Phineas L. Macguire ... Erupts!
by Dowell Frances O'Roark
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; Aladdin
From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire Ser.
Here's what you need to know about Phineas L. MacGuire, boy-scientistextraordinaire, aka Mac: 1. He's allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can proveit. 2. He's probably the world's expert on mold, including which has thehighest stink potential. 3. He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-bestfriend, who he does not -- repeat,not-- want to upgrade tobest friend status. But disaster strikes when his teacher pairs Mac and his un-best friendtogether for the upcoming science fair. Worse, this un-best friend wantsthe project to be on dinosaurs, which is so third grade. Worse still, itseems as though everyone else in his class finds the un-best friend asunlikeable as Mac does. But, being a boy-scientist, once Mac noticesthis, he just might have to do some investigating.... Boy-scientist extraordinaire Phineas L. MacGuire is allergic to purple, an expert on mold, and has an un-best friend instead of a best friend. Disaster strikes when his teacher pairs Mac and his un-best friend together for a science fair project. chapter one My name is Phineas Listerman MacGuire. Most people call me Mac. It's okay if you call me Phin. You can even call me Phineas. Forget about calling me Listerman. I am allergic to fifteen things. My mom says this is not true, that I'm only allergic to two things, peanuts and cat hair. But I am a scientist, and she's not. I have scientific proof that it makes me itchy to think about the following items: AvocadosYogurt, any flavorCottage cheeseGrape jellyAny kind of kissing,especially when there's lipstickCeleryPurple flowersPurple Magic MarkersPurple crayonsAnything purpleMoist towelettes in foil packsTelephone callsAll girls I started fourth grade three weeks ago. When I started, I had a best friend. His name was Marcus Ballou. Marcus is also a scientist. We were a scientific team. We specialized in volcanoes, caves, fossils, all insects, and the solar system. But mostly volcanoes. We have made and erupted over eighty-seven volcanoes in our lifetime. It's very simple. You take an empty soda bottle (big) and put it in a baking pan (also big). Fill the bottle with lots of baking soda and four or five squirts of dishwashing liquid. Then add vinegar and stand back. You should do it outside, in case you were wondering. Unless you have a less irritated mom than mine. Then maybe you could do it on the kitchen table. If you're like me and spill stuff everywhere even when you're trying really hard to be careful, you should definitely do it at a friend's house. Here is the problem with Marcus: He moved. To Lawrence, Kansas. This is bad for at least two reasons. Now we aren't a scientific team anymore. Also, he waited until the second week of school to move. If he had moved before school started, then I would have known to look around for a new best friend on the first day. But I didn't know to do this. I still had Marcus. Everybody knew that me and Marcus were best friends and a scientific team. No one else tried to be best friends with us. They picked other best friends. Here's what you would hear all the time: 'Mac and Marcus''Mac and Marcus''Mac and Marcus' Now all you hear is: 'Mac''Mac''Mac' Scientifically speaking, it's a pretty lonely sound. Copyright 2006 by Frances O?Roark Dowell