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  • There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom
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  • Written by Louis Sachar
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On Sale: June 01, 2011
Pages: 208 | ISBN: 978-0-307-79711-7
Published by : Yearling RH Childrens Books

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On Sale: November 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8041-2326-6
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. . . .

Winner of 19 Children’s Choice Awards

Excerpt

Bradley Chalkers sat at his desk in the back of the room-last seat, last row. No one sat at the desk next to him or at the one in front of him. He was an island.
If he could have, he would have sat in the closet. Then he could shut the door so he wouldn’t have to listen to Mrs. Ebbel. He didn’t think she’d mind. She’d probably like it better that way too. So would the rest of the class. All in all, he thought everyone would be much happier if he sat in the closet, but unfortunately, his desk didn’t fit.
“Class,” said Mrs. Ebbel. “ I would like you all to meet Jeff Fishkin. Jeff has just moved here from Washington, D.C., which as you know, is our nation’s capital.”
Bradley looked up at the new kid who was standing at the front of the room next to Mrs/ Ebbel.
“Why don’t you tell the class a little bit about yourself, Jeff,” urged Mrs. Ebbel.
The new kid shrugged.
“There’s no reason to be shy,” said Mrs. Ebbel.
The new kid mumbled something, but Bradley couldn’t hear what it was.
“Have you ever been to the White House, Jeff? Mrs. Ebbel asked. “I’m sure the class would be very interested to hear about that.”
“No, I’ve never been there,” the new kid said very quickly as he shook his head.
Mrs. Ebbel smiled at him. “Well, I guess we’d better find you a place to sit.” She looked around the room. “Hmm, I don’t see anyplace except, I suppose you can sit there, at the back.”
“No, not next to Bradley!” a girl in the front row exclaimed.
“At least its better than in front of Bradley,” said the boy next to her.
Mrs. Ebbel frowned. She turned to Jeff. “I’m sorry, but there are no other empty desks.”
“I don’t mind where I sit,” Jeff mumbled.
“Well, nobody likes sitting…there,” said Mrs. Ebbel.
“That’s right,” Bradley spoke up. “Nobody likes sitting next to me!” He smiled a strange smile. He stretched his mouth so wide, it was hard to tell whether it was a smile or a frown.
He stared at Jeff with bulging eyes as Jeff awkwardly sat down next to him. Jeff smiled back at him so he looked away.
As Mrs. Ebbel began the lesson, Bradley took out a pencil and a piece of paper, and scribbled. He scribbled most of the morning, sometimes on the paper and sometimes on his desk. Sometimes he scribbled so hard his pencil point broke. Every time that happened he laughed. Then he’d tape the broken point to one of the gobs of junk in his desk, sharpen his pencil and scribble again.
His desk was full of little wads of torn paper, pencil points, chewed erasers, and other unrecognizable stuff, all taped together.
Mrs. Ebbel handed back a language test. “Most of you did very well,” she said. “I was very pleased. There were fourteen A’s and the rest B’s. Of course there was one F, but…” She shrugged her shoulders.
Bradley held up his test for everyone to see and smiled that same distorted smile.
As Mrs. Ebbel went over the correct answers with the class, Bradley took out his pair of scissors and very carefully cut his test paper into tiny squares.
When the bell rang of recess, he put on his red jacket and walked outside, alone.
“Hey, Bradley, wait up!” somebody called after him.
Startled, he turned around.
Jeff, the new kid, hurried alongside him. “Hi,” said Jeff.
Bradley started at him in amazement.
Jeff smiled. “ I don’t mind sitting next to you,” he said. “Really.”
Bradley didn’t know what to say.
“I have been to the White House,” Jeff admitted. “If you want, I’ll tell you about it.”
Bradley thought a moment, then said, “Give me a dollar or I’ll spit on you.”
Louis Sachar

About Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar - There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom

Photo © Perry Hagopian

Newbery Award–winning author Louis Sachar is the creator of the entertaining Marvin Redpost books as well as the much-loved There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, winner of 17 child-voted state awards.

Louis Sachar’s book Holes, winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, is also an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick, an ALA Notable Book, and was made into a major motion picture.

