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Homework Machine Book 2 Return of the Homework Machine

Homework Machine Book 2   Return of the Homework Machine

Book Information

  • Ages 08-10 (Middle Readers)
  • Ages 11-13 (Older Readers)
  • The Champion
  • The Jokester
  • The Team Player
  • Grand Canyon
  • If you Liked Diary of A Wimpy Kid
  • If You Liked Tangerine
  • realistic fiction
  • working together

We're back in the sheriff's office at the beginning of the book and just as in THE HOMEWORK MACHINE, each character will have a chance to say how all this came about. It turns out that the "brain" of the amazing computer that could do your homework for you survived the plunge into the Grand Canyon. Brenton is really worried about the potential of that "brain" and he's equally worried because he's getting emails from that Milner guy. Who is going to find the "brain" first and what will happen if it's Milner who wins the race? At the same time news has surfaced of a possible link between the Egyptians of old and the caves of the Grand Canyon and Sam Judy, Brenton and Kelsey's teacher is researching the potential and headed off on an expedition. Dead body anyone?

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Return of the Homework Machine

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Return of the Homework Machine

Return of the Homework Machine

Return of the Homework Machine

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the homework machine sequel

Chapter 1 September SAM DAWKINS. GRADE 6 What do you want me to say? My name? Again? Don't you have it from the first time? Okay, I'm Sam Dawkins, but everybody calls me Snikwad, or Snik, on account of that's my name spelled backward. It's a snikname. Get it? Do we really have to go through this whole thing all over again? I mean, sometimes freak accidents just happen. There's nothing you can do about it. Nobody means for them to happen. They just do. It just did. We're all sorry it happened. If any of us had known what was going to happen, we never would have done any of it. Can I go home now? I really don't like being here. JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 I can't believe I'm sitting in this room again. I want you to know that this is just the most humiliating thing that ever happened to me in my entire life. I'm not a criminal! It was an accident. We're sorry. None of us knew it was going to get out of control, I swear! I have worked so hard all my life to get good grades and sign up for lots of extracurricular activities and go to church and always do the right thing. I have been on the Principal's List every marking period since second grade. I'm not talking about the honor roll, where you can get Bs on your report card. The Principal's List! That's straight As. And now this happens...again! It makes me question why I try so hard to be good. I mean, really, what's the reward? If this keeps me out of the Ivy League, my mom will never let me forget it. JUDY'S MOM I assure you, my daughter will never be involved with anything like this again. Not if I have anything to say about it. I teach my children to learn from their mistakes. She is on permanent probation. KELSEY DONNELLY. GRADE 6 We are all really sorry. I'm not just saying that because we're in trouble. We really felt terrible about what happened. It was just one of those freak accidents. Do I really have to tell the whole story from the beginning? Okay. I have to confess, it was kinda cool seeing my picture in the paper the first time and everything. Y'know? Even if it was because we got caught heaving the homework machine into the Grand Canyon. It was even mentioned on The Today Show ! Can you believe that? We were a little famous for a while. We had our fifteen minutes. I mean, don't get me wrong. I felt bad and all because what we did was wrong. But you can't help but get a little tingle when you see your picture in the paper. I cut it out and put it in my scrapbook. But this...this is getting old. I promise you won't see me in here again. I promise. BRENTON DAMAGATCHI. GRADE 6 First let me say it was all my fault. The others were there, of course. But I built the machine in the first place. I have to take responsibility for anything that was done with it. I wonder if it might be possible to invent a time machine. I have no desire to go to the past or future, personally. But if one had a time machine, anytime you made a mistake in life, you could just go back a few seconds and erase it. Just like the eraser on a pencil. Do it over. Then you would never make any mistakes. You would be perfect. Except, I suppose, for the mistakes you don't know about. You can't fix a mistake if you don't even know that you made one. May I have a drink of water? Thanks. RONNIE TEOTWAWKI. GRADE 6 You wanna know what I thought about the whole thing? I'll be honest. I thought it was great that Brenton, Snik, Judy, and Kelsey got caught throwing their homework machine into the canyon. What a dumb thing to do! And people always say I use bad judgment! It served 'em right. That's how I felt. I laughed all day. Of course, this is a different story. I was involved. I admit it. If you need to throw me in reform school or something, well, I guess I deserve it. MISS RASMUSSEN. FIFTH-GRADE TEACHER They are all good kids. They really are. I felt partly responsible for the first mess because it happened on my watch. I was a first-year teacher at the time. If I had been more experienced, I probably would have noticed that their homework was so similar. I might have figured out that they were using a machine to do it for them. Ah, but you live and learn, right? JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 You want to go all the way back to