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9780440422297

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780440422297

  • ISBN10:

    0440422299

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-07-14
  • Publisher: Yearling

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

This funny, fast-paced chapter book features contemporary fables about a rambunctious group of fourth graders and their amazing teacher--the globe-trotting, Mayan-ceremonial-robe-wearing Mr. Jupiter.

Author Biography

Candace Fleming is the prolific author of many critically acclaimed, bestselling books for children, including the picture books Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! (an ALA Notable Book and four starred reviews), and Boxes for Katie (a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2003); the nonfiction titles Our Eleanor (an ALA Notable Book, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and three starred reviews) and Ben Franklin's Almanac (an ALA Notable Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, James Madison Honor Book, and three starred reviews). She lives in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

THE PRINCIPAL STRUGGLES

The soon-to-be fourth graders at Aesop Elementary School had a reputation for being--
"Precocious," said their former first-grade teacher, Ms. Bucky. She ground her teeth.
"High-energy," added their second-grade teacher, Mrs. Chen. The muscle beneath her jaw twitched.
"Robust," agreed their third-grade teacher, Mr. Frost. He patted his now all-white hair.
"Humph!" snorted Bertha Bunz, the lunchroom monitor. "Those kids are just plain naughty." Because she wasn't a teacher, Mrs. Bunz felt free to speak the truth.
Mrs. Bunz was right. So special were the incoming fourth graders that no teacher dared set foot in what would soon be their classroom.
"Not for love or money," shivered Ms. Bucky.
"Not for all the tea in China," shuddered Mrs. Chen.
"Ye gods, no!" yelped Mr. Frost.
It was the last day of summer vacation, and Mrs. Struggles, Aesop Elementary's principal, was at her wits' end. "School starts tomorrow, and I still don't have a fourth-grade teacher," she moaned. "What am I going to do?"
"Have you placed a want ad?" suggested Ms. Bucky.
"Spoken with the superintendent?" suggested Mrs. Chen.
"Talked with the school board?" suggested Mr. Frost.
"Humph!" Mrs. Bunz snorted again. "Call a zookeeper!"
Mrs. Struggles ignored the remark. Defeated, she shuffled into her office and flopped into her chair. If Aesop Elementary were bigger, she thought, I would have separated the troublemakers long ago. But the school was small--only one classroom per grade level--so the kids had to stay together. Rubbing her throbbing temples, she sighed, "How I wish a teacher would walk through that door."
At that precise moment, a breeze blew through the principal's office. It rustled the papers on her desk, rattled her window blinds, and flung open the door to reveal a tall, dark man wearing a pith helmet and clutching a copy of the morning's want ads.
"I am Mr. Jupiter," he said. "I have come about the teaching job."
Mrs. Struggles rubbed her eyes. Was this a dream? she wondered.
But no, Mr. Jupiter was still there.
"You are looking for a fourth-grader teacher, aren't you?" he asked.
Mrs. Struggles nodded, her spirits suddenly soaring. Waving Mr. Jupiter into a seat, she said, "Tell me a bit about yourself."
"Where to begin?" he replied. "My first job was as an assistant dog groomer aboard King Bernard's yacht, the SS Pooch, anchored off the Dalmatian coast. After receiving my degree in nanothermal economics from Dummer University, I led an expedition in search of the dodo bird. Later, I conducted the Timbuktu Philharmonic Orchestra, worked as a translator for Bigfoot, became the first man to ski down Mount Everest, collected mummified cats in Egypt, and discovered the lost city of Atlantis." He smiled. "Among other things."
Mrs. Struggles tapped her desk with a pencil. He certainly sounded interesting.
"Do you have any teaching experience?" she asked.
"Some," replied Mr. Jupiter. "I was head tetherball coach at Matilda Jane's School for Prim and Proper Girls in Las Vegas, as well as the swimming instructor at Loch Ness Middle School. I also taught Swahili as a second language at Dooglehorn Elementary in Switzerland, hula dancing at Balderdash Academy for Boys in London, and organic geochemistry at Harvard." He smiled again. "Among other places."
Mrs. Struggles tapped her desk some more. He sounded experienced, but . . .
"Have you worked with high-energy students?"
"I studied for a year at the Coochie-Coochie Institute for Misbehaved Monkeys," said Mr. Jupiter. He smiled a third time. "Among other schools."
Mrs. Struggles kept tapping.
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Excerpted from The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming
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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