A Few Words From Louis Sachar
Of all the characters from Holes, why did you choose to revisit Armpit in SMALL STEPS?
LS: I tend to write about underdogs. It seemed to me that life would be tough for an African-American teenager from a low-income family with a criminal record. Especially someone stuck with the name, "Armpit."
Although this new book is about a character from Holes, the two books are very different. How would you explain to a fan of Holes what to expect from SMALL STEPS?
LS: I can't. I'm no good at describing my books. Holes has been out now for seven years, and I still can't come up with a good answer when asked what that book is about.
Could you imagine future novels about any of the other boys?
Do you think about what Stanley is up to now?
LS: I don't think too much about Stanley or Zero. I left them in a good place. Although money doesn't bring happiness, or give meaning to someone's life, the problems Stanley and Zero face now (and I'm sure they do face many problems) are less interesting than those faced by someone like Armpit.
Plenty of teenagers fantasize about what it would be like to be a young rock star.
You portray it as lonely. Tell us about that decision.
LS: The media tends to portray the teenage world as one where drinking and sex is taken for granted. In fact, I think most teenagers don't drink, are unsure of themselves, and feel awkward around members of the opposite sex. I thought it was important to show Kaira, a rock star no less, as such a person. Her situation, in many ways, is made more difficult as she has no social contact with anyone her age. She is trapped in a world of agents, record producers, and hanger-ons.
I'm imagining that off all the books you've written, Holes is the one that has changed your life the most. Not only did it win the Newbery Medal, it's also simply a popular sensation. Is this assessment accurate? What is this novel's continuing impact on your life? Would you consider it the book that you are proudest of?
LS: Not counting Small Steps, I think Holes is my best book, in terms of plot, and setting, and the way the story revealed itself. It hasn't changed my life, other than that I have more money than I did before I wrote it. I'm still too close to Small Steps to compare it to Holes.
Why do you typically write only two hours each day?
LS: Small steps. Every time I start a new novel it seems like an impossible undertaking. If I tried to do too much too quickly, I would get lost and feel overwhelmed. I have to go slow, and give things a chance to take form and grow.



PRAISE

THE BOY WHO LOST HIS FACE
“Readers will empathize with David’s troubles and cheer his triumph in this delightful, funny book.”—Publishers Weekly


DOGS DON’T TELL JOKES
“Readers will laugh at Gary’s good jokes and groan at his clunkers while they cheer his transformation from goon to legitimate comedian.”—Booklist


HOLES

—A Newbery Medal Winner
—A National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Award Winner
—A Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner for Fiction
—An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
—An ALA Notable Children’s Book
—An ALA Quick Pick
—A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
—A Horn Book Fanfare
—A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
—A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
—A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year

“We haven’t seen a book with this much plot, so suspensefully and expertly deployed, in too long a time. . . . Louis Sachar has long been a great and deserved favorite among children, despite the benign neglect of critics. But Holes is witness to its own theme: what goes around, comes around. Eventually.”—Starred, The Horn Book Magazine

“A multitude of colorful characters coupled with the skillful braiding of ethnic folklore, American legend, and contemporary issues is a brilliant achievement. There is no question, kids will love Holes.”—Starred, School Library Journal


MARVIN REDPOST: WHY PICK ON ME?
“The hilarious portrayal of grade-school relationships has tremendous child appeal.”—The Horn Book Magazine


MARVIN REDPOST: IS HE A GIRL?
“Sachar writes for beginning readers with a comic simplicity that is never banal. Here he gets a lot of fun out of the identity confusion, and kids will love the frankness about grade-school gender wars and social taboos.”—Booklist


MARVIN REDPOST: ALONE IN HIS TEACHER’S HOUSE
“Sachar’s finely tuned sense of how children think and feel make this fourth book about Marvin and his comic misadventures entertaining.”—The Horn Book Magazine


MARVIN REDPOST: A FLYING BIRTH DAY CAKE?
“Clipped sentences and short paragraphs are not only just right for new readers, they’re just right for the story-a smart, funny mist on the new-kid theme, reminding us that everyone feels alienated at one time or another.”—The Horn Book Magazine


THERE’S A BOY IN THE GIRLS’ BATHROOM
“A humorous and immensely appealing story.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise | Awards

Praise

"A humorous and immensely appealing story...Readers are likely to come away with the sense that they've been rooting for themselves too"--Kirkus.

Awards

WINNER 1987 Parents' Choice Award
WINNER 1989 Arkansas Charlie May Simon Award
WINNER 1987 Iowa Children's Choice Master List
WINNER 1987 Massachusetts Children's Book Master List
WINNER 1987 Utah Children's Book Award
WINNER 1991 Ohio Buckeye Children's Book Award
WINNER 1991 Hawaii Nene Award
WINNER 1987 Georgia Children's Book Master List
WINNER 1991 Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
WINNER 1987 West Virginia Children's Book Master List
WINNER 1987 Florida Sunshine State Book Master List
WINNER 1990 Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner
WINNER 1987 Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Award
WINNER 1987 Nevada Young Readers Master List
WINNER 1987 Nebraska Golden Sower Master List
WINNER 1987 Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Master List
WINNER 1987 Missouri Mark Twain Master List
WINNER 1987 New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Master List
WINNER 1991 Arizona Young Readers Award
WINNER 1990 Kentucky Bluegrass Master List
NOMINEE 1989 Texas Bluebonnet Master List

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