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The Candy Corn Contest

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Written by Patricia Reilly GiffAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Patricia Reilly Giff
Illustrated by Blanche SimsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Blanche Sims

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List Price: $4.99

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On Sale: December 24, 2008
Pages: 80 | ISBN: 978-0-307-51648-0
Published by : Yearling RH Childrens Books
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis

Synopsis

It's almost Thanksgiving, and Richard Best can't stop thinking about Ms. Rooney's Candy Corn contest. Whoever can guess the exact number of yellow-and-orange candies in the jar on Ms. Roney's desk gets to keep them all. The only problem is Richard has to read a page in a library book for each guess.



Smelly Matthew, who sits in front of him, knows they'll never win. "We're the worst readers in the class, " he says. But Richard won't give up. He can already taste those Candy Corns. And before he knows it, he has. Three fat juicy ones.



What will Ms. Rooney do when she finds out?
Patricia Reilly Giff

About Patricia Reilly Giff

Patricia Reilly Giff - The Candy Corn Contest
“I want to see children curled up with books, finding an awareness of themselves as they discover other people’s thoughts. I want them to make the connection that books are people’s stories, that writing is talking on paper, and I want them to write their own stories. I’d like my books to provide that connection for them.”—Patricia Reilly Giff

Patricia Reilly Giff has recieved the Newbery Honor for Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily’s Crossing, which is also a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book. Nory Ryan’s Song was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Notable Book.



A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

What could be more wonderful than to write stories . . .

I spent my childhood reading in bed at night and early in the morning, and on long summer days under the tree in our yard. What could be more wonderful, I always thought, than to write stories that could make a reader fall in love with a character and laugh or cry over her adventures?

When did I start? Not soon enough! I was married and had three children. A snowy day and a husband who built a writing room from two skinny closets made me begin at last.

I agonized for weeks about what I would write, about that elusive protagonist that would make my readers want to spend hours of their lives following her imaginary life.

In my closet, I began to see Casey Valentine and Tracy Matson; Grace O’Malley came alive for me. And then the Kids of the Polk Street School danced into my head: Emily who reminded me of my daughter Alice, Beast who was very much like a boy I met in New Jersey, and Ms. Rooney—a teacher like myself who had good days and bad days, but who certainly loved her students. And, of course, there was the school amazingly like the one where I spent my days teaching.

I wanted to show readers that everyone has problems, that we’re not alone . . .

During the last several years I’ve been writing more serious books . . . books that remind me of my own childhood, my own feelings. I wrote Lily’ s Crossing because I remembered how terrified I was during the Second World War and All the Way Home because the specter of polio loomed over us each summer. I wanted to show readers that everyone has problems, that we’re not alone.

I wrote Nory Ryan’ s Song because my great-grandparents had lived through the Great Hunger of Ireland and I wanted to know more about it, more than the stories I had heard from family and from my distant cousins in Ireland. I learned as much as I could by going back to Ireland year after year; I wanted to put it all down on paper for my children and my grandchildren.

And then there was Pictures of Hollis Woods. I wrote that for my mother, and for me. Everything in the book has to do with both of us: the names of people my mother cared for—Beatrice, her best friend growing up; Henry, her cousin; Josie Cahill, her favorite aunt—and the house on the East Branch of the Delaware River that we both loved. Hollis was a foster child similar to many of the children I had worked with during my teaching years.

To tell children . . . there’ s always hope

My book Maggie’s Door is the story of Nory Ryan and Sean Mallon as they leave Ireland to take the long and terrible trip to America on one of the “coffin ships” during those famine years. I wrote it to remind readers of how hard immigrants, both past and present, struggle to make new lives for themselves. I wrote it to tell children that no matter how hard our lives are, there’s always a chance for a new start. There’s always hope.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“I always start each day by writing. That’s like breathing to me,” says Patricia Reilly Giff. In fact, this bestselling author admits: “I wanted to write from the first time I picked up a book and read. I thought it must be the most marvelous thing to make people dance across the pages.”