September? Okay. Well, that's my favorite time of year because the tourists have gone home. The leaves fall from the trees. It's quiet around the canyon and you don't have traffic jams and RVs all over and people everywhere with cameras and coolers. We have the Grand Canyon all to ourselves, it seems. It's like our backyard. I think we take it for granted. Sometimes I'm out with my mom in the car and we don't even look into the canyon. I've heard that people who live in New York City never even visit the Statue of Liberty. If I lived in New York, I'd be there every day! KELSEY DONNELLY. GRADE 6 A lot of kids are here in the summer, but they're just tourists. There aren't many kids who live around here, which kinda sucks because you just see the same old faces day after day after day. It's boring. Our school is small. Everybody knows what everybody else is up to. So you do one silly thing like dye your hair and it's, like, front-page news. I bet if I lived in a big city, nobody would even notice me. We have only one sixth-grade class, so the four of us were together again. They wouldn't let us sit together, though. Oh no, they weren't about to make that mistake a second time. MR. MURPHY. SIXTH-GRADE TEACHER It's a shame what happened. That's all I can say. Take it all the way back to the beginning? Okay. I'm retired United States Air Force, and I worked on the space program at NASA for many years. I guess I was just drawn to the canyon, like a lot of people. You know, one of the seven wonders of the world, and all that. I used to go rafting out here on the Colorado River in my younger days. My wife and I moved from Houston to retire, but I couldn't stand doing nothing. I started hanging around the library, researching strange things that happened at the Grand Canyon. I thought maybe I'd write a book on the topic. But I'm the restless type. Can't sit still. So I went to school and took a few classes so I could get a teaching certificate. The kids say I'm strict because I don't tolerate any foolishness. I suppose that's why I was hired. They wanted somebody who could keep the class in order, especially after what happened with those four. An authority figure, y'know? A military guy who would keep them in line. But what happened, happened. I'm partly responsible, because I was there. I will never forget it. I feel deeply sorry about it. SAM DAWKINS. GRADE 6 Mr. Murphy looked like one of those drill sergeants you see in the movies. You know, he has a crew cut you could balance a soda can on. When he walked into the class for the first time in September, I thought we'd all have to snap to attention or start marching around the playground. I was afraid he was gonna take one look at my long hair and suspend me for life. But my dad was in the military, so I'm used to guys like that. Mr. Murphy is cool, in a way. You know where you stand with him. He doesn't say one thing and mean something else, like a lot of other guys. If he's mad, he tells you. And if you do something good, he tells you that, too. JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 Mr. Murphy told us that he actually met Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, and all those other astronauts when he was working at NASA. Can you imagine? And here he was, teaching us. It was pretty neat, to think that there was just one degree of separation between me and the first man to walk on the moon. KELSEY DONNELLY. GRADE 6 Yeah, when we came back to school in September, we knew we would have to go back to doing our homework the old-fashioned way — with pencils and papers and our brains. Ha! What a drag. I missed the homework machine. It was just so easy, sliding a work sheet into the computer and having your homework pop out of the printer a few minutes later — finished, perfect, and even in my own handwriting! Man, that was great. I'm sure Snik missed having the homework machine around too. It probably didn't matter much to Brenton and Judy one way or the other, because they're geniuses anyway. I think they actually like doing homework. They're freaks. SAM DAWKINS. GRADE 6 I still hate homework. What a waste of time! But what are you gonna do? Kids don't rule the world. We've got no power. MR. MURPHY. SIXTH-GRADE TEACHER Let me see, what did we learn this year? Dividing by decimals. That was interesting. I had completely forgotten how to do it without a calculator. I had to learn all over again. I taught the kids the parts of speech too. A lot of kids have trouble with adverbs and adjectives. I like to tell them that it was a lot easier when I was their age — there were only three parts of speech back then. American history was a lot easier to memorize too, because there were only thirteen states. Sometimes the kids don't get my jokes. SAM DAWKINS. GRADE 6 Mr. Murphy is pretty funny, for an old guy with a crew cut. He would let us joke around with him a little. But you had to be careful. If you crossed the line, he'd cut you down with a stare and let you know it was time to knock it off. MR. MURPHY. SIXTH-GRADE TEACHER And of course in the sixth grade, we teach about ancient civilizations — Egypt, the Aztecs, the Mayans, and the ancient Americans, too. The kids always joke that I know so much about that stuff because I lived through it. They crack me up. JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 I found the history of the Grand Canyon to be fascinating. We think of this area as just a tourist attraction, but for more than ten thousand years, people lived right in the canyon! We know, because they left behind pieces of pottery, trails, and drawings carved into the rocks. The Anasazi — that's what they are called — actually grew cotton, corn, and beans here. Apparently, there was a long drought that forced them to migrate to other