Sara Pennypacker Books
Waylon! One Awesome Thing
has lots of ideas for making life more awesome through science,
like teleportation, human gills, and attracting cupcakes
by controlling gravity. But it's impossible for him to concentrate
on his inventions when he's experiencing his own personal
Arlo Brody is dividing the fourth grade boys into two groups.
Waylon would rather be friends with everyone. Well, everyone
except the scary new kid, Baxter Boylen.
Waylon's older sister, Neon, is shooting away from the family.
He wishes everything would go back to the way it was before
she started wearing all black and saying "What's the
point?" all the time
Just when it looks as though Waylon's universe is exploding,
something happens to bring it all together again, and it
is, without a doubt, One Awesome Thing.
Waylon! Even More
thinks most problems can be solved with science. But when
it comes to having to share a dog with Baxter Boylen, science
may not be very helpful. Baxter is the closest thing to
a juvenile delinquent Waylon has ever met. He's always getting
called to Principal Rice's office, and now he's even having
meetings with the chief of police. At least the two boys
can visit their dog, Dumpster Eddy, while they're at the
station. Eddy is behind bars in the Stray Animals' Lock-up.
When a new Animal Control officer takes over, it looks as
though the dog's days are numbered. Waylon comes up with
a science-y plan to save Eddy, but can he trust Baxter to
help him carry it out?
Waylon! The Most Awesome
can't wait to participate in the Boston Science Expo on
June 14. He's confident that his project will impress the
crowd, and his idol, a famous astrophysicist, is sure to
be in attendance. Maybe Waylon will finally get a chance
to meet her! The Expo is on the same day of his sister's
performance at the Beantown Repertory Theater. Neon has
been preparing for weeks, ever since she won third prize
in a New Voices in Boston Theater contest, and their dad
has agreed to be the centerpiece of the show. June 14 is
also the deadline Waylon's dad set for himself to sell his
screenplay to Hollywood. Finally, Waylon's mom has a mysterious
appointment that day that she won't talk about. It looks
as though Waylon will be going to the Science Expo by himself.
But at least there's that astrophysicist!
When Waylon's dad is summoned to Hollywood at the last minute,
Neon is in dire need of a replacement. She trains her eyes
on Waylon, and he has no choice but to be the stand-in,
even though it means missing the Expo. It promises to be
the most embarrassing night of his life . . . yet it could
turn out to be the most awesome of all.But what is Mom up
- SLJ Review (starred review): "In Pennypacker’s skillful
hands, Waylon is an appealing everykid whose passion
for science just might spark readers’ curiosity as he
contemplates ideas from angstroms to alien hand syndrome.
VERDICT: A winning, welcome new series for chapter book
readers." - Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library,
- Booklist (starred review): "Alternately laugh-aloud
funny and melt-your-heart tender, this illustrated chapter
book is a great read-aloud choice and a memorable find
for independent readers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Pennypacker’s
Clementine series is a beloved mainstay, and this offshoot
brings the same level of charm and insight.: — Carolyn
- Publishers Weekly - Pennypacker shifts attention from
Clementine to one of the popular character’s fourth-grade
classmates, science-loving Waylon Zakowski, in this
first book in a spin-off series. Through Waylon’s rational
perspective, Pennypacker offers smart insights into
the frustration of realizing that life isn’t entirely
in one’s control—with his classmates dividing themselves
into “teams” and his older sister embracing a new Goth
identity, Waylon feels like he’s living his own version
of the Big Bang (“Everything in his universe was exploding
away in different directions”). Waylon’s insecurities,
bigheartedness, and awe of the world at large should
easily endear him to readers.