Reading and writing have always been an important part of Patricia Reilly Giff’s life. As a child, her favorite books included Little Women, The Secret Garden, the Black Stallion books, the Sue Barton books, and the Nancy Drew series. Giff loved reading so much that while growing up, her sister had to grab books out of her hands to get Giff to pay attention to her; later, Giff’s three children often found themselves doing the same thing. As a reading teacher for 20 years, the educational consultant for Dell Yearling and Young Yearling books, an adviser and instructor to aspiring writers, and the author of more than 60 books for children, Patricia Reilly Giff has spent her entire life surrounded by books.

After earning a B.A. degree from Marymount College, Giff took the advice of the school’s dean and decided to become a teacher. She admits, “I loved teaching. It was my world. I only left because I was overwhelmed with three careers—teaching, writing, and my family.”

During the 20 years of her teaching career, she earned an M.A. from St. John’s University, and a Professional Diploma in Reading and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University. Then one morning, Giff told her husband Jim, “I’m going to write a book. I’ve always wanted to write and now I shall.” Jim worked quickly to combine two adjacent closets in their apartment into one cramped workspace and, as Giff jokes, she “began [her] career in a closet.”

Giff explains, “I want the children to bubble up with laughter, or to cry over my books. I want to picture them under a cherry tree or at the library with my book in their hands. But more, I want to see them reading in the classroom. I want to see children in solitude at their desks, reading, absorbing, lost in a book.”

Giff tries to write books “that say ordinary people are special.” She says, “All of my books are based in some way on my personal experiences, or the experiences of members of my family, or the stories kids would tell me in school.” Therefore, when she runs out of ideas for her books, Giff says, “I take a walk and look around. Maybe I spend some time in a classroom and watch the kids for a while. Sometimes I lie on the living room floor and remember my days in second grade or third. If all that doesn’t work, I ask Ali, or Jim, or Bill”—Giff’s children, whose names often appear in her books.

When she’s not writing, Patricia Reilly Giff enjoys reading in the bathtub and going to the movies and eating popcorn. She and her husband reside in Weston, Connecticut. They have three children and five grandchildren. In 1990, Giff combined her two greatest loves—children’s books and her family—and, with her husband and her children, opened The Dinosaur’s Paw, a children’s bookstore named after one of her Kids of the Polk Street School novels. This store is part of Giff’ s quest to bring children and books together. She and her family are trying to “share our love of children’s books and writing and to help others explore the whole world of children’s books.”

Throughout the year, Giff visits schools and libraries around the country and speaks to her readers about her books, and about writing. When discussing her work, Giff claims, “I have no special talent, you know. I never took a writing course before I began to write.” She believes that “anyone who has problems, or worries, anyone who laughs and cries, anyone who feels can write. It’s only talking on paper . . . talking about the things that matter to us.”

Giff’s Newbery Honor–winning novel, Lily’s Crossing, is a vivid portrait of the home front during World War II. Fans of Giff’s Kids of the Polk Street School series who are ready to tackle a more challenging book will love this funny, sad, but reassuring story.

Her book, All the Way Home, tells the touching story of Brick and Mariel, two 11-year-old friends who know firsthand about adversity, and together embark on a journey that brings them personal peace.




PRAISE

LILY’S CROSSING
“Details . . . are woven with great effect into a realistic story of ordinary people who must cope with events beyond their comprehension.”—Starred, The Horn Book Magazine

“Set during World War II, this tenderly written story tells of the war’s impact on two children, one an American and one a Hungarian refugee. Giff’s well-drawn, believable characters and vivid prose style make this an excellent choice.”—School Library Journal

NORY RYAN’S SONG
“Newbery Honor winner Giff weaves wisps of history into this wrenching tale of an Irish family sundered by the Great Potato Famine. . . . Riveting.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“Giff brings the landscape and the cultural particulars of the era vividly to life and creates in Nory a heroine to cheer for. A beautiful, heart-warming novel that makes a devastating event understandable.” —Starred, Booklist