parts of the West. Later, the Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo Indians lived in the Grand Canyon. I went to the library to learn more about it. KELSEY DONNELLY. GRADE 6 What a dead bore! All that ancient history stuff was such a drag. I mean, who cares whether or not people lived here a thousand years ago? What does that have to do with us? There were actually times when my eyelids were falling down during class. BRENTON DAMAGATCHI. GRADE 6 I have done some of my own research, and there are people who believe that four thousand years ago an alien spacecraft crash-landed in the Grand Canyon near Comanche Point. This is true. I mean, it is true that some people believe this. It may or may not be true in reality. But anyway, the spaceship apparently was atomic-powered and used a magnetic steering system. The government found it and the craft is being hidden in a secret location. Or so they say. MR. MURPHY. SIXTH-GRADE TEACHER They seemed like a very nice group of youngsters to me. Very different, very interesting, each in their own way. Brenton seemed to be a real bright bulb, the kind of kid whose brain simply operated on a different, higher, level than everyone else's. A little odd, yes. But someone who looked at the world and saw things the rest of us overlooked. This is the kind of kid we were always looking for at NASA. Divergent thinkers. Judy was also very bright. She will go far. Sam was a smart one too, but he didn't want anyone to know it. One of those kids who is too cool for school, you know what I mean? Kelsey is probably a late bloomer. She hasn't come into her own yet. But she's a good judge of character. I think she has potential. BRENTON DAMAGATCHI. GRADE 6 Late one night in September, I got an e-mail from that guy Richard Milner. He was that weird stalker who had been bothering us when we were in fifth grade. He wrote something like, "I read in the paper that you and your friends catapulted your homework machine into the canyon. I hope you picked up all the pieces." He was weird. I deleted the e-mail. JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 It was around the beginning of the school year when I noticed for the first time that Brenton had a nervous habit. He would pick at the skin around his nails. He didn't bite his nails, like a lot of people do. He would just pick at his fingers. Usually he did it with his hands under a table or out of sight. I didn't mention it to anybody, certainly not Brenton. He was quieter than before too. This all happened after we got caught throwing the homework machine into the canyon. I asked him if anything was bothering him, and he said no. KELSEY DONNELLY. GRADE 6 Most people didn't even know that Brenton and Judy were boyfriend and girlfriend last summer. They were so cute together, y'know, the two brains. Two peas in a pod. I mean, they really liked each other, but at the same time they seemed completely awkward when they were together. Snik and I were going out for a while too. It wasn't any big secret or anything. The four of us got to be pretty close during the whole homework-machine episode. JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 In the fall, the leaves started to turn colors and drop from the trees. I thought that was a good metaphor for Brenton and I. Or is that a simile? I always get those two mixed up. Anyway, the point is that we broke up. I told Brenton it was because he seemed so nervous all the time. But the truth is that I just wasn't ready to have a boyfriend. I mean, we're only in sixth grade! We've got our whole lives ahead of us. SAM DAWKINS. GRADE 6 Kelsey and I broke up in September, right after school started. It wasn't any big deal. I mean, we're still friends and all. I just felt strange holding hands and stuff with a girl. Guys at school were making fun of me, because Kelsey is kind of weird. Like, she used to have pink hair and stuff. JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 Even though we weren't "going out" anymore, I think the four of us had a bond. After a year of being part of the group and everything that happened, we had...something. You can't go through what we did and just walk away like nothing ever happened. Snik had become friends with Brenton because they were both obsessed with chess. And Kelsey and I had become friends too. I guess sometimes like attracts like, and sometimes opposites attract. You never know. SAM DAWKINS. GRADE 6 I gotta admit, it was cool to be part of a group for a change. I never had a lot of friends at my old school. The kids didn't like me. I remember hearing them talk about their birthday parties, and feeling bad that I wasn't invited. My mom wanted to throw me a party, but I didn't think anybody would come, so I told her I didn't want a party. Even though I really did. I still remember that. My birthday was coming up in October. I guess I started hinting around that Brenton, Judy, and Kelsey should get me presents. It was obnoxious, I know. But if you don't tell anybody your birthday is coming up, how are they supposed to know? JUDY DOUGLAS. GRADE 6 One day Brenton didn't know I was looking at him, and he was picking at the skin on the side of his thumb. I mean, really picking at it to the point of making himself bleed. So even if he was not my boyfriend, he was still my friend, you know? And I pulled him aside and demanded to know what was bothering him. You don't do stuff like that to yourself unless something is bothering you, right? At first he said nothing was wrong. But when I pointed out that his finger was bleeding, he kind of sighed and admitted something was bothering him. "What is it? What is it?" I begged. And he said, in that cryptic way of his, "Okay, I'll tell you. But not here." Copyright © 2009 by Dan Gutman

