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The Chalk Box Kid (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) Paperback – September 12, 1987

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bulla's addition to the new Stepping Stone series opens as Gregory's family moves to a smaller house in a poorer part of town; the father has lost his factory job. There is no yard at the new house in which to play, but Gregory explores a nearly burnt-out building that formerly was a chalk factory. Gregory finds plenty of chalk in the debris as he cleans up, and the artist in him soars. Even though the kids at the new school don't accept him readily, Gregory is happyfor him the blackened walls of the building become his giant canvas. Bulla has created a gem of a book, without a wasted word anywhere. He conveys the yearning and passion of a young artist and the healing power of friendship in a story that goes straight to the heart. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-9.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Random House is proud to present the tenth anniversary edition of a book "Publishers Weekly called "a gem of a book...a story that goes straight to the heart." When nine-year-old Gregory experiences several upsets in his life, he responds by creating a fantastic chalk garden on the charred walls of a burned-out factory behind his house. As his garden grows and flourishes, Gregory finds a voice through his art and, for the first time, is able to find his own place in the world. "The Chalk Box Kid is sure to delight a new generation of children and their parents.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 270L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 10th Anniversary ed. edition (September 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679805400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394891026
  • ASIN: 0394891023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By rba on January 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Nine-year-old Gregory's going through a tough time: his dad lost his job recently, he just moved to a new neighborhood, he switched schools, he didn't get to celebrate his birthday this year, and the one bright spot of everything -- the bedroom his parents added on to the house just for him (Gregory's never had his own room before) -- he has to share with his 20-year-old slacker Uncle Max, who just moved in. To make things worse, the kids at school aren't exactly standing in line to be his friends and his family doesn't have a lot of time for him now.

Things start to look up when Gregory discovers an abandoned chalk factory next door. Under the rubble are boxes and boxes of leftover chalk and Gregory starts drawing on the walls. What he draws and what happens when others take notice is the story.

Discussion:

This is one of the best beginning chapter books I've read in a long time. There are no 50 cent words and the sentences are short but the paragraphs pull you along so you'd never notice it. What makes this book so unique are the topics it skids around.

Gregory is a very frustrated little boy. His parents both work and can't afford to give him the art supplies, clothes, garden space, etc that his friends have access to. His uncle is more of a spoiled new brother than an adult and neither he nor Gregory's parents take much interest in Gregory's concerns and activities. His new teacher is nice but he's having trouble fitting in at school. There is no place in his house that is private. Nothing horrible ever happens but little things build up and although he doesn't know how to say it, Gregory's pent-up frustrations need an outlet.
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Format: Paperback
Three burned and sooty walls prove an irresistable lure to a lonely 9-year-old boy. Friendless in a new school in a decaying neighborhood, and disrespected by his unemployed young uncle, Gregory discovers the remains of a chalk factory behind his
cement-filled back yard. Who says he can't have a garden like the other kids in his class--it's in the eye and the heart of the gardener, after all. In this case the gardener is a budding
artist, who wants to recreate the beauty of nature and living things in this--his only private space. Even his skeptical parents discover that their son has talent, thanks to his conscientious teacher.
Bulla's literary strokes are characterized by short, simple sentences and minmal kid dialogue. The author's canvas depicts a world of pre teen loneliness, peer pressure and the innate need for social
appreciation. But who will prove brave enough to defy the crowd? This is a good book for young readers who have suffered the trauma of moving or familial rejection, with good insight into the artistic temperament.
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A Kid's Review on March 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really liked this book because it was about a kid named Gregory who moves to a new town with his mother and father. It is bad enough moving without having any friends, but not making any new ones is pretty bad too. Everyone was given some seeds to plant a garden. But at his new house he doesn't have much of a yard so he can't make a garden. Behind his house is a burned down chalk factory, so he draws a garden. If you want to find out if he makes any friends read this book.
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Format: Library Binding
This book is about a nine-year-old boy named Gregory. The story starts with the worst birthday of his life because he is moving to a house that he has never seen before and it ends with a friendship. When he moves to a new house, at the beginning, his birthday is the best, because he has his own room.
Towards the middle of the book, he finds a burned down chalk factory, with only three walls left standing. He draws a beautiful garden on these three walls, with the chalk that he has found.
In the beginning of the summary, we mentioned that it ends with a friendship. The friend's name is Ivy. Ivy is a shy girl who loves art as much as Gregory.
Matthew and Skylar
Third Grade
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The following review is written by second grade students in 2M after reading the Chalk Box Kid for book clubs.

The Chalk Box Kid is written by Cylde Robert Bulla. It is about a boy a who finds a chalk factory behind his house. First, a boy named Gregory moves. Then, he finds a burned building by his house. Next, Gregory goes to a new school and there is a boy named Vance who bullies Gregory about his old school. At his school they learn about gardening. Gregory doesn't have a garden, but he loves art. Read this book to find out if Gregory will have a good or bad garden and if the kids in his new school like him or not. I would recommend this book to people that like mysterious books. I would not recommend this book to people who like action stories.
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Format: Paperback
I like this book because it teaches you to be nice to other people and not to be mean to people like Vance was to Gregory. I think you should read this book you will learn to be nice.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book had very good pictures.And I like the part where his
Uncle kicked the gate so hard some paint came of.
The book has great details to the pictures and the book all in all was amazing.
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