THE VALENTINE STAR
The Kids of the Polk Street School #6

“Humor and trials are portrayed through realistic characters and situations and natural dialogue.”—School Library Journal

SAY “CHEESE”
The Kids of the Polk Street School #10

“An affectionate picture of lower elementary students making their way through the ups and downs of classroom life.”—Booklist

LOOK OUT, WASHINGTON, D.C.!
A Polk Street Special #6

“An easy-to-read chapter book for fans of the series, as well as for those planning a visit.”—School Library Journal

SHARK IN SCHOOL
“A solid book that accurately depicts many of the heartaches of the first days at a new school.”—Kirkus Reviews
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



NOTE TO TEACHERS

Newbery Honor-winning author Patricia Reilly Giff has used her writing talents and experience as a teacher to create the beloved Polk Street School books.

Discover the original Kids of the Polk Street School-with a brand-new lookcomplete with discussion questions and themes to help explore typical classroom situations, as the kids in Ms. Rooney's room learn to solve the problems of growing up.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Here you'll find the original Kids of the Polk Street School books, by Patricia Reilly Giff and illustrated by Blanche Sims. The "Specials" include easy and fun projects, and the New Kids at the Polk Street School stories are about Stacy, Emily's sister, for the slightly younger reader.

The Kids of the Polk Street School Series
Yearling paperback, Grades 1-4
School, Humor

THE BEAST IN MS. ROONEY'S ROOM #1
For Richard "Beast" Best, being left back means being teased and having to face the same teacher.
0-440-40485-1

FISH FACE #2
School is fun for Emily Arrow until Dawn Tiffanie Bosco sits next to her and Emily discovers that Dawn is a thief.
0-440-41072-x

DECEMBER SECRETS #4
Emily is stuck with crybaby Jill Simon as her "secret pal" to be kind to for the whole month of December.
"A delightful holiday read-aloud." - School Library Journal
0-440-41795-3

IN THE DINOSAUR'S PAW #5
Beast's luck changes when he finds a magic ruler that makes all his dreams come true.
0-440-44150-1

THE VALENTINE STAR #6
Sherri Dent is angry with Emily for reporting her to Ms. Rooney. Now Emily wonders if Sherri will tell about something Emily's done wrong.
0-440-49204-6

LAZY LIONS, LUCKY LAMBS #7
The children in Ms. Rooney's room are supposed to be writing about real people, but writing is Beast's worse subject.
0-440-44640-6

SNAGGLE DOODLES #8
Emily can't help wishing that she, instead of Linda Lorca, had been chosen leader of their "invention group."
0-440-48068-x

PURPLE CLIMBING DAYS #9
Beast hopes his friends won't find out that looking at the gym rope makes him dizzy.
0-440-47639-9

SUNNY-SIDE UP #11
What is Richard Best going to do? His best friend Mathew Jackson is moving and Richard must find a way for him to stay!
0-440-48406-5

PICKLE PUSS #12
Emily and Dawn find a stray cat, but who will keep it? The girls agree that whoever reads the most books in the summer reading program gets to keep the cat.
0-40-46844-2

BEAST AND THE HALLOWEEN HORROR #13
Beast discovers that there is nothing more scary than facing up to his own lie _ when the author he wrote to (and lied to) comes to visit the Polk Street School.
0-440-40335-9

EMILY ARROW PROMISES TO DO BETTER THIS YEAR #14
Ms. Rooney asks her students to make New Year's resolutions and Emily promises "to do better" - at everything. But can she keep such a challenging resolution?
0-440-40369-3

MOSTER RABBIT RUNS AMUCK! #15
Beast and Matthew have a problem! While moving the monster Easter rabbit onto the stage from the closet, its head breaks off. How can they fix it before Friday's school assembly?
0-440-40424-x

WAKE UP, EMILY, IT'S MOTHER'S DAY! #16
Emily Arrow and her sister Stacy have a big surprise for their mother on Mother's Day.
0-440-40455-x

The New Kids at the Polk Street School
Yearling paperback, Grades K-3
School, Humor

Emily's younger sister Stacy has had to stay home while Emily went to school, made friends, learned to spell, and played games at recess. Now it's Stacy's turn to start kindergarten at the Polk Street School.

