When grade-eight science-project time rolls around, J.J. Murphy skips the beakers and the paper mache and dives into research about jerks. And idiots. But mostly jerks. By his own estimation, his science project, On a Scale from Idiot to Complete Jerk, is groundbreaking, exhaustive, highly scientific and seriously worthy of bonus marks. Beginning with the dawn of humankind and concluding conclusively with a very cool pie chart, the project dissects the elements of jerkosity through extensive case studies and scientific illustrations. It explores the who, what, when, why and how of jerks and, more important, peppers the lively research with sciencey-looking graphs and charts that reveal a lot about J.J., his family and friends, and the jerks of this world.
Zack's dad drives him to his new middle school in the bug truck, and his new classmates tease him about his father's pest-control business. How can he handle the hassles?
Eighth-grader Derrick wants to be a stand-up comedian, but his football coach, his parents, Joe, his boss at Taste of Italy, his English teacher Dowling the Dragon, and his Mr. Perfect older brother Craig don't think he's so funny. When Derrick discovers he needs a B on an English paper to stay eligible for football, how can he tame his smart mouth to stay out of trouble?
A 12-year-old boy and his frisky horse experience many humorous trials and tribulations.
Confronting a prowler in the backyard, Dinah is determined to find out why someone has taken an interest in her older sister and herself. Who is the buck-tooth burglar? Why are the Rinaldi's tomatoes always involved? And what is the connection between Madge's boyfriend and GASP, a group of well-intentioned anti-smoking activists? When it becomes apparent that Wellman Talent, the modeling agency Madge works for, is making deals with an unscrupulous tobacco company, and that the spy is out to sabotage GASP’s plans to expose the connection, Dinah has to call on all her talents, both sleuthing and singing, to solve the case. In the spirit of Sammy Keyes, Dinah gets by on pluck, courage and an irrepressible sense of humor as she is catapulted into a mystery that twists and turns from the blackberry patch to the corporate boardroom.
Trying to juggle his job at "Taste of Italy" along with writing papers for school and his graduation requirement to volunteer at the Golden Oaks Retirement Home, class clown Derrick uses humor to get the jobs done.
This collection of world tales focuses on stories originating from nearly every continent. They are short, gripping stories that "kick in fast including comedy, trickster, tall tales and family themes for middle and young readers.