Prather’s Pick: ‘Weirdest School’ spins kids’ tale about unusual classroom experiences
This week’s book, intended for readers of age 6 to 10, is the 12th in the “My Weirdest School” series. “My Weirdest School #12: Mrs. Hall is a Goofball!” was written by Dan Gutman, with illustrations by Jim Paillot. The book is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, copyright 2018.
A.J., one of the students at Ella Mentry School, is the narrator of the 105-page chapter book. As the book opens, it is current events day in Mr. Cooper’s class. The students have cut articles from newspapers and are taking turns talking about their current events — except for A.J., that is. It is the third time in a row A.J. has forgotten to bring an article.
A.J. believes if he looks at the floor instead of at Mr. Cooper, he won’t get called on to share his current event. However, Mr. Cooper calls on him anyway. So A.J. says his dog ate his current event. Mr. Cooper knows better; A.J. doesn’t have a dog.
About this time, Mr. Klutz, the principal comes into the room. He has a just-happening current event. Ms. LaGrange, the lunch lady, is leaving for France. She is being deported.
The students freak out, but Mr.Klutz is off to find a new lunch lady. (A.J. thinks he will go to Rent-A-Lunch Lady.)
Sure enough, before the students can turn to page 23 in their math books, Mr. Klutz is back with a new lunch lady. He found her roller skating down the street and hired her right away.
Mrs. Hall skates right into the room. She’s wearing a white uniform with an apron over it, yellow rubber gloves, and a net over her gray (almost blue) hair. Mrs. Hall announces she is going to make lots of veggies for lunch. Some of the kids think that’s just fine, but not A.J., Ryan, Michael, Neil, or Alexia.
After that, the kids line up in single file and walk “a million hundred miles” to the science room. (According to A.J., most places in the school are a million hundred miles away.) They find Mrs. Hall there, too, along with the science teacher and some others, and boy, do they have some surprises for the kids — all involving veggies.
They introduce the students to Vinkies, regular Twinkies that have been scooped out and the cream replaced by veggies. There’s a great big pepper with a toy inside, grown that way. Nofu is an alternative to tofu, a tofu with no tofu in it. A.J. thinks the teachers are weird.
The next day, the students walk a million hundred miles to the vomitorium (the cafetorium, until a first-grader threw up there) and find a salad bar. Some students like it, but A.J. and his friends eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they brought from home. Some of the students are going to start a Veggie Lovers Club, so A.J. and his pals decide to start a Veggie Haters Club. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hall does everything she can to get the kids to eat veggies!
I think young readers will enjoy this wacky book. It costs $14.75 in hardcover, or find it with other new titles in the children’s room at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.
About a week ago I was rolling a bale of hay down past the loading dock of the corral so that I could throw hay over the fence. Right there in the path was some rhubarb. It isn’t that the rhubarb hadn’t been there before, but I thought it had died out during the drought. It isn’t easy to get water to that location. The rhubarb is nice and tender, and I’m determined to use it up before the stalks get tough. So I hunted up my rhubarb recipes.