Extra Credit

By Andrew Clements; Mark Elliott (Illustrator)
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Paperback, 9781416949312, 224pp.)

Publication Date: February 1, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Hardcover, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Autumn 2009 Kids' Indie Next List
“A sixth grader from Kansas is told that if her test scores don't improve, she'll be held back at year's end. Her mandatory extra credit assignment is to correspond with a pen pal from Afghanistan. Her letters are given, appropriately, to an Afghani girl, but, since her older brother is better at English, he secretly starts adding his opinions too. There will be complications for all of them, but the letters help them experience life outside of their own worlds, and allow them to look at their own cultures in a different way.”
-- Dianne Patrick, Snowbound Books, Marquette, MI


Description

It isn’t that Abby Carson can’t do her schoolwork. She just doesn’t like doing it. And consequently, Abby will have to repeat sixth grade—unless she meets some specific conditions, including taking on an extra credit project: find a pen pal in a distant country. But when Abby’s first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, complications arise. The elders agree that any letters going back to America must be written well, but the only qualified English-speaking student is a boy. And in this village, it’s not proper for a boy to correspond with a girl. So, Sadeed’s sister will dictate and sign the letters for him. But what about the villagers who believe that girls should not be anywhere near a school? And what about those who believe that any contact with Americans is...unhealthy?

As letters flow back and forth—between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of central Asia, across cultural and religious divides, through the minefields of different lifestyles and traditions—a small group of children begin to speak and listen to each other. And in just a few short weeks, they make important discoveries about their communities, about their world, and most of all, about themselves.




About the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in central Massachusetts and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.

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