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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2001 From the ripe perspective of fourth grade, Jake recalls a third-grade science fair contest in which he competed to win a new, flashy computer and free Internet service. The contest puts Jake in direct competition with class know-it-alls Marsha and Kevin. Obsessed by the prize, Jake shrugs off friend Willie and becomes as mean and sneaky as Marsha and Kevin. When that realization strikes, Jake wants to quit, but instead he hooks up with Willie and learns, when you have a partner to work with, and it's a good partner, everything is more fun. The contest results are surprising and satisfying. Each chapter has one full-page pen-and-ink sketch to break the text, but the art adds little character. Clements portrays a common, annoying classroom situation, resolves it in an upbeat way, and inserts a little practical advice. Jake's direct informal narration will engage chapter- book readers who will relate to his predicaments. - Copyright 2001 Booklist.