Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson

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His characters are believable 12-year-old boys. The urban setting is appropriately diverse and gritty, and humor and pathos are nicely balanced. Sad and satisfying in just the right amounts.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

John David Anderson, author of Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers, returns with a funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking contemporary story about three boys, one teacher, and a day none of them will ever forget.

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.

 

About John David Anderson

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John David Anderson is the author of one other novel for young readers, Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his wife, two kids, and whiny cat in Indianapolis. He hates sloppy joes, isn't too fond of neckties, and has no notable superpowers to speak of. Yet.
 
Published June 21, 2016 by Walden Pond Press. 320 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Ms. Bixby's Last Day
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 16 2016

His characters are believable 12-year-old boys. The urban setting is appropriately diverse and gritty, and humor and pathos are nicely balanced. Sad and satisfying in just the right amounts.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by GARY SCHMIDT on Aug 26 2016

...a powerful journey of revelation, as each boy is able to offer up, like a blessing, the ways in which Ms. Bixby has brought hope and wholeness into the dark.

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