My Weird School #10: Mr. Docker Is off His Rocker!

My Weird School #10: Mr. Docker Is off His Rocker!

by Dan Gutman

ISBN: 9780060822279

Publisher HarperCollins

Published in Children's Books/Humor, Children's Books/Science, Nature & How It Works, Science/Technology

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

Science Is for Nerds

My name is A.J. and I hate school.

Why do we need to learn how to read if we have books on CD? Why do we need to learn social studies if that stuff happened a long time ago and we can't do anything about it now? I hate that stuff. But there's one subject I really hate.

Andrea Young.

Well, Andrea is not exactly a subject. She's this annoying girl in my class. Even her curly brown hair is annoying.

"Guess What, A.J.?" Andrea said as we were putting our backpacks away.

"Your butt," I replied. (Anytime somebody asks, "Guess what?" you should always say, "Your butt." That's the first rule of being a kid.)

"I know what A.J. stands for," Andrea said.

"Do not."

Do too."

We went back and forth like that for a while. There's no way Andrea could know what A.J. stands for.I never told anyone. Even my best friends, Ryan and Michael, don't know. If anyone ever found out what A.J. stands for, I'd have to get a new name. I'd have to leave town.

"A.J. stands for -- "

Andrea never got the chance to finish her sentence because our teacher, Miss Daisy, came in.

"Enough chitchatting," Miss Daisy said. "It's time for Show and Share."

Oh man! I forgot all about Show and Share! We were supposed to bring in something that starts with the letter D and tell the class about it. I looked in my desk for a D word. Nothing. I looked in my pockets. All I had was lunch money.

But wait! A dime! "Dime" begins with D!

"I brought in a dime," I told Miss Daisy.

"Good," she said. "What can you tell us about the dime, A.J.?"

"It's worth ten cents," I said, and everybody laughed even though I didn't' say anything funny.

Andrea was waving her hand in the air, and she got called on, of course.

"The word ‘dime' comes from the Latin word ‘decimus,'" Andrea said.

I hate her.

"Very good, Andrea!" said Miss Daisy. "How did you know that?"

"I looked it up in my D word," Andrea said. "I brought in a dictionary. I use it all the time at home to look up words."

Andrea grinned her little I'm-so-smart grin.

Ryan, who sits next to me, whispered, "If she was really smart, she wouldn't have to look stuff up."

"Andrea, would you please look up the word ‘science'?" asked Miss Daisy. "S-C-I-E-N-C-E."

What a dumb spelling! There's no reason why that word should have a C in it. Andrea turned the pages of her dictionary.

"S...S-A...S-C," she said. "Here it is. ‘Science is knowledge made up of an orderly system of facts that have been learned from study, observation, and experiments.'"

"Very good!"

Andrea smiled her I-know-everything smile and said she was going to keep her dictionary on her desk from now on in case she had to look up any other words.

Why can't a box of dictionaries fall on her head?

"I have good news," Miss Daisy said. "We have a new teacher at Ella Mentry School. His name is Mr. Docker, and he used to be a real scientist. He's retired now, but he agreed to come back to school to each us science."

That was good news? It sounded like bad news to me. We never had to learn science before. Now, just because some old guy doesn't like being retired, we had to learn a new subject. It wasn't fair.

Why did I have to learn science? It's not like I was going to be a scientist someday. When I grow up, I'm going to be a football player. I play Pee Wee football. Tackling people is fun.

Suddenly Mr. Klutz, our principal, poked his bald head into the doorway.

"Has anybody seen Mr. Docker?" he asked. "I think he ran away."

"We better line up in ABC order and go look for him!" said Miss Daisy. "Quickly! To the science room!"

I didn't need any dictionary to tell me what science is. Science is for nerds.

Excerpted from "My Weird School #10: Mr. Docker Is off His Rocker!" by Dan Gutman. Copyright © 0 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.
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Author Profile

Dan Gutman

Dan Gutman

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.

View full Profile of Dan Gutman

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