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by Dan Gutman ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2009

Sitting in the local police station, sixth graders Snik, Judy, Kelsey and Brenton and their teacher recount the events that led them there: the loss of a unique computer chip and their search in the Grand Canyon for Egyptian treasure. Readers of The Homework Machine (2006) will welcome the return of familiar characters and appreciate the addition of a classmate whose plans for the superchip are less than savory. This sequel stands alone, however, satisfyingly suspenseful in its several strands. Besides the search for the chip, there is Brenton’s creation of a web-based doomsday cult surrounding the Grand Canyon, their new interest in rocketry and old newspaper reports of an Egyptian treasure. With their teacher, they hike to the canyon bottom, raft on the river and scale the walls to find treasure, a corpse and a dangerous man. Gutman weaves this all together, revealing it chronologically through the voices of those involved, a complicated structure that is surprisingly easy to follow. Briskly told, this middle-grade adventure should have wide appeal. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 2, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5416-3

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009


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by Dan Gutman ; illustrated by Allison Steinfeld


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by Raina Telgemeier ; illustrated by Raina Telgemeier ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 17, 2019

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019


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by Katherine Applegate ; illustrated by Patricia Castelao ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2023

Certain to steal hearts.

In this follow-up to 2020’s The One and Only Bob , Ruby the elephant is still living at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary.

She’s apprehensive about her Tuskday, a rite of passage for young elephants when she’ll give a speech in front of the rest of the herd. Luckily, she can confide in her Uncle Ivan, who is next door in Gorilla World, and Uncle Bob, the dog who lives nearby with human friend Julia. Ruby was born in an unspecified part of Africa, later ending up on display in the mall, where she met Ivan, Bob, and Julia. The unexpected arrival of someone from Ruby’s past life on the savanna revives memories both warmly nostalgic and deeply traumatic. An elephant glossary and Castelao’s charming, illustrated guide to elephant body language help immerse readers in Ruby’s world. Goofy, playful, and mischievous Ruby is fully dimensional, as she has shown her bravery during the many hardships of her young life. Applegate deftly tempers themes of grief and loss with compassion and humor as Ruby finds her place in the herd. The author’s note touches on climate change, the illegal ivory trade, and conservation efforts, but the highly emotive framing of the story through the memories of a bewildered baby elephant emphasizes the impact of lines such as “ ‘in Africa,’ I say softly, ‘there were bad people,’ ” without offering readers a nuanced understanding of the broader context that drives poaching.

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780063080089

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023


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the homework machine sequel

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The Homework Machine

By Dan Gutman

( 169 ratings )

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Dan Gutman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Genius Files series; the Baseball Card Adventure series, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies around the world; and the My Weird School series, which has sold more than 34 million copies. Thanks to his many fans who voted in their classrooms, Dan has received nineteen state book awards and ninety-two state book award nominations. He lives in New York City with his wife. You can visit him online at dangutman.com.

