our stuff and get ready for circle time. That's when we sit around in a circle, so it has the perfect name.
Suddenly the voice of the school secretary, Mrs. Patty, came over the loudspeaker.
"Miss Daisy, please send Andrea and A.J. to Ms. Coco's room."
"Oooooh!" my friend Ryan said. "A.J. and Andrea are going to Ms. Coco's room again. They must be in love!"
"When are you gonna get married?" asked my other friend Michael.
If those guys weren't my best friends, I would hate them.
Excerpted from "My Weird School #16: Ms. Coco Is Loco!" by Dan Gutman. Copyright © 2007 by Dan Gutman. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Dan Gutman was born in a log cabin in Illinois, and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Wait a minute. That was Abraham Lincoln.Actually, Dan grew up in New Jersey. And, for some reason, he still lives there.
Like a lot of boys, Dan didn't like reading, but loved sports. So naturally, he grew up to write sports books for reluctant readers.
In 1994, Dan cooked up a novel about a boy who finds the most valuable baseball card in the world, and discovers he has the power to travel through time using a baseball card like a time machine. The result was Honus & Me. Rejected by ten publishers over two years, it was finally published in 1997 by HarperCollins.
Honus was nominated for eleven state book awards, made into a play, a TV movie, and established Dan Gutman as an emerging name in middle grade fiction. Most importantly, it allowed Dan to avoid getting a real job.
The success of Honus jumpstarted a ten book series--Jackie & Me, Babe & Me, Shoeless Joe & Me, Mickey & Me, Abner & Me, Satch & Me, Jim & Me, Ray & Me, and Roberto & Me. Dan’s goal is to keep writing baseball card adventures until HarperCollins rips the laptop out of his cold, dead hands.
In his insatiable quest for world domination, Dan turned toward younger kids with the My Weird School series. Aimed at beginning readers, MWS describes a school in which the kids are normal but the teachers are all insane. Each book focuses on a different adult--Miss Daisy Is Crazy!, Mr. Klutz Is Nuts!, Mrs. Cooney Is Loony!, Miss Lazar Is Bizarre!, Ms. Todd Is Odd!, Mr. Macky is Wacky!, Ms. Coco Is Loco!, Mr. Louie is Screwy!,and Mr. Hynde is Out of His Mind! (The titles rhyme, you see.)
There are now 30 My Weird School and My Weird School Daze titles. The books have sold three million copies, (and those are just the ones Dan bought himself trying to get on the bestseller list). My Weird School has been cracking up kids all over the country, and there's no doubt that it is the best early reader series in the history of the world.
When he’s not writing books, Dan writes self-glorifying profiles. He lives with his wife, Nina, and their kids, Sam and Emma.
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