About the Book: Oliver Olson’s teacher is always saying that one person with a big idea can change the world. But how is Oliver supposed to change the world when his parents won’t let him do anything on his own – not his class projects or even attending activities such as the space sleepover at school. Afraid he will become an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, Oliver decides to take control of his corner of the universe!
In this irresistible chapter book featuring lively illustrations, Oliver Olson learns that before you can change the world, sometimes you need to change yourself.
My Two Cents: There are no zombies in this book. No car chases or buried treasure or really bad bad guys. And that, for me, is the charm of Claudia Mills’ books. I love all kinds of stories, but few writers do regular kids in everyday situations with as much heart and humor as Mills. Kids will identify with Oliver Olson, they’ll root for him, and they’ll love him.
Grade Level: 2-4
Claudia Mills’ website
Is Pluto a Planet? video on YouTube
Mars video from NASA: Mars in a Minute
NASA’s asteroid-naming contest: Students can enter until December 2 to name an actual asteroid!
An astronomy summer camp for kids in Flagstaff, Arizona
More to Read:
Another clever kid whose school project turns into something more: Frindle by Andrew Clements
Another well-meaning family who makes life difficult for our hero: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Another story of friends with big ideas: Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows
Be sure to check out the fun science activity that goes right along with this book!