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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in mylar jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps
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How Oliver Olson Changed the World Hardcover – March 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374334870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374334871
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Oliver feels as excited as his classmates when their third-grade teacher describes the upcoming space sleepover. They’ll spend the night at school, see the stars and planets through a telescope, play space games, and watch a science-fiction movie. But Oliver knows he won’t be able to go because his overprotective parents don’t allow sleepovers. When Crystal, his solar system diorama partner, intervenes to help Oliver air his opinions, he begins to see a path toward independence. Mills creates believable characters who express the emotional nuances as well as the practical difficulties of Oliver’s predicament. The scene in which Oliver watches his mother and father start to make his diorama themselves offers a painfully accurate portrayal of over-involved parents. But perhaps the most notable achievement of the book is to show Crystal and Oliver changing their minds about an issue (whether Pluto should be called a planet) as they learn more about it. An engaging and thought-provoking chapter book. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan

Review

“Kids . . . will appreciate this warm and humorous story about one family’s struggle for balance.” —BookPage

“Personable and friendly, with touches of rueful humor.”—STARRED, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Mills has a knack for creating characters who demand compassion due to a pitch-perfect sense of humor and pathos.” —School Library Journal

“An engaging and though-provoking chapter book.” —Booklist

“Mills’s previous beginning chapter books have been stellar, and this one is no exception.” —The Horn Book

“Oliver may not change the world by the end of his diorama project, but he will certainly provide a fast-paced, entertaining read to the chapter-book audience.”—Kirkus Reviews


More About the Author

Claudia Mills is the author of over 50 books for young readers. To write her books she draws on childhood memories of growing up in New Jersey as well as funny stories her two sons brought home from elementary school and middle school as they grew up in Colorado. She loves to visit schools, where she is always on the prowl for material that can make its way into a chapter book or middle grade novel.

Claudia is also a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in ethics and political philosophy, who has published many articles on philosophical and ethical themes in children's literature, including essays on the work of Maud Hart Lovelace, Eleanor Estes, Betty MacDonald, Louisa May Alcott, and Rosamond du Jardin.

All of Claudia's books have been written between 5 and 7 in the morning, while drinking Swiss Miss hot chocolate at her cozy home near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She likes to write for an hour every day, watching little bits of daily writing grow into big piles of published books to share with children everywhere.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I actually found myself chuckling to myself in quite a few places.
The Book Nosher
As an adult who reads lots to their kids, I found this book entertaining and not at all groan inducing like so many childrens books.
Claire
Speaking of humor, Oliver reminded me a lot of the character of Donuthead from Sue Stauffacher's book of the same name.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Book Nosher on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
How would you like it if your parents always did your homework? On first glance, most kids would probably think that would be pretty terrific. But after reading How Oliver Olson Changed the World, they might not think it was such a great idea.

How Oliver Olson Changed the World is a delightful, funny early chapter book that will capture early readers' attention right away. It features Oliver, a timid, overprotected third grader who manages to finally come into his own with the space diorama project. But in the beginning of the book, things are not looking so rosy for Oliver.

Early on we learn that his parents have managed to keep him in a protective cocoon for much of his life, due to starting out as a sickly child. Sleepovers-no! Riding bikes outside of the cul de sac-no! Doing homework on his own-no! With a diorama of the solar system on the horizon, we watch as Oliver's parents start organizing and planning the entire project. It's a pretty hilarious scene which may ring ever-so-true to many children and parents alike. Luckily for Oliver, he gets his first break when Crystal Harding (the most talkative girl in the school) decides that they should do the diorama together, and Oliver's parents are gently shoved aside.

What follows is a delightful story that includes fun facts about the solar system (it addresses Pluto's recent ouster from the planet kingdom in a thought-provoking way), as well as a very realistic depiction of third graders at work and play. Although Oliver and Crystal are the main characters, the other kids in the class are deftly drawn, so you get a sense of them as individuals.

In addition to the diorama, the class is also given an assignment to come up with an idea that would change the world.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've a little early chapter book radar in my left frontal lobe. Every time I'm handed a pile of books that little radar beeps out a series of signals in a desperate attempt to find that rarest of rare children's titles: the early chapter book that's actually really good. It's a tough game to play. Nine times out of ten an early chapter book for kids wavers between easy readers and Harry Potter-sized tomes that are benevolent at best, dull and preachy at worst. But if you scout abou...more I've a little early chapter book radar in my left frontal lobe. Every time I'm handed a pile of books that little radar beeps out a series of signals in a desperate attempt to find that rarest of rare children's titles: the early chapter book that's actually really good. It's a tough game to play. Nine times out of ten an early chapter book for kids wavers between easy readers and Harry Potter-sized tomes that are benevolent at best, dull and preachy at worst. But if you scout about and read enough of them, once in a while you'll strike a small vein of gold. How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills is better than gold. Better than diamonds and jewels. It's an early chapter book that's thoughtful, original, funny, and wry. And if you ever wanted to teach an eight-year-old about metaphors, that's also worked into the mix, just for kicks.

What Oliver Olson has, kids worldwide would kill for. His parents do his homework for him. You wanna know something though? Come in close here. The fact of the matter? Oliver hates it. He really does. Ever since he was a sickly baby his mom and dad have been Mr. and Mrs. Overprotective. He can't tell them about his planetary diorama without them wanting to make it for him (while refusing to let him leave while they do it).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claire on March 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've read this book to my 2 2nd graders twice now and they loved it both times. Its funny and touching. It's about Oliver and his classmate making a diorama for a class project about the solar system and the debate over whether Pluto should be included based on recent scientific debate. Some very funny moments arise from this. It also taps into how parents can over protect their children, how this affects them and ultimately how Oliver is able to gain a little independence from them. My kids and I laughed out loud at several parts. As an adult who reads lots to their kids, I found this book entertaining and not at all groan inducing like so many childrens books.I really recommend this one!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Michael on December 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wow! I can't really add much to the previous review. :) I was looking for a book for my very advanced 1st grade readers and can't wait to show them this one. It has plenty of humor and also teaches science. Since Pluto being excluded as a planet is a major theme in the book, it is up-to-date with the planet information. This is a fun, creative book! I hope they make this into a series.
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By Terry Mc Neal on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book as a mentor text and found it was very helpful. I would recommend this book .
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