The bad news is that Cara Landry is the new kid at Denton Elementary School. The worse news is that her teacher, Mr. Larson, would rather read the paper and drink coffee than teach his students anything. So Cara decides to give Mr. Larson something else to read -- her own newspaper, The Landry News.
Before she knows it, the whole fifth-grade class is in on the project. But then the principal finds a copy of The Landry News, with unexpected results. Tomorrow's headline: Will Cara's newspaper cost Mr. Larson his job?
Writer Andrew Clements: Revealed
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"Cara Louise, I am talking to you!"
Cara Landry didn't answer her mom. She was busy.
She sat at the gray folding table in the kitchenette, a heap of torn paper scraps in front of her. Using a roll of clear tape, Cara was putting the pieces back together. Little by little, they fell into place on a fresh sheet of paper about eighteen inches wide. The top part was already taking shape -- a row of neat block letters, carefully drawn to look like newspaper type.
"Cara, honey, you promised you wouldn't start that again. Didn't you learn one little thing from the last... see more
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Book Cover Image (jpg): Landry News
Trade Paperback 9780689828683(2.6 MB)
Author Photo (jpg): Andrew Clements
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Reading Group Guide
Before Cara came to Denton Elementary School, she wrote a newspaper in her old school. What motivated her to start that newspaper? What was its tone?
"Truth is good," Cara's mother says. "But when you are publishing all that truth, just be sure there's some mercy, too." What does she mean by that? Do you agree that mercy is as important as truth?
Over the years, Mr. Larson became a lazy and sloppy teacher, and students became bored and restless in his classroom. How was the class's atmosphere good for Cara? Would it be good for you?
Mr. Larson was stung by Cara's first editorial, but The Landry News ended up reviving his love of teaching. How?
The Landry News starts small, but soon the whole school is reading it. How did Cara's duties change as the newspaper grew? What were the advantages of having a larger readership? What were the risks?
Mr. Larson's students know very little about his life outside of school. How much do you know about your teachers? What do you imagine they do on their own time? Do you believe they have different in-school and out-of-school personalities?
Why was the principal so upset by the "Lost and Found" article in The Landry News? Would you be?
"Some people are newsmakers," observes Cara, "and some aren't." Who are the newsmakers in your school or neighborhood? What makes them so interesting to others?
Activities and Research
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Behind the Book
Letter from Andrew Clements
The moment that salutation appears, you know what’s going on: It’s a letter, and someone hopes it has reached you.
We write a letter, send it off, and then we trust it arrives, hope it gets opened and read and thought about. It’s that way with a book as well, and my new novel, Extra Credit, is no exception. Plus, this book has a special kinship with letter writing: it’s built around a pen pal exchange between two sixth graders–a gi