Friend or Fiend? with the Pain and the Great One
Friend or Fiend? with the Pain and the Great One

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Annotation: First-grader Jake "The Pain" and his sister, third-grader Abigail "The Great One" have more adventures, including visiting their cousins in New York and celebrating their cat Fluzzy's birthday.
Catalog Number: #35837
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Dell Yearling
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Stevenson, James,
Pages: 108 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-440-42095-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-24259-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-440-42095-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-24259-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008030780
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Many kids will befriend this delightful fourth chapter book about the slice-of-life experiences of a third-grade sister (the Great One) and her first-grade brother (the Pain). The siblings trade narration of chapters that describe recent excitement at home and at school, such as a birthday party with burned cupcakes or shopping with contentious cousins. Fluzzy the cat once again stretches his literary whiskers and contributes the last chapter. Blume's singular ability to portray the minutiae of a child's everyday life with humor is perfectly complemented by Stevenson's occasional line drawings that extend the story's charm and fully shaped characters.
Horn Book
In their fourth book, alternating narrators the Pain (little brother Jake) and the Great One (big sis Abigail) relate their trials and tribulations at school, while visiting relatives in New York, and planning their cat Fluzzy's birthday. Again, Fluzzy has the last word, revealing how he became part of the family. Stevenson's expressive pen-and-ink illustrations decorate most pages.
School Library Journal
Gr 13 The Pain and the Great One are back in another series of short vignettes. This time Jacob, aka the Pain, is embarrassed when he makes a mistake in front of the entire class, and Abigail, aka the Great One, deals with the betrayal of trust when her good friend Sasha steals her story. The brother and sister also contend with obnoxious cousins when they visit their curmudgeonly Uncle Phil and with mean Madison Purdy when they have a snow day. Like the previous volumes, this book concludes with a chapter from the family cat, Fluzzy. Stevenson's ink sketches are interspersed throughout the chapters and add detail to the stories. The situations are believable, and many readers will relate to the squabbles between the siblings and their school experiences. A nice addition, but not an essential purchase unless the series has a strong following. Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (4/1/09)
Horn Book (8/1/09)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (5/1/09)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 9,917
Reading Level: 2.8
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.8 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 130006 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.2 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q46796
Lexile: 550L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N
 Today at school my teacher, Mary, called my group to the reading circle. Everyone else read at their tables or in the book corner. Mary said, "Justin, will you start?" When we go to the reading circle we read from a special book called People and Pets.Justin read a story about a dog named Goldie.   Then Lila read about a cat called Sammy. Sammy the cat wasn't anything like my cat. "I could write a better story about Fluzzy," I told Mary.   Mary said, "I'd like to see that story, Jake." Then she asked me to read. Just as I was about to start, another teacher came into our room and whispered something to Mary. "I have to step into the hall for a minute," Mary told our group. "I'll be rightback." She looked at me. "Go ahead, Jake."   "The name of this story is Ben, " I said. I cleared my throat twice. "Ben is my fiend." Maggie laughed. I didn't know why. So I kept reading. "I'm glad he's my fiend because . . ."   Everyone but David laughed this time. Justin laughed so hard he fell off his chair. When he did, his chair toppled over too. That made everyone laugh harder.   "What?" I said to my group.   "Fiend?" Maggie said. "Ben is your fiend?"   My group couldn't stop laughing. Even David laughed.   Wendy, our helper teacher, came across the room. She sat in Mary's chair. "What's up?" she asked.   "He thinks . . ." Maggie started to say. "He thinks . . ." But she was laughing so hard she couldn't finish.   So Lila finished for her. "He thinks Ben is his fiend."   "What's a fiend?" David asked.   I was wondering the same thing.   "Justin, pick up your chair," Wendy said. Then she looked at me. "Jake, do you know what a fiend is?"   "No," I said.   "Can anyone help us?" Wendy asked.   Justin didn't raise his hand. He just spit it out. "A fiend is a monster! A fiend is evil."   I felt my face turn hot. I felt really stupid.   "Jake," Wendy said. "Look at the picture of the two boys in the story."   The boys in the picture were laughing. They looked like friends. "Now . . . why don't you start reading again," Wendy said.   "Ben is my fiend," I began. I meant to say friend. But fiend just slipped out.   Now my group was out of control. "Let's settle down, please," Wendy said. She printed both words on the board. "Jake, can you find the difference between friend and fiend?"   I looked at both words. They looked almost the same. But one had an r and one didn't. So I said, "Oh, I get it! A fiend is a friend without the r."   Now my group went crazy. Wendy couldn't get them to stop. I wanted to disappear. I pictured myself walking out of class, down the hall, out the front door, and all the way home. Instead, I just sat there. When Maggie laughs it sounds like she's screaming.When David laughs he sounds like a seal. Justin holds his breath when he laughs. His face gets so red it looks like he's about to explode.   The rest of the class was wondering what was going on. You could hear them whispering. Wendy clapped her hands. "Okay, that's enough! Maggie, take a turn reading, please."   "Where should I start?" Maggie asked when she finally calmed down.   "Why don't you start at the beginning of the story," Wendy said.   Maggie took a big breath. Then she started to read. "Ben is my fiend. I'm glad he's my fiend because . . ."   But no one was listening. They were shrieking and stomping their feet. Lila held her stomach. "It hurts . . ." she cried. "It hurts to laugh so hard!"   Wendy said, "Maggie . . . the word is friend!" You could tell from her voice that she'd had enough.   "I know!" Maggie said.   "Then why did you say fiend?" Wendy asked.   "I didn't mean to. . . ."   That's when Mary came back into the room. "Everything okay?" she asked Wendy, looking at us. Mary always knows when something is going on.   "Just a little mix-up," Wendy explained, giving Mary back her chair.       Later, on the playground, my class made a circle like when we were in kindergarten. But instead of "Duck, duck, goose," Lila called, "Friend, friend, fiend!" She tapped me for fiend. I had to run around the circle trying to catch her. It didn't feel good.It didn't feel funny. Then everyone did it. Even Justin. And he's supposed to be my best friend. That was the worst.       At dinner, the Great One looked at me and said, "What's wrong?"   "Who says anything's wrong?"   "I can tell."   Mom said, "Is something wrong, Jake?"   "I made a mistake in reading group." I pushed my pasta around on my plate.   "Everyone makes mistakes," Mom said.   "Not this mistake."   "I'm sure it wasn't that bad," Dad said.   "Oh, yes it was!" I told him.   Mom, Dad, and the Great One waited for me to tell them more. But I didn't. The Great One started guessing. "Did you say a bad word? Is that it?"   "No."   "Did you leave out a word?"   "No."   "Did you mix up two words?"   "Maybe," I said. How did she know that was it?   "Everyone does that," she said. "It's no big deal."   But it was a big deal to me.       The next day at school when Maggie saw me she said, "Hi, fiend!" Everyone laughed.   On the playground I didn't play any games. I climbed to the top of the monkey bars and stayed there.   "Help . . . fiend!" Victor called, pointing to me.   Everyone laughed again.   The next day at morning meeting, Mary asked if I could give the weather report. I shook my head even though I knew the weather. So Justin got to be weather reporter instead. And Dylan got to ask the riddle of the day.

Excerpted from Friend or Fiend? with the Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

This dynamic bestselling author/illustrator duo captures the ups and downs of everyday life in this chapter book offering fun and perfectly narrated short stories—for kids who can already read, like the Great One, or for kids who are learning to read, like the Pain. Friend or Fiend? is the fourth book in a quartet of hilarious and warm-hearted stories that showcase the joys, the fun, and the frustrations of sibling rivalry and devotion, as seen through the eyes of those sassy siblings, the Pain and the Great One.
 
What's the difference between a friend and a fiend? The Pain and the Great One are about to find out!

Jake is so embarrassed by a reading circle blunder, he vows never to speak in class again. Abigail believes she can no longer trust one of her best friends. And on the perfect snow day, who rescues Jake when someone jumps on him and washes his face in snow? Finally, Jake and Abigail decide to plan a birthday party to celebrate the date when their beloved cat Fluzzy first became part of their family. But only Fluzzy knows what really happened on that dark and stormy night a year ago. And he's not telling—or is he?


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