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Reviews for The Homework Machine

169 ratings 18 reviews

What did you think?

Review must be at least 10 words

  • Ivri Maman Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 his book was a cliffhanger I read it for school and I think anyone between 1-6th grade could read it. Honestly I only liked the baseball card adventures more but this was nice Read more

1 person found this helpful

  • stephxsu Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 3/5 I thought this was book was just okay, in that it dragged on for me by the middle and all the way through to the end. But we had some pretty good discussions on this book for my EL410 class. Of course the kids were all wondering about how, exactly, Brenton created such a machine, but there was also lots of discussion about the 4 students' similarities, differences, and growth over the course of the book, and there was even some discussion about chess vs. war! So this was one of those cases where I didn't really enjoy it because I wasn't the target audience, but the target audience did like it, and even clamored to read the sequel. Read more
  • kimjd_2 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 Four classmates who don't have much in common start spending a lot of time together when one of them creates a computer program that can do their homework. Sounds like a great invention, but the four find out that "no homework" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Read more
  • dhruptidhakan Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 free books !! finally I always wanted a app like this. Read more
  • jians_20 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 5/5  The D squad, Judy a brainy, Brenton, a geek, Sam Snikwad and a Kelsey who dyes her hair pink and pierces her belly button. They have a special connection which makes their grades go up, Up, UP! And it's the Homework Machine... Read more
  • adamjohn_1 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 The D Squad has a really big secret. They have Read more
  • pravs_3 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 The Homework Machine is a story about 4 very different 5th grade students who create and use a homework machine to complete their assignments. The book is a chapter book aimed at children in grades 4-6. There are a few complaints and concerns about racy language that Gutman uses, including use of words like “crap” and “sucks” but upon reading the book I found these concerns to be a bit overblown. The book is well written as it takes the viewpoint of several narrators simultaneously. The timing of the book is after the whole ordeal is over and the students recall their journey over the past year. I would recommend keeping this book on the shelves for 4th graders and above. Read more
  • ywoo_7 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 Sam, Brenton, Judy and Kelesy have a secret about Belch the homework machine.  Read more
  • jeunlee_1 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 Brenten, Sam, Kelsey and Judy were about to get into trouble because of the homework machine, but they wasn't in the big trouble as they thought. It was very mysterious because it was mixed of mystery and realistic and also it was not one person telling the one story but many people took turn to talk about what happened. Read more
  • porch_reader Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 I read this aloud to my older son (who will be in 4th grade in the fall). We both LOVED it. The story is told from the perspective of four 5th grade students (as well as an occasional aside from their teacher, moms, and other adults). I've seen books in which each chapter is told from a different perspective, but in this book, Gutman jumps between perspectives throughout each chapter. Sometimes a character only contributes a sentence or two before another jumps in. The format had the potential to be somewhat distracting, but Gutman pulled it off beautifully. We felt like we got to know each of the kids very well. Each was distinct, and the story of the homework machine could not have been told as effectively without each of their unique perspectives. Read more
  • ebkji Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 It is a creative book. Read more
  • pigofhappiness Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 A delightful story about four students who bond over shared experiences and of course, the use of a homework machine. An interesting look into the different types of people in the world. Written as if dictated to a police report. Appropriate for fourth grade and up... Read more
  • mutantk8 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 3/5 Not bad. Initially, I didn't like how quickly the story shifted perspectives, I thought that this made it difficult to identify with any particular character. However, after the first couple chapters the story and the depth of its characters unfolded. The coming together of these unlikely friends created an intriguing and fun dynamic alongside the magical (or maybe not so magical in this tech-age) idea of a homework machine. Overall I think it's a good read, despite it's dalliances into the politics of war, and racial stereotypes. Read more
  • 9ac01bev Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 This book was very good it was funny at the end whene the man comes to the door and Kelsey starts to scream. I like the book because it was funny and interesting. Read more
  • bibliophile26 Rating: 1 out of 5 stars 1/5 Four unlikely schoolmates bond over a homework machine. I had to read this book for Battle of the Books and didn't care for it at all. For one thing, the story is completely improbable. Secondly, it flips from perspective to perspective (within very few pages) and that makes the story extremely choppy. Also, a serious tragedy happens to one of the kids and I didn't like the way the book dealt with it at all. Read more

Book preview

The homework machine - dan gutman, introduction, police chief rebecca fish, grand canyon, arizona.