WATCH OUT! MAN-EATING SNAKE #1
"Stacy's adjustment to school is already prickly - but when she tells a potential new friend that she has a man-eating snake at home, the alliance dissolves." - Booklist
0-440-40085-6
Friendship, Honest, Learning/Making Mistakes

FANCY FEET #2
Stacy "borrows" a beautiful pair of shoes and must own up.
0-440-40086-4
Honesty

ALL ABOUT STACY #3
While working on her new class project, an "About Me" box, Stacy learns about feeling "special deluxe" because it's what's inside that counts.
0-440-40088-0
Self-Esteem

B-E-S-T FRIENDS #4
Stacy becomes friends with the new girl in class and discovers it's fun to be different.
0-440-40090-2
Friendship

SPECTACULAR STONE SOUP #5
Mrs. Zachary wants her class to be people-helpers and prepare a spectacular stone soup together.
0-440-40134-8
Kindness/Good Deeds

STACY SAYS GOOD-BYE #6
Stacy's thrilled to see everyone's baby pictures go up on the bulletin board - but what surprise could Mrs. Zachary have?
0-440-40135-6
Growing Up

The Kids of the Polk Street School Specials
Yearling paperback, Grades 1-4
Schoo, Humor

These specials continue the adventures of the kdis in Ms. Rooney's class, and each book contains a special section that includes easy and fun projects* kids can do by themselves.

WRITE UP A STORM WITH THE POLK STREET SCHOOL #1
Writing
0-440-40882-2
*Make your own book

COUNT YOUR MONEY WITH THE POLK STREET SCHOOL #2
Counting & Mathematics (Money, Personal Finance), Friendship
0-440-40929-2
*Slotted card for saving money

THE POSTCARD PEST #3
Activities, Common Childhood Experiences
(Lying), Crafts & Hobbies, Geography, Travel & Vacation, Writing (Pen Pals)
0-440-40973-x
*Stamp album, stamp collecting

TURKEY TROUBLE #4
Activities, Crafts & Hobbies (Baking), Family & Relationships
(Babies, Siblings), Holidays & Special Days (Thanksgiving)
0-440-40955-1

GREEN THUMBS, EVERYONE #7
Activities, Common Childhood Experiences
(Bullies), Crafts & Hobbies (Gardening), Ecology, Emotions
(Guilt), Holidays & Specials Days (Earth Day), Honesty, Seasons
(Spring), Science & Nature
0-440-41232-3
*Pet care guide

The Kids of the Polk Street School Specials
Yearling paperback, Grades 1-4
School, Humor

Each of these Polk Street Specials includes a "Visit the City Guide," a kid's guide to museums, landmarks, monuments, and more. The Polk Street Kids on Tour books include city guides and maps.
Art, Music & Theater, Travel & Vacation, U.S. Cities

LOOK OUT, WASHINGTON, D.C.! #6
0-440-40934-9

NEXT STOP, NEW YORK CITY! #9
0-440-41362-1

OH BOY, BOSTON! #10
0-440-41365-6

LET' S GO, PHILADELPHIA! #11
0-440-41368-0

The Polka Dot Private Eye
Yearling paperback, Grades 1-4
School, Humor

Join Dawn Bosco, the Polka Dot Private Eye, and the rest of the gang of Polk Street, in these fun and easy-to-read mysteries.

RIDDLE OF THE RED PURSE
When three people claim the red purse found in the schoolyard, Dawn Bosco sets out to find the real owner.
0-440-47534-1

POWDER PUFF PUZZLE
When Dawn Bosco' s cat, Powder Puff, jumps out of her arms and into a car that drives away, it looks like another case for the Polka Dot Private Eye.

