Clarice Bean Spells Trouble

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-07-12
  • Publisher: Candlewick
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The capricious Clarice Bean is back and is now in for a spell of trouble as she shares a lesson about kindness in this hilarious, full-length follow-up to "Utterly Me, Clarice Bean." Illustrations.

Author Biography

Lauren Child was absolutely utterly never in trouble when she was at school. Ever. And if she was, it was usually for a very good reason. And nearly always not her fault. The author-illustrator of the acclaimed UTTERLY ME, CLARICE BEAN, the first full-length fiction adventure starring Clarice Bean, Lauren Child has also created several picture books about this popular character. In addition, Lauren Child is the creator of a series of picture books about the lovable sibling pair Charlie and Lola, including I WILL NEVER NOT EVER EAT A TOMATO, which was awarded the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. Lauren Child lives and works in London.


Tuesday is not my favorite day because there is testing to see how smart everyone is and how can you see that in a test? That's the thing about school: they might only test you for one thing, i.e., math or spellingy type things or punctuationy thingummybobs, and they will not see that maybe you will know absolutely every episode of the Ruby Redfort series by heart. And that you can tell them how Ruby managed to jump out of a moving helicopter without twisting an ankle. Which is a hard thing to do.

And maybe you will know how to cleverly mend your hem with a stapler or stand on your actual head — or stand on your actual head while drawing a dog in ballpoint pen — or teach your dog how to draw with a ballpoint pen while he stands on your head. But they do not test you for these things because the people who come up with the testing do not think it is important.

But would you rather know someone who knows how to jump out of a moving helicopter without getting a twisted ankle or someone who can spell grapefruit?

I would like to know someone who knows how to get green marker out of a white carpet.

Until I do, Betty says put a chair over it.

I just hope my mom doesn't move the chairs before I discover the answer. Anyway, testing is my worst, whereas someone like Grace Grapello, for an actual example, is good in a test situation because ask her what 3.3 divided by 2.4 is and she will get a big check mark and I will get a headache.

Anyway, there we are doing this testing thing and the room is all quiet and I can just hear the clock ticking really slowly — but strangely, every minute I look up, it is ten minutes later and time is running out.

And I can hear Robert Granger breathing. That's what he does. He sits behind me and breathes. It drives me utterly crazy.

And I turn around and go, "Stop breathing, will you!"

And he says, "Clarice Bean, of course I cannot stop breathing, because then I would be dead, and how would you like that?"

I decide not to answer his question because Mom has taught me if you can't think of anything nice to say, then sometimes it is better to say nothing at all. You see, I am trying really hard to keep it zipped in class, and I don't even utter a single word when I hear Grace Grapello telling Cindy Fisher that I am a duh-brain because I spelled photo with an f.

Mrs. Wilberton didn't tell her off even; she just said, "Clarice Bean, your spelling leaves a lot to be desired."

Anyway, at the end, when time is up, I hand in my test and Mrs. Wilberton says,

"Oh deary dear, it looks as if a spider has been dipped in ink and struggled across the page!"

I wish someone would dip her in ink.

Then she says, "I have some exciting news. I have arranged for the whole school to take part in a spelling bee."

Spelling bee is just a fancy way of saying test, but you have to stand there in front of the whole school and spell words out loud on the spot without writing them down. It is interesting that for Mrs. Wilberton giving a spelling test is the most fun she can ever have and for me it is a very good reason to tell Mrs. Marse, the school secretary, that I have a terrible case of a tummy upset and I need to go home as soon as possible, on the double, don't even bother to call my mom.

Anyway, I have been wondering, who is the person who gets to decide what is important?

Because I wish it was me.

CLARICE BEAN SPELLS TROUBLE by Lauren Child. Copyright (c) 2005 by Lauren Child. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Excerpted from Clarice Bean Spells Trouble by Lauren Child
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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