Ms. Bixby's Last Day

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1484 0
Ms. Bixby's Last Day
Age Range
8+
Release Date
June 21, 2016
ISBN
9780062338174
Buy This Book
      
John David Anderson, author of Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers, returns with a funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking contemporary story about three boys, one teacher, and a day none of them will ever forget.

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The Perfect Middle Grade Read Aloud
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Brand, Topher and Steve are enjoying their year in school because their teacher, Ms. Bixby, is one of "the good ones". She listens to her has her fair share of quirks, like working part time as a clown, having a pink streak in her hair, and spouting quotations. When the boys find out that Ms. Bixby is sick and has to finish the year early, they take some consolation in the fact that they can give her a good "last day". When her cancer treatment doesn't go well, and she ends up in the hospital, the three decide to skip school, gather the ingredients for a celebration, and make their way to the hospital to visit. They have manage to locate her favorite (very expensive) cheesecake, have quite the adventure getting a bottle of wine, and after several disaster, make it to the hospital. During the course of these events, we find out more about why Ms. Bixby was such an influential person in the boys lives, which are far from easy. They even manage to get Ms. Bixby out to a park, where they share their celebration.
Good Points
While this is a sad book which made me cry, it also has a healthy does of humor. Brand, Topher and Steve manage to get themselves involved in a lot of realistic trouble. When they skip school, they make sure that they call into the attendance office in a realistic way. When they try to buy a bottle of wine, they approach an older man to say that they are his nephews, and he then runs off with the money. Dangerous? Yes, but something I can see middle school students doing.

The relationship between Ms. Bixby and each boy is slowly revealed. We find out that she is helping Brand through a very difficult time, and why she is so important to Steve and Topher. We also learn a lot about the interplay between the boys, and there are some altercations when they become frustrated with each other. Even briefly mentioned relationships ring true-- when they run into Steve's sister at a McDonald's, Steve deftly counters her threat to tell their overly involved parents with an equally effective threat about her own behavior. This encounter tells us volumes about the family dynamic and adds a layer of depth to the characters.

Anderson tugs at our heartstrings with this one, but he is also true to his own style by inserting guffaw-inducing descriptions of the cheesecake after it has spent time in a backpack, comic chase scenes, and even some terribly sophisticated booger humor. This makes it a perfect book not only for adults who are fond of reading books like Wonder, The One and Only Ivan and Almost Home that require boxes of tissues to be kept at the ready, but also for middle school readers who enjoy slapstick humor. Not many books manage to balance the two, but Ms. Bixby's Last Day does so artfully.

This is almost a reboot of A Begonia for Miss Applebaum, but without the creepy ending and with much better adventures. Yes, I cried buckets. But I laughed, too. THAT, my friends, is good literature!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Faith has always known she was different and her...
The Mall
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...

Latest Member Reviews

TBH, This is SO Awkward
 
4.0
"'TBH, This is SO Awkward: A Novel in Text' by Lisa Greenwald is quite interesting in that it is written..."
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
"I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount..."
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
"Mr. Penguins and his friends Colin the spider and Edith are trying to keep a rock safe from dastardly types..."
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
"POP-UP PEEKABOO! BABY ANIMALS is a charming lift-the-flap and pop-up picture book. Each spread features a parent animal who is..."
On These Magic Shores
 
5.0
"Twelve-year-old Minerva "Minnie" Soledad Miranda has big goals. She wants to be the first Latina president of the United States..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them..."
Soldier Dogs #5: Battle of the Bulge
 
4.5
"Juliette's father is a baker in Belgium in 1944, and has been threatened by the occupying Nazis into giving them..."
Dog Days in the City
 
4.0
"In The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie and her large family adopted Hamlet, a pig. When..."
Daniel Coldstar #2: The Betrayer
 
4.0
"Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central After the evens in The Relic War, Daniel, Jasper the..."
The Dragon Egg Princess
 
5.0
"Change is coming to Kidahara, a magical forest in the Joson, a kingdom in a diverse realm where there is..."
Efrén Divided
 
5.0
"Efrén and his family work very hard, but still struggle to make ends meet. His father works several jobs, and..."
Worse Than Weird
 
4.0
"Mac lives with her parents, Hank and Coral, in a small house in Portland. Small, as in she sleeps in..."
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
 
4.0
"Darleen comes from a long line of entertainers; her father and his siblings are all part of Matchless Studios, a..."
In the Red
 
4.0
"Michael Prasad and his family live on a colony on Mars, under a dome that controls the environment. His father,..."
Pippin No Lickin'
 
5.0
"As a family with 2 busy boys, 14 and 12, we appreciate Layne’s contribution to helping children understand the importance..."
Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
 
5.0
"'Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party' by Kimberly & James Dean is a cute story about friendship and..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."