CLUE AT THE ZOO
Dawn Bosco is faced with the mystery of a possibly poisonous notebook that she finds in the zoo.
0-440-40318-9

CASE OF THE COOL - ITCH KID
Dawn Bosco's on her way to summer camp. She can't wait for the fun to begin, but whena few of her favorite possessions disappear, it's time for the Polka Dot Private Eye to investigate.
0-440-40199-2

MYSTERY OF THE BLUE RING
When her friend's ring is discovered missing, Dawn Bosco decides to play detective.
0-440-45998-2

THE SECRET AT POLK STREET SCHOOL
Dawn Bosco wonders whether mean Drake Evans is behind the strange happenings at the Polk Street School.
0-440-47696-8

TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING TEENAGER
A summer day at the beach sets the scene for the Polka Dot Private Eye's hottest case yet.
0-440-40312-x

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Patricia Reilly Giff has long been a favorite writer among young readers. She is the author of two series of books that deal with friendship-The Kids of the Polk Street School and The Polka Dot Private Eye. Her novels for middle-grade readers include The Gift of the Pirate Queen and Lily's Crossing, which was named a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book for Children, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. Nory kyan's Song, her latest book, is a tribute to her Irish great-grandparents and her grand-mother, who lived through the potato famine in the mid-1800s. It was named an ALA Notable Book for Children and an ALA Best Book forYoung Adults.

She and her husband reside in Weston, Connecticut. In 1990, Giff combined her two greatest loves: children's books and her family. With her husband and her children, Giff opened "Dinosaur's Paw," a children's bookstore named after one of her Kids of the Polk Street School novels.This store is part of Giffs quest to bring children and books together.

TEACHING IDEAS

Themtic Connections

FRIENDSHIP/BEING NEW IN SCHOOL--In Fish Face, Dawn is the new kid in school and desperately wants Emily to be her friend. Hold a discussion about being new and brainstorm ways to make someone feel welcome. Keep the list in the event a new student arrives in class.

ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS/KINDNESS--In December Secrets, Emily is stuck with fat Jill Simon as her secret pal, but ends up discovering thatJill is a true friend after all. Ask the class to write one nice quality about each person in the class and share them. Explain that everyone has something good to offer and that kindness can go a long way.

LEARNING TO WORK TOGETHER/IMAGINATION--April is invention month and, in Stiaggle Doodles, Emily invents a new expression. Discuss the role of imagination in inventing new things. Then have the class create their own inventions. Working together in groups, have the children "invent" their own collages using scissors, paste, and old magazines. Topics can include: things that happen in the classroom, something at home, crazy inventions (a homework doer, a spinach eater, a pizza maker).

FRIENDSHIP/BEING NEW IN SCHOOL--In Fish Face, Dawn is the new kid in school and desperately wants Emily to be her friend. Hold a discussion about being new and brainstorm ways to make someone feel welcome. Keep the list in the event a new student arrives in class.

ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS/KINDNESS--In December Secrets, Emily is stuck with fat Jill Simon as her secret pal, but ends up discovering thatJill is a true friend after all. Ask the class to write one nice quality about each person in the class and share them. Explain that everyone has something good to offer and that kindness can go a long way.

LEARNING TO WORK TOGETHER/IMAGINATION--April is invention month and, in Stiaggle Doodles, Emily invents a new expression. Discuss the role of imagination in inventing new things. Then have the class create their own inventions. Working together in groups, have the children "invent" their own collages using scissors, paste, and old magazines. Topics can include: things that happen in the classroom, something at home, crazy inventions (a homework doer, a spinach eater, a pizza maker.

Interdisciplinary Connections

H I STORY--Learn about the Presidents! Start with James K. Polk, of course. Born on November 2, 1795, he was a
serious man who banned dancing in the White House. He declared war on Mexico and added six western states to
the Union.

RESEARCH--Use Polks story as a jumping-off place to teach your class beginner research techniques. Even first
and second graders can learn about the biography section in the library, look at old newspapers, and discover the
wonders of an encyclopedia.

