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Science Fair [Kindle Edition]

Ridley Pearson , Dave Barry
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Grdankl the Strong, president of Kprshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government. His plan is to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School, located in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington. The rich kids at Hubble cheat by buying their projects every year, and Grdankl's cronies should have no problem selling them his government-corrupting software. But this year, Toby Harbinger, a regular kid with Discount Warehouse shoes, is determined to win the $5,000 prize—even if he has to go up against terrorists to do it. With the help of his best friends, Tamara and Micah, Toby takes on Assistant Principal Paul Parmit, aka "The Armpit", a laser-eyed stuffed owl, and two eBay buyers named Darth and the Wookiee who seem to think that the Harrison-Ford-signed BlasTech DL-44 blaster Toby sold them is a counterfeit. What transpires is a hilarious adventure filled with mystery, suspense, and levitating frogs.

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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

Product Details

  • File Size: 1319 KB
  • Print Length: 412 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423113241
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion (November 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004D4YIM0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,609 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Book But Know Your Kid May 29, 2009
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - I loved it! June 23, 2009
By Bort
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book disguised as one for kids only January 31, 2011
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Save the frog, save the world July 30, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Eighth grader Toby Harbinger has problems. One, he has two goons shadowing him, after he sold them allegedly faulty Star Wars merchandise - without his parents' permission. The other is the upcoming science fair - he's stumbled into a possible cheating ring that may be connected to an attempt to take over America.

While Toby and his friends attempt to solve the mystery, Grdankl the Strong, president of the Republic of Krpshtskan, is sending his minions to the US to carry out his plans. Like the goons in "Big Trouble," they aren't rocket scientists and are easily distracted. Fortunately, several of the legit science projects (featuring Rollerblade Barbie, Diet Coke and a levitating frog) manage to help save the day. Also helping are the Home Shopping Network, Judge Judy, an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, and an invisibility iPhone.

I've no idea if any of the science details are accurate (some I remember from Barry's columns), but I laughed all the way through. My favorite part was when the President goes onto address the nation, tells them everything is under control and thinks, "I hope they're buying this."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A great ride!
This story gets better and loopier the longer you stay with it. After a certain point I could not stop reading. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!
I think this book was very awesome and exciting. There are lots of cliff hangers. This book is very good if you are close to the science fair
Published 1 month ago by Stephen Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Yikes! Forgot I bought this as a gift for a younger reader.
This is one by Dave Barry whose audience is the younger set! Believe it was appreciated by the recipient. M. A. Gokee
Published 3 months ago by Mary G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! One of the few books that I can read over and over!!!
I absolutely LOVE this book! It is one of the few that I own that has been well-loved and well-read! I rank it with the likes of Hunger Games and the Kingdom Keepers series! Read more
Published 3 months ago by angipoo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Teenagers or Young Adults
I thought this was pretty cute, although being a sci-fi/horror fan (and grandmoher), tend to like more intense 'adult' type books. Read more
Published 9 months ago by nonsensely
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Just a real fun read. Story moved fast and was very entertaining, if sometimes a little bot unbelievable. Highly recommended.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A Saturday Morning Cartoon of a Novel
I have always enjoyed Dave Barry's humor column and the humor books he wrote. I wondered how he would do on a novel. I could hear Barry's "voice" in this book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by T. Cannon
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS! A super-long Barry column with Pearson's science know-how!
SCIENCE FAIR is one of the FUNNIEST books I have ever read. Combine the Benchleyesque humor of Dave Barry with the convoluted scientific thinking of Ridley Pearson and you get a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Denise Weeks
5.0 out of 5 stars What one would expect from Dave Barry!
My husband and I adored Big Trouble and we're fans of his newspaper collum for years. When I learned there was a kids book I just about went over the moon. Read more
Published on February 11, 2012 by Turtle Calliope Zombie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Family Book
My family (2 Adults, one Daughter and One Son) enjoyed this book on a driving trip. It had elements that kept all of us entertained. Read more
Published on January 13, 2012 by Smack
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