Seen a lot of strange stuff go down in ten years working here. Probably has something to do with being so close to the canyon. Having a mile-deep hole in your backyard brings out the weirdness in folks.

I remember the time that gambler from L.A. lost a bet in Las Vegas, and his friends drove him up here. Forced him to parachute into the canyon. Guy almost died. You get all kinds in this part of the country. The canyon attracts ’em like flies to dog doo. But this recent situation involving the children was one of the stranger cases I ever ran into.

We called in everybody who had anything to do with what happened and taped their private testimony for the record. Far as I’m concerned, this case is closed and shut. Let’s hope these four students learned their lesson. This’ll never happen again, that’s for darn sure.


The police lady says me and Brenton and Judy and Kelsey have to each come in separately and talk about what happened.

Okay, so here goes. Is this thing on? My name is Sam Dawkins, but everybody calls me Snikwad on account of that’s my last name spelled backward. Dawkins. Snikwad. Get it? Most kids call me Snik. It’s kinda cool. Beats having a nickname like Booger Face or Fart Boy or something stupid like that.

I was new to the school. I didn’t know anything. And I didn’t get kicked out of my old school because I refused to get a haircut. That’s a lie. I don’t know how that rumor got started. I don’t care if you believe me. That’s the truth. Anyway, my parents moved here from Oregon. My dad was in the air force and that’s why we moved to Arizona. He was assigned to Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix.

The bottom line is, we messed up. Stuff happens. We’re not perfect. We all feel bad. We won’t do it again. What are you gonna do, throw us in jail? That’s my statement.

What, you need more than that? Details? Okay, okay. What do you want to know?


My name is Kelsey Donnelly. I really don’t see the reason why we gotta do this. The police lady told me that I have to make a statement in private and tell the whole story of what happened from the very beginning in September. Like I’m a creep or something! I barely remember what happened last week. Forget about way back in September.

Look, we’re sorry about what happened. We were just having a little fun and it got out of hand. It’s not like we robbed a bank or anything. That’s my statement. I can’t believe I have to spend my summer in this room with a tape recorder when I could be out having fun. Can I go now?


My name is Judy Douglas. My mom works at home and my dad works for the National Park Service. He cuts down dead trees and does controlled burns to prevent forest fires.

The whole thing started because certain people who shall remain nameless did some thoughtless things that I don’t need to discuss here.

This is so unfair. I have almost straight A’s and I’m in the G&T program. That’s gifted and talented. I would never break the law or do anything dishonest. Things just got out of control. The next thing we knew, we had to go talk to the police.

Do you have any idea of how humiliating this entire ordeal has been for me? Do you know how upset my parents were when they found out? And now this is going to be on my permanent record, probably for the rest of my life. If this keeps me out of law school someday, I will be so angry.

I’ll sue. That’s what I’ll do. Well, if I get into law school I’ll sue. But if I get into law school I won’t need to sue. Oh, I just wish I could go to sleep and wake up and find out it was all a dream. Like it never happened.

My first reaction was that it was discrimination. We are one of the few African-American families living in this area. When something bad happens to Judy, I can’t help but wonder if it is bigotry at work. But I looked into it, and that wasn’t the case. She and the others just did a dumb thing and they got caught. It’s as simple as that. And now they’re going to have to pay for it.


It’s interesting how things happen sometimes. If I line up ten dominoes and I push over the first one, the others will fall one by one. But if I leave the first one alone, the other dominoes remain standing.

Life is like that. The way your life plays out depends on which dominoes you choose to push over and which ones you leave alone. In this case, we pushed over the wrong domino. Can I get a drink of water or something?


I was so excited, walking into my very own classroom for the first time in September. I had been a student teacher in Ohio, and I was hoping to get a job somewhere in the west, preferably near a national park. I’ve always been a nature lover, and I wanted to share this with young people. When I got an offer to teach fifth grade at the Grand Canyon School, well, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

The Grand Canyon! I had never even been here before. Just think! Over the course of four billion years, the Colorado River slowly sliced this gash into the Earth. I spent hours exploring it when I moved here, and took lots of pictures of the layers of rock. The Grand Canyon is like a sculpture, created by nature. I was in awe.