MATH/ESTIMATING--In The Candy Corn Contest, Ms. Rooney asks the class to estimate the number of pieces of
candy in the jar. Hold a similar contest using popcorn kernels. Once the students have submitted their guesses, divide
the class into groups and have each group count by tens to determine the total number of kernels. Then have a pop-
corn party.

LANGUAGE ARTS/READING--ln The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room, the students try to win the school banner
for best class. Promote reading, as well as good behavior, by hosting a best-student contest. Create the rules as a class,
where students aim to read as many books as possible, in addition to promoting random acts of kindness. Each week
a different student gets awarded the banner.

SCIENCE/GARDENING--In Green Thumbs, Everyone, Richard and Emily discover the effort required to maintain a garden. Have children share the excitement of planting a seed and watching it grow! Students can be responsible for planting, watering, and nurturing their plants. Discuss the various ways seeds can be planted and grown, as well as water and light requirements. Materials needed for an indoor garden: at least two medium planting pots, soil, fastgrowing seeds such as bean sprouts or grass seed, a ruler, and a cup for water. Compare the progress of the plants over time.

REVIEWS

"'An affectionate picture of lower elementary students making their way through the ups and downs of classroom life. "

-Booklist

BEYOND THE BOOK

On the Web

For additional activities and teaching ideas... Visit our free online site Teachers @ Random and be sure to sign up for our online newsletter! http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers

Register for the free Magic Tree House Online Classroom Program at
http://wwwrandomhouse.com/teachers/clubs_magictree.html

...and the Junie B. Jones Online Classroom Program at http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/clubs_junie.html

OTHER TITLES OF INTEREST

Other Early Chapter Book Series for Grades 1-4

A TO Z MYSTERIES(r)
Ron Roy
Illustrated by John Steven Gurney
Random House/A Stepping Stone Book

JUNIE B. JONES
Barbara Park
Illustrated by Denise Brunkeus
Random House/A Stepping Stone Book

MAGIC TREE HOUSE(r)
Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by Sal Murdocca
Random House/A Stepping Stone Book

MARVIN REDPOST
Louis Sachar
Random House/A Stepping Stone Book

NATE THE GREAT
Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Illustrated by Marc Simont
Yearling paperback

PEE WEE SCOUTS

Judy Delton
Illustrated by Alan Tiegreen
Yearling paperback

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

In the Classroom

There are many different ways to use the Polk Street books in the classroom. You can follow the months of the year with the Kids of the Polk Street School, use the various themes for lively discussion, and create any one of the numerous activities to go one step beyond. You can even begin a unit on the presidents of the United States, beginning with Polk!

Pick a Kids of the Polk Street School book and read about the school year with Ms. Rooney's class:

The Beast in Ms. Rooney' s Room
September
back-to-school, being left back, reading

Fish Face
October
Stealing, honesty

Beast and the Halloween Horror
October
Telling the truth, holidays (Halloween)

The Candy Corn Contest
November
Bed-wetting, cheating, holidays (Thanksgiving)

December Secrets
December
Acceptance of others, kindness & giving, holidays (Christmas/Hanukkah)

In the Dinosaur's Paw
January
Magical thinking, dinosaurs

Emily Arrow Promises to Do Better This Year
January
Friendship, self-improvement, holidays (New Year's Day)

The Valentine Star
February
Friendship, holidays (Valentine's Day)

Lazy Lions, Lucky Lambs
March
Responsibility, writing, self-improvement

Monster Rabbit Runs Amuck!
March-April
Sibling relationships, holidays (Easter)

Snaggle Doodles
April
Learning to work together, sharing, teamwork

Purple Climbing Days
May
Fear, health, nutrition & physical fitness
_Wake Up, Emily, It's Mother's Day!
May
Doing for others, gardening, holidays (Mother's Day)

Say "Cheese"
June
Friendship, back-to-school

Sunny-Side Up
July
Moving away, summer

Pickle Puss
August
Competition, reading, summer


  • The Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Giff; illustrated by Blanche Sims
  • November 02, 1987
  • Juvenile Fiction - School & Education; Humor
  • Yearling
  • $4.99
  • 9780440410720

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