Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Ms. Bixby's Last Day
by John David Anderson
Recommended Ages: 10+

When Ms. Bixby announces to her sixth-grade class that, due to her cancer diagnosis, she cannot finish the school year with them, the kids plan a party to send her off. But her health deteriorates faster than expected, and that means they won't have a chance to say goodbye. That's when best friends Topher, Brand, and Steve decide to take matters into their own hands, skipping school the day before Ms. Bixby is due to be transported to Boston for more advanced treatment. All they have to do is negotiate a few bus rides, make a few purchases, and get into their teacher's hospital room. What could go wrong?

During a day of misadventures and discoveries, each of the boys reveals - secretly, between himself and the reader - his own unique reason for needing a teacher like Ms. Bixby, and for caring about that Good One in particular. The upshot is a heart-warming, tears-and-laughter journey of a book, shifting between three narrators' points of view, and ending with an out-of-chronology chapter that explains all. It's a surprise, don't-read-without-a-box-of-Kleenex middle-school boys' book from an author previously known for his off-the-wall tales of superheroes and villains.

John David Anderson is also the author of Standard Hero Behavior, Sidekicked, Minion, The Dungeoneers, Insert Coin to Continue, and most recently, another middle-school-themed story about the issue of bullying, titled Posted.

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