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Whiz Kid #2

Part of Miles Lewis

Illustrated by Wayne Spencer
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Paperback
$6.99 US
5.13"W x 7.63"H x 0.29"D   | 6 oz | 72 per carton
On sale Jul 19, 2022 | 96 Pages | 978-0-593-38352-0
Age 6-8 years | Grades 1-3
Reading Level: Lexile 530L | Fountas & Pinnell O
From the award-winning author of the Jada Jones chapter books comes an illustrated spinoff series perfect for STEM fans!

Miles Lewis has been waiting forever to be part of a city-wide science competition. Now his dream is finally coming true, and he's even part of an all-star team that includes his good friend, Jada. He should be in his element, so he can't seem to figure out why he feels like the weak link instead. While everyone else is rocking the project, Miles keeps messing up, and the team bickers and loses momentum. Miles is filled with self-doubt, and he has to wonder: Is he really a whiz at science, or is he actually a flop?
A Chicago Public Library Best Fiction for Younger Readers selection!

"An honest, inspiring STEM-focused story starring an incredibly relatable future scientist." —Kirkus

"Ideal for growing independent readers, this is highly recommended for fans of “Jada Jones” or Kara West’s “Mia ­Mayhem” series." —School Library Journal
Kelly Starling Lyons (kellystarlinglyons.com) is the award-winning author of more than 30 books for young readers including Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations, Ellen's Broom, Hope’s Gift, and Tea Cakes for Tosh. Her chapter books include the popular Jada Jones and Miles Lewis series and She Persisted: Dorothy Height and She Persisted: Coretta Scott King. Kelly is a teaching artist and founding member of The Brown Bookshelf. She lives in North Carolina. View titles by Kelly Starling Lyons
Chapter One
 
Second Chance
 
You know it’s science fair time when you see posters in the hallway showing kids with cool projects and people looking amazed. Erupting volcanoes. Soda bottle tornadoes. Bouncy eggs. As I checked out the pictures, a grin stretched across my face.
 
Soon I wasn’t in the hallway of Brookside Elementary anymore. I could see myself onstage saying thank you as someone handed me a golden medal. Usually, I didn’t care about winning. But this was different. This was my do-­over. I had to get it right.
 
Last year, I created a switch that controlled the flow of electricity and turned a light bulb on and off. I couldn’t wait to set it up and let my friends try it out. Everybody said I was gonna get one of the spots to represent our school in the regional competition.
 
But as I walked around, I saw other projects that put mine to shame. I cheered for the winners, but walked away knowing I could have done better. I promised myself I would try harder this year. I was a future scientist—­time to show it.
 
“What’s up, Miles?” my best friend RJ said. I almost forgot he was standing next to me. “You’re staring at that poster like it’s a puzzle you got to figure out. You coming to class?”
 
“Yeah,” I said. “Just thinking about the science fair. I’m going to be ready.”
 
We entered Miss Taylor’s sunny classroom and tucked our backpacks in our cubbies. My friend Jada was putting hers away, too. Jada and I were in science club together. I knew she would be as psyched as I was about the fair.
 
“You know what time it is?” I asked.
 
“Yep,” she said, her braids and beads bouncing as she nodded. “Science fair. I want to do something really special. I’m getting started on my project as soon as I get home.”
 
“I know you’ll come up with something great.”
 
“You will, too,” Jada replied. “Got any ideas?”
 
“Not yet.”
 
As we headed to our seats, I wondered what I might do. It had to be something interesting and creative that would wow the judges. What science question could I ask and investigate?
 
After the announcements, Miss Taylor hit the chime that called us to the orange-­and-­blue rug for our morning meeting.
 
Chirr.
 
“Who saw something different on the walls when you came into school this morning?”
 
Lena’s hand shot up.
 
“Science fair posters.”
 
Smiles and cheers mixed with a few frowns and groans.
 
“I see we have different feelings about it,” Miss Taylor said. “That’s okay. Remember there’s no perfect project. It’s all about learning something new and having fun. You all can do that, right?”
 
My friends gave thumbs-­up and nodded. Miss Taylor always knew what to say.
 
“Can we do anything we want, Miss Taylor?” Simone asked as the glitter on her shirt caught the light. “I want to make something that shows my shine.”
 
“Sure, Simone,” she said, smiling. “As long as you follow the guidelines. I’ll put the details and schedule in everyone’s take-­home folder. Your projects are going to be fantastic. This year, you can work on your own or in teams.”
 
Teams? I looked at Jada and saw her looking at me.
 
“Want to work together?” I mouthed.
 
She nodded.
 
Yes! There would be no stopping us.
 
As we got up, I saw Gabi talking to Jada. Then, I felt a nudge in my side.
 
“You know we gotta be a team,” RJ said.
 
I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. RJ didn’t care about science. I tried to think quickly.
 
“I already promised Jada I’d work with her.”
 
“That’s okay. She can be on the team, too. We’re going to the best.”
 
I sighed and hoped I was worrying for nothing. Maybe RJ would get into it and come through on the work.
 
Jada came up to my seat.
 
“Gabi wants to work with us, too,” she said. “Is that okay?”
 
I smiled weakly.
 
“Yeah.”
 
