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Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen Hardcover – March 13, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2012:
“This tale will have readers cheering for the resilient, resourceful Olivia.”

About the Author

DONNA GEPHART is the author of As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President and How to Survive Middle School. She lives in Jupiter, Florida, with her family.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385740522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385740524
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Gephart is a professional nerd.

Her love for libraries and reading have led her to a career as a children's book author for Penguin Random House. Her books now reside on the shelves of the library she frequented when she was a child.

Her humorous/heartbreaking middle grade novels include:

1. DEATH BY TOILET PAPER -- Will Ben be able to keep a promise to his recently deceased dad and save his family from eviction, using his creativity and contest skills?
2. OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN -- Can Olivia overcome huge obstacles to achieve her dream of appearing on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!?
3. HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL -- David is famous online from his hilarious YouTube videos, but how will he ever survive middle school?
4. AS IF BEING 12-3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT -- won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award and the Florida State Book Award. Can spelling bee champ, Vanessa, do what's necessary to save her mom from an assassination attempt on the campaign trail?

Donna's books have won a number of awards, received starred reviews and landed on many state reading lists.

She's a popular speaker at schools, book festivals, libraries and conferences, including the S.C.B.W.I. National Conference, the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers' Workshop, F.A.M.E., the Conference on Children's Literature and others.

Originally from Philadelphia, Donna now lives in South Florida with her family, including two sweet shelter dogs, Benji and Teddy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Q: What is OLIVIA BEAN: TRIVIA QUEEN? Fantastic realistic fiction novel about `tween Olivia, who adores watching Jeopardy and is not so crazy about her "little bother" and her mom's recently-moved-in partner, surrogate stepdad, Neil. Through study and determination, and with the help of a school friend and the support of her family, Olivia wins a slot on Kids Week Jeopardy. She pins a lot on the dream of winning, not only for the money and glory, but just as much because her adored dad and his new family live in Los Angeles--not far from where Jeopardy is taped! There is plenty of edge-of-your-seat excitement as Olivia tests her trivia smarts. Gephart captures the language and angst of middle school perfectly, with complex and decent characters doing the best they can with warmth and humor. Loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deb Tyo on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A: She has a crazy sense of humor and a mad talent for hula hooping.

Q: Who is author Donna Gephart?

A: This new book about a trivia obsessed girl is a sure hit with middle grade readers.

Q: What is Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen?

It's Donna Gephart's new book, for goodness sake! You've read How to Survive Middle School. You've checked off As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President! on your TBR list. Now it's time to read another Gephart gem! It's Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen.

I LOVED Olivia! I have so many students, boys and girls, who will love Olivia and her not-so-trivial story! I not only loved Olivia, I loved Olivia's younger brother, Charlie; he was such a sweetie. I loved his hankering for gross trivia. (Did you know there are 516,000 bacteria in each square inch of armpit? Charlie does!)

Even though it took Olivia some time to warm up to Neil, her mom's boyfriend, I knew from the moment that he belted out Aretha (not to mention the fact that he's a librarian) that he was going to be one of the good guys in the story.

I was impressed by Tucker and enjoyed him immensely. What a super 'frenemy'.

Donna wove pieces of herself into Olivia, and I loved loved loved what she did with the Hula-Hoop incident. I knew I had to keep reading to find out what that was all about and why it tortured Olivia. And then I read about the fifth grade talent show and how Tucker was waiting offstage and what he said and how he said it and how Olivia finally realized HOW he said it....Oh my! No spoilers here! You must read this one for yourself!

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen is a keeper! It has found a special place in my classroom library and has already been read by several students. Everyone who has read Olivia has loved their time spent with this special young lady.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time with Olivia today!
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since she can remember, Olivia Bean has loved to watch Jeopardy! It used the be the thing she did with her dad, before he left the family in Philadelphia and went to California with Olivia's best friend's mom. Now she watches the game show every night on her own, and sometimes she knows the answers when the adult players don't.

So when Olivia finds out that testing for Kids Week is coming up, she knows she has to try out. Not only that, she's got to win a spot on the show. That way she'll get to visit the studio where Jeopardy! is filmed, which is near where her dad lives. With only 15 kids from around the country chosen to compete, Olivia will have to be extra sharp to earn a spot of her own.

If you like trivia, you'll love Olivia Bean Trivia Queen by Donna Gephart, but even you if you don't there's a lot to fall for in this story of a 12-year-old who misses her dad, is worried about her mom, and is making other adjustments in her life too.

For one thing, there's the boy next door, Tucker, who used to be her friend but now he seems mean. For another, she hasn't really made any other close girl friends since Nikki left for California. Olivia's dad, who is a gambler, seems more interested in his new life than in the family he left behind, and her mom has been laid off from her journalism job. Olivia's younger brother likes spouting gross trivia, and she resents her mom's boyfriend. It's a lot for a pre-teen to deal with.

But Olivia is strong, and you'll cheer her on as she tackles life's triumphs and disappointments while learning a lot about herself and the people who love her. I highly recommend Olivia Bean Trivia Queen for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 9 to 13.

The author provided me with a copy of this book to review.
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Format: Hardcover
The first time I heard about this book, it hadn't even been released yet, but the second I saw it as a result of a Google search, I knew I had to have it. About a month later, in March, I was using an gift card I'd gotten for Christmas and this was the first item I bought.

You see, I'm a nerd, and especially a trivia nerd. And ever since I found out there WAS such a thing as Kids Week on Jeopardy! (a few years ago) I wanted to be on it. And sure enough, I ended up being on Kids Week last year. I will never forget the experience.

I read the book cover to cover, after I'd read all the other books I'd gotten at the same time, saving the best for last. I got in trouble for reading it in class when I was supposed to be watching a sci-fi movie from the 1930s. I loved it because I thought that, except in my head, there would never be any books about Jeopardy! Kids Week. It was just too obscure a topic. It was fun with the gross trivia (and normal trivia), but also kind of sad when you think about the fact that Olivia's dad ran off with her best friend's mom, taking her best friend with me. Being only slightly older than Olivia (and I was 12 when I first read it), I can't imagine my dad running off with my best friend. It would be very sad for me, especially because there aren't too many other girls who are my type. It seems to be this way for Olivia, too. Several parts of the book relating to her dad were sad, but that made it good. And, as a random sidenote, Donna Gephardt remembered to put the exclamation point after Jeopardy! I'm not sure why, but I have a major pet peeve when people forget the exclamation point.

There was only one problem with the book though, and that was that it was slightly inaccurate.
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