When I walked into Miss Rasmussen’s class on the first day of school, the first thing that struck me was that she was so young ! I mean, she looked like she could have been one of the students. I liked that, because I figured she would be really enthusiastic about everything. Some of the older teachers who have been teaching all their lives don’t get too excited about anything anymore.

On the other hand, I was afraid Miss Rasmussen might not be experienced enough to handle some of the boys, who can be a problem sometimes.

So I walk into Miss Rasmussen’s class on the first day of school in September and I’m the new kid, so I’m a little nervous and I don’t want everybody looking at me, but they’re all looking at me anyway because, well, I’m the new kid and everybody wants to check out the new kid.

I scope out the scene and it’s obvious who the cool kids are, who the dumb kids are, who the smart kids are, and who the dorks are. I could tell in a minute. The class had the usual number of clueless dweebs, pre–jock idiots, losers, brownnosers, and bullies, just like my old school.

But the one kid who stood out was Brenton. You just knew the first time you set eyes on him that there was something different about this kid.

Brenton would dress funny, with these stiff long pants no matter how hot it was. He always wore a button-down shirt and sometimes he would even wear a tie to school. Can you imagine? I guess his mom made him dress that way. I hope so, anyway. I can’t imagine a boy wearing a tie to school on his own.


Tuesday, december 29, 2009, giving the chip the slip: the return of the homework machine by dan gutman.

POLICE CHIEF REBECCA FISH, GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA: Is this thing workin'? Okay. Good. We're gonna need a lotta tape for this one. Well, remember what happened the last time with those crazy kids. It was in all the papers. Just to review, these four youngsters from the Grand Canyon School down the road built some machine that did their homework for 'em automatically. Smart kids. Good kids, down deep. And then, for some reason, they built themselves a catapult and chucked the whole darn contraption into the canyon. Strangest thing I ever seen.
JUDY DOUGLAS, GRADE 6: The Canyonistas were coming from all over, and another police car pulled up, and those gangsters were coming toward us, and everybody was yelling and shouting at each other. I just covered my ears. BRENTON DAMAGATCHI, GRADE 6: And I pushed the button.

Labels: Adventure Stories for Boys , Adventure Stories for Girls , Science Fiction (Grades 4-7)


Well, try TutorAnswer.com. I just got 2 answers from tutors on that site to my Math and English questions. It's FREE!!!

Dan Gutman has written a lot of books , some of them are really good such as "The Return of the Homework Machine" and "The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable"

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A blog which offers book reviews for young people of preschool to high school ages by a children's librarian with decades of experience in reading guidance.

Retired after 32+ years as an elementary librarian, I really miss the joy of bringing together the right book with the right reader at the right time. Loving both kids and books equally as I do, perhaps helping children and the adults who care about them find good books through this blog is the next best thing to being there. I am an Amazon associate, which means that clicking on the image of a book I reviewed or on the title of any book mentioned in the review will take you to full publishing and purchasing information, as well as other reviews and comments for most books. I also receive review copies from publishers or authors from time to time, with no implied promise that the books will be reviewed favorably or at all.

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    His most popular titles include the time-travel sports book Honus and Me and its sequels, and a clutch of baseball books, including The Green Monster from Left

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    The Homework Machine (2 book series). Kindle Edition. The Homework Machine. Doing homework becomes a thing of the past! Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth

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    This is the sequel to one of my fourth-grade son's favorite books, The Homework Machine. In this book, Brenton, Kelsey, Sam, and Judy have moved on to sixth

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    Brenton, Snik, Judy, and Kelsey are all back for another year of school and another mystery. When they discover that the superchip that made The Homework.


    ... sequel stands alone, however, satisfyingly suspenseful in its several strands. Besides the search for the chip, there is Brenton's creation

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    ... sequel. Read more. kimjd_2. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 4/5. Four classmates who don't have much in common start spending a lot of time together when one of

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    ... sequel which will please fans of the first book. As usual, Gutman's writing is appealing, with snappy dialog and sympathetic characters