Mysterious Max: (#1)

Mysterious Max: (#1)

Mysterious Max: (#1)

Mysterious Max: (#1)



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A wisecracking ghost from the 1950s?
It’s the fifth day of school and Jeffrey Becker is in trouble again! Jeffrey can’t help it. He likes to tell a good story. The trouble is, his teacher calls those stories lies. And now he has to stay after school.
Jeffrey isn’t the only one with the detention. When his teacher leaves the classroom Jeffrey realizes that he has company—a ghost from the 1950s named Max. Max is one cool ghost, but he manages to get Jeffrey into more trouble than Jeffrey gets into on his own. And Jeffrey knows that no one will believe him when he says his new best friend is a ghost!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307783868
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/09/2011
Series: Jeffrey the Third Grade Detective , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: eBook
Pages: 80
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Jeffrey Becker and his third-grade teacher, Mrs. Merrin, got off on the wrong foot the very first day of school. It happened while Mrs. Merrin was reading a story to the red reading group. The blue group was supposed to be working on a math sheet. Jeffrey was in the blue group.
Suddenly, Mrs. Merrin stopped reading.
“Jeffrey Becker,” said the pretty, young teacher in a stern voice, “did you just throw the globe across the room?”
Everyone in the class looked at Jeffrey. Their looks seemed to say, “Okay, Jeffrey. Let’s see you talk your way out of this one.”
“No, Mrs. Merrin,” Jeffrey said. “I didn’t throw the globe. It slipped out of my hands, probably because I was looking at the country of Greece.”
Everyone in the class except Mrs. Merrin laughed. She just pushed her round, red reading glasses onto her forehead and looked at Jeffrey.
“Jeffrey Becker, you have a detention,” she said.
“A detention?” Jeffrey said. “No one gives a detention on the first day of school. I think there’s a law against it. You could get up to three years in jail with no french fries.”
“Make that two detentions,” Mrs. Merrin said.
That’s how Jeffrey earned detentions for the first and second days of school.
On the third day of school, Jeffrey had another detention. This time it was for not bringing his summer-reading book report to class.
When it was Jeffrey’s turn to give his book report, he stood up. He brushed his straight brown hair out of his freckled face. Then he pulled two carrots and an avocado out of his backpack. “Uh-oh. My mom must have gotten confused,” Jeffrey said. “She put this stuff in my backpack and my book report in the juicer!”
After school that day, Mrs. Merrin told Jeffrey to think about all of the wild stories he told. So Jeffrey thought about them. He thought Mrs. Merrin should have believed him. After all, they were good stories.
On the fourth day of school, Jeffrey got a detention for hitting Arvin Pubbler on the back with an apple-butter-and-jelly sandwich.
“But, Mrs. Merrin,” Jeffrey explained. “Didn’t you see it? There was a deadly spider crawling on Arvin’s back! I just saved his life.”
Mrs. Merrin didn’t see it, but she did see Jeffrey after school for the fourth day in a row.
Jeffrey sat at his desk and Mrs. Merrin sat at hers. They didn’t speak to each other. Jeffrey was supposed to be writing twenty-five reasons for not lying. But Jeffrey didn’t think the punishment was fair. As far as he was concerned, he didn’t tell lies. He just made up funny stories to make life more interesting.
Mrs. Merrin straightened up the classroom and wrote things in her teacher’s notebook. Then she took two photos out of her purse and looked from one to the other.
Finally, she said to Jeffrey, “My husband and I want to buy a dog. But we can’t decide which kind.”
“Dogs love me,” Jeffrey said. “They can read my mind. They do what I want before I even tell them.”
The teacher shook her short blond hair. “Jeffrey, that’s absurd,” she said.
“It’s the truth,” Jeffrey said sincerely.
“Jeffrey, have you ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?”
“Did he get a lot of detentions, too?” Jeffrey asked.
“He lied so much that no one believed him when he told the truth,” Mrs. Merrin said. She put her photos away and stood up. “I’m going to the office. You work on your list—and your attitude.”
The moment she left, Jeffrey went to work on his list. First, he added a fancy red border with a crayon. Then he used markers to draw a baseball glove in the corner. After all, how could a list be complete without a drawing of a baseball glove?
“Jeffrey!” a voice outside called to him. It was Benjamin Hyde, Jeffrey’s best friend. He was waiting for Jeffrey on the playground.
Jeffrey ran to the window and climbed onto a desk to look out. Benjamin was two stories down. He waved up at the third-grade classroom window. Ben had curly brown hair and gold, wire-rimmed glasses. His glasses seemed to glow in the sunlight.
Ben and Jeffrey had been best friends ever since kindergarten, when the class was studying dinosaurs. One day the teacher had called on Jeffrey to explain why dinosaurs became extinct. Jeffrey, as usual, had been ready with a smart answer.
“Mrs. Gorshlak, dinosaurs aren’t extinct,” he had explained. “They just went to another planet where no one could make fun of them for being so ugly.”
Ben had laughed. Even in kindergarten Ben had known more than anyone else about dinosaurs. He had thought Jeffrey’s answer was great—unscientific, unbelievable, but great. They had been best friends from then on.
“Come on down, Jeffrey,” another voice called. It was Melissa McKane. She was standing next to Ben.
Melissa McKane was Jeffrey’s next-door neighbor. She was so much taller than Ben that she practically made a shadow on him. Melissa’s hair was long and red. And she always wore it in a pony tail to keep it out of her face in case she suddenly decided to climb a tree, walk all the way home on her hands, or pitch nine innings of baseball. And she did all of those things superbly.
“Hey, Jeffrey,” Ben shouted. He pulled out a small plastic squirt gun and aimed it up at the window. “Say ‘ah.’ 
Jeffrey saw the tiny squirt gun and laughed. It looked like an ordinary, dumb squirt gun, the kind that leaks faster than it shoots. Jeffrey knew that Ben was too far away to hit a target two stories above the ground.
“Ready, aim, fire!” Melissa shouted.
Ben squeezed the trigger. And suddenly a blast of water hit Jeffrey smack in the face. One second Jeffrey was laughing at Ben. The next second he was soaking wet.
“What do you think?” Ben asked with a wicked grin. “I’ve been working on it in my laboratory.” Ben wanted to be a mad scientist when he grew up. He called his bedroom his laboratory.
“Uh … pretty cool,” Jeffrey called out. Then he turned around quickly and glanced at the door. Mrs. Merrin still hadn’t come back.
“But not as cool as the Super Power Water Blaster than I’ve got hidden under my notebook,” Jeffrey muttered to himself. He ran back to his desk, water still dripping from his face.
He opened his desktop, started to reach in—and snatched his hand back. His muscles froze, his mouth dropped open, and he forgot how to breathe.
There, floating in midair inside of his desk, was a living hand! It wasn’t connected to an arm or a body, or to anything else for that matter. It was just a hand floating inside Jeffrey’s desk.
Before Jeffrey even had time to slam the desktop shut, the hand picked up his Super Power Water Blaster and squirted him in the face.
“I don’t believe this,” Jeffrey said. “I just got squirted with my own gun!”

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