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Ms. Bixby's last day
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New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

"Kids won't just love this book. They need it." --Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

"Each page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all." --Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor winner and author of Okay for Now

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them--and what the three of them mean to each other.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-When Topher, Steve, and Brand learn that Ms. Bixby is terminally ill, they decide to cut class and give their beloved teacher a truly special tribute, but nothing goes as planned. Simultaneously heartrending, uproariously funny, and affirming, this is that rare story that centers on loss yet isn't overwhelmed by grief or pain; at its heart, this tale celebrates life, friendship, and the importance of finding one's own voice. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* When Ms. Bixby tells her sixth-grade class that she has cancer and will be leaving before the school year ends, her students are stunned. But the following week, when they learn that she's already gone into the hospital to start treatment several days early, three boys swing into action, carrying out an ambitious (and mostly legal) plan to create a grand gesture of appreciation, bravado, and connection. Facing a series of practical challenges but armed with Bixbyisms (their teacher's favorite sayings), Topher, Steve, and Brand display a winning mixture of courage and naïveté as they collect an odd assortment of necessities and head for the hospital. The boys are at an interesting stage. In an early scene, they're running from a girl who supposedly has cooties, but soon they're carrying out a serious, chivalrous mission. The first-person narration rotates among the three boys, and readers at first may have a bit of trouble keeping who's who straight. Through dialogue, action, memories, and reflections, the narrators move the story forward, filling in gaps in understanding until the complex puzzle is complete. Through their individual, interwoven narratives, these well-developed characters become the most intriguing elements of the story. A smart, funny, ultimately moving novel.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist
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