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Science Fair Hardcover – October 14, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions; First Edition edition (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423113241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423113249
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 5.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—When Grdankl the Strong, president of the small, but extremely unhappy country of Krpshtskan, declares war on the United States, no one is safe. Its agents are en route to Hubble Middle School where an operative has been working for several years to create award-winning science-fair projects for underachieving children and their overinvolved parents. This is the year that the top projects will be designed to work in concert to bring down the United States in one enormous, electromagnetic pulse strike. All that is standing in the way of this diabolical plan are three students, a science store operator, a handful of bumbling FBI agents, and a giant Weinermobile. Barry and Ridley have created a wild story of danger, espionage, stinky cheese, exploding vats of Coca-Cola, and one floating frog. This nonstop, action-packed novel will appeal to every kid who has ever had to do a science-fair project.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

If there was any doubt that today’s authors have acclimated themselves to writing in a post-9/11 world, Barry and Pearson’s latest comedy revolves around a group of terrorists intent on attacking America. Fortunately, most of them are just good-natured bumblers, but one of them has an actual plan: use rich middle-school kids (and their grade-obsessed parents) to unwittingly build a super-weapon for the science fair. Eighth-grader Toby is sick of the same kids winning every year, and when he learns about the plot, it’s up to him and his friends to stop the cheating—and, while they’re at it, save the world. The humor is a mix of chuckle-worthy wordplay and dead-on-arrival groaners; a subplot involving thieves attempting to steal Toby’s parents’ Star Wars memorabilia will generate the loudest laughs. Readers will appreciate the modern details (iPhones, Dance Dance Revolution, and Google all figure into the story), and the theme of overeager parenting will resonate—even through all the zany noise. Grades 5-8. --Daniel Kraus

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Customer Reviews

My daughter read this book and said it was one of the best books she ever read!
Texas Reader
In fact, I loaned it to one of my sixth graders after I finished and he read the entire book in a single day.
Amazon Customer
Science Fair is a book that definitely would appeal to kids, with its mix of humor and action.
Karl S. Keene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on May 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My boys and I enjoyed this book. It was fun and humorous for all of us. However, just like many kids' books, shows, and movies aimed at this age group, it demonstrated a huge disrespect for adults. For example, Toby, the lead character, lied and stole from his parents, didn't adhere to his parents' discipline, thought of his parents as weird, and gave every teacher a not-so-nice nickname. I can take this in a story if by the end there are some redemptive qualities revealed but there were none here. My one child has a great sense of right and wrong and can hear such a story and not have problems. My other child, however, already seems to think he knows more than any adult and this book only fed that thought of his. Consequently, despite the fun, we had to have a discussion at the end of it. So just know what you are getting into.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I previously enjoyed the first two novels of the Peter and the Starcatchers series that Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry wrote, but I found Science Fair to be hilarious.

Science Fair is set in a middle school in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC. Toby, the main character, is enrolled in the school's gifted program, along with other gifted students and others whose rich, powerful parents have bought their way in. The rich parents are obsessed with their kids' success to the point that they do the work for their kids. For example, one mother was said to have worked hard for all of her son's grades, starting with the professionally bound animal report he turned in in first grade.

Each year, the school conducts a science fair with a large corporate-sponsored prize. One of the rich kids always wins, because they purchase complicated projects from a strange store in the mall. However, there is a problem - Grdankl the Strong, the leader of the rogue nation of Krpshtskan, has enlisted an operative to rig the science fair so that the rich kids' projects can be utilized for a terrorist plot. Toby finds out about this, and he and his friends have to fix things.

The plot and the details of Science Fair are absurd and over the top, but that is why I enjoyed it so much. Barry describes Krpshtskan in a way similar to the fictional Kazakhstan in Borat, with details like the national holiday for the tournament of the fighting death hamsters and Grdankl's slogan of "Vote for Grdankl or die." Another episode I found amusing was when two of Grdankl's operatives who were sent unwillingly to the U.S. to straighten out problems became addicted to the Home Shopping Network.

Science Fair is a book that definitely would appeal to kids, with its mix of humor and action.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Mathers on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a 29 year old woman but this book had me in stitches beginning to end. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson are a great team. This book is funnier than the Peter and the Starcatcher series (though I recommend those as well. Peter and the Starcatchers: The Starcatchers Series Books 1-3: Paperback Box Set (20the Starcatchers Series Books))

I found this book to have a well placed plot and easy to follow characters. (Except for the surprise ending!) The comedy of errors was much along the lines of his "Big Trouble", with one farcical situation after another, but also acceptable for a younger audience.

Barry and Pearson have hooked me on their writing team and I will continue to look for more of their great "juvenile" works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karl S. Keene on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 13 year-old son and I read "Science Fair" together (I read it out loud), and we both were stopped many times by bouts of hysterical laughter! What an enjoyable book to read! The suspense of the story also kept us hanging on every word. And what a surprise ending (didn't see it coming at all).

This book could easily be read and enjoyed by children ages 9-99! The plot and the details of Science Fair are absurd and over the top, but that is why I think we enjoyed it so much. Science Fair is a book that definitely would appeal to kids, with its mix of humor and action.

This book was good, clean fun - not spooky or scary in any way. Haven't laughed like this in a long time! I encourage to feed your sense of humor and adventure by reading "Science Fair"!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At Hubble Middle School (somewhere near Washington, D.C.), students wait with much anticipation for the annual science fair. Founded by billionaire inventor and Hubble alumnus Lance Swingle, the Hubble Science Fair is seen as a chance for students to use their scientific knowledge, have fun, and hopefully win the grand prize.

Unfortunately, as many students, teachers and parents know, the Fair is far from a friendly competition, and the only winners are the ME (Manor Estates) kids --- known more for being spoiled rotten than for being science geniuses. This year, the prize is bigger than ever: $5,000. For the ME kids, it's pocket change; but for students like Toby Harbinger, that kind of money could mean a world of difference --- especially when they have a crazed Star Wars fan after them.

In a rebellious moment, Toby decided he absolutely needed a new gaming computer, and the only way he knew how to get the funds for it was by selling some of his parents' Star Wars "junk" online. Forget that the BlasTech DL-44 may have been signed by Han Solo himself --- a rumor Toby doesn't really believe --- or that his parents might find out. But when an angry fan named D. Arthur Vaderian and his burly associate, the Wookiee, demand their money back, Toby realizes he must win the school science fair to set things right.

However, being a favorite target of the ME kids doesn't help Toby's plan, and in a rash moment of retaliation (involving a disgusting tofu enchilada and a rather embarrassed ME kid), Toby ends up in detention. That's when he figures out the truth behind the ME kids' science fair reign. Unfortunately, getting the proof that they're cheating, much less being believed, isn't going to be easy.
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