Cover image for A couple of April Fools
A couple of April Fools
Maguire, Gregory.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
182 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
At a Vermont elementary school, April Fools' Day takes on a sinister tone when a teacher goes missing and several suspects emerge, among them the teacher's fiance and a missing mutant chick.
General Note:
"The Hamlet chronicles."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.4 7.0 78603.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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It's springtime in Vermont, and strange happenings are afoot in the little town of Hamlet. The students at Joshua Fawcett Elementary School are busily planning their practical jokes for April Fool's Day, but their pranks fall flat when it is discovered that their beloved teacher, Miss Earth, has gone missing.
Has the mysterious creature that's lurking about town and stalking local farm animals made a meal of Miss Earth? Or is Mayor Grass, her esteemed fianc#65533;, responsible? Miss Earth's students know that the clock is ticking and they must find the answer-and their teacher-before it is too late.
True to form, Gregory Maguire has added an uproarious installment to the Hamlet Chronicles, a tale packed with high humor and suspense that also touches on more serious themes of adolescence and family relationships.

Author Notes

Gregory Maguire was born June 9, 1954 in Albany, New York. He received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Tufts University. He is a founder and co-director of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987.

He writes for both adults and children. His first book, The Lighting Time, was published in 1978. His adult works include Wicked, Confessions of and Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. The Broadway play Wicked is based on his book of the same title. His children's books include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the Hamlet Chronicles series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. In this sixth installment in the Hamlet Chronicles, an April Fool's Day joke spins out of control, and beloved teacher Miss Earth disappears. Her students, including the faction of boys known as the Copycats, and the girls, who call themselves the Tattletales, set aside their fierce rivalries to unravel the frightening mystery of their missing teacher. Newcomers won't have trouble picking up the plot threads, and series fans will recognize all the familiar characters--among them, the flameburpers, fire-breathing, mutant chicken-lizards who end play a pivotal role in the high jinks. As always, Maguire layers his witty, absurd farce and spot-on portrayal of the social pecking order of middle-graders with larger questions about science, our threatened environment, and the uneasy relationship between species, be they gorillas, flameburpers, or boys and girls. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The sixth title in the Hamlet Chronicles series, A Couple of April Fools by Gregory Maguire, illus. by Elaine Clayton, continues where Three Rotten Eggs left off. In this installment, Thekla Mustard is unseated as Empress of the Tattletales and Miss Earth disappears; her students develop theories as to what might have happened, as they search the Vermont wilderness for her. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-In this sixth installment in the series, the rivalry between the girls' club, the Tattletales, and that of the boys, the Copycats, continues, but their leaders, Thekla Mustard and Sammy Grubb, are not quite as enthusiastic as they were earlier in the year. Before long, Thekla finds herself deposed by an upstart member. When new student and outsider Thud Tweed decides it would be fun to make trouble for Miss Earth, he helps the girls play an April Fool's Day trick on the boys during class, and the teacher puts her foot down. She bans the clubs from school and assigns everyone into girl-boy pairs for the upcoming science fair. Meanwhile, the one remaining Flameburper (a mutant chicken-lizard hatched in the previous book) is growing at a rapid rate and is clearly distressed about something. Could it be the mysterious creature rumored to be lurking around town? Then, Miss Earth disappears, and all rivalries are set aside as the Tattletales and Copycats combine forces to find her. Although the book can stand alone, readers already familiar with the characters and their history will get the most out of it. The tongue-in-cheek humor, brisk pace, and snappy dialogue make for a lively and enjoyable read.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Happy Spring!p. 1
1. The Wheel of Lifep. 4
2. Trouble in Paradise?p. 12
3. Dreamboat or Dump Truck?p. 18
4. Grownups in Their Natural Habitatp. 23
5. The Mustard Mottop. 30
6. Scheming and Not Schemingp. 37
7. April Fool's: Single Whammyp. 42
8. April Fool's: Double Whammyp. 50
9. The Dirty Double Crossp. 58
10. Sabotage to Bootp. 68
11. Foul Play?p. 77
12. The Adolescence of a Flameburperp. 83
13. Where Were You That Day?p. 94
14. Beatrice Breaks Outp. 104
15. Mrs. Mustard Breaks Outp. 115
16. Thud Tweed, Juvenile Offenderp. 125
17. Beware What You Choosep. 131
18. Nobody's Businessp. 139
19. Missing, Presumed Deadp. 148
20. The Eureka Momentp. 154
21. Triple Whammy?p. 160
22. April Showers Bring May Flowersp. 175