Gabi was cool, but having a team of four was harder to manage than a team of two. What if we wanted to do different projects? What if we didn’t get along? This team thing wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought.
Educator Guide for Whiz Kid #2

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

About

From the award-winning author of the Jada Jones chapter books comes an illustrated spinoff series perfect for STEM fans!

Miles Lewis has been waiting forever to be part of a city-wide science competition. Now his dream is finally coming true, and he's even part of an all-star team that includes his good friend, Jada. He should be in his element, so he can't seem to figure out why he feels like the weak link instead. While everyone else is rocking the project, Miles keeps messing up, and the team bickers and loses momentum. Miles is filled with self-doubt, and he has to wonder: Is he really a whiz at science, or is he actually a flop?

Praise

A Chicago Public Library Best Fiction for Younger Readers selection!

"An honest, inspiring STEM-focused story starring an incredibly relatable future scientist." —Kirkus

"Ideal for growing independent readers, this is highly recommended for fans of “Jada Jones” or Kara West’s “Mia ­Mayhem” series." —School Library Journal

Author

Kelly Starling Lyons (kellystarlinglyons.com) is the award-winning author of more than 30 books for young readers including Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations, Ellen's Broom, Hope’s Gift, and Tea Cakes for Tosh. Her chapter books include the popular Jada Jones and Miles Lewis series and She Persisted: Dorothy Height and She Persisted: Coretta Scott King. Kelly is a teaching artist and founding member of The Brown Bookshelf. She lives in North Carolina. View titles by Kelly Starling Lyons

Excerpt

Chapter One
 
Second Chance
 
You know it’s science fair time when you see posters in the hallway showing kids with cool projects and people looking amazed. Erupting volcanoes. Soda bottle tornadoes. Bouncy eggs. As I checked out the pictures, a grin stretched across my face.
 
Soon I wasn’t in the hallway of Brookside Elementary anymore. I could see myself onstage saying thank you as someone handed me a golden medal. Usually, I didn’t care about winning. But this was different. This was my do-­over. I had to get it right.
 
Last year, I created a switch that controlled the flow of electricity and turned a light bulb on and off. I couldn’t wait to set it up and let my friends try it out. Everybody said I was gonna get one of the spots to represent our school in the regional competition.
 
But as I walked around, I saw other projects that put mine to shame. I cheered for the winners, but walked away knowing I could have done better. I promised myself I would try harder this year. I was a future scientist—­time to show it.
 
“What’s up, Miles?” my best friend RJ said. I almost forgot he was standing next to me. “You’re staring at that poster like it’s a puzzle you got to figure out. You coming to class?”
 
“Yeah,” I said. “Just thinking about the science fair. I’m going to be ready.”
 
We entered Miss Taylor’s sunny classroom and tucked our backpacks in our cubbies. My friend Jada was putting hers away, too. Jada and I were in science club together. I knew she would be as psyched as I was about the fair.
 
“You know what time it is?” I asked.
 
“Yep,” she said, her braids and beads bouncing as she nodded. “Science fair. I want to do something really special. I’m getting started on my project as soon as I get home.”
 
“I know you’ll come up with something great.”
 
“You will, too,” Jada replied. “Got any ideas?”
 
“Not yet.”
 
As we headed to our seats, I wondered what I might do. It had to be something interesting and creative that would wow the judges. What science question could I ask and investigate?
 
After the announcements, Miss Taylor hit the chime that called us to the orange-­and-­blue rug for our morning meeting.
 
Chirr.
 
“Who saw something different on the walls when you came into school this morning?”
 
Lena’s hand shot up.
 
“Science fair posters.”
 
Smiles and cheers mixed with a few frowns and groans.
 
“I see we have different feelings about it,” Miss Taylor said. “That’s okay. Remember there’s no perfect project. It’s all about learning something new and having fun. You all can do that, right?”
 
My friends gave thumbs-­up and nodded. Miss Taylor always knew what to say.
 
“Can we do anything we want, Miss Taylor?” Simone asked as the glitter on her shirt caught the light. “I want to make something that shows my shine.”
 
“Sure, Simone,” she said, smiling. “As long as you follow the guidelines. I’ll put the details and schedule in everyone’s take-­home folder. Your projects are going to be fantastic. This year, you can work on your own or in teams.”
 
Teams? I looked at Jada and saw her looking at me.
 
“Want to work together?” I mouthed.
 
She nodded.
 
Yes! There would be no stopping us.
 
As we got up, I saw Gabi talking to Jada. Then, I felt a nudge in my side.
 
“You know we gotta be a team,” RJ said.
 
I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. RJ didn’t care about science. I tried to think quickly.
 
“I already promised Jada I’d work with her.”
 
“That’s okay. She can be on the team, too. We’re going to the best.”
 
I sighed and hoped I was worrying for nothing. Maybe RJ would get into it and come through on the work.
 
Jada came up to my seat.
 
“Gabi wants to work with us, too,” she said. “Is that okay?”
 
I smiled weakly.
 
“Yeah.”
 
Gabi was cool, but having a team of four was harder to manage than a team of two. What if we wanted to do different projects? What if we didn’t get along? This team thing wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

Additional Materials

Educator Guide for Whiz Kid #2

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

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