Dead Possums Are Fair Game

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About The Book

Ella has two major phobias in life: spiders and mathematics. She firmly believes that anything with more than four legs should not exist. She also believes the world would be a better place without word problems or long division. That being said, she’s fascinated by science. So when her class finds a dead opossum in the playing field one morning, she’s intrigued by rigor mortis and how long it will take for the opossum to unstiffen. Science is so much more interesting than math.

Later that day, Ella is certain she must have heard wrong when her teacher announces that there will be no more math tests for the rest of the year. And she isn’t wrong—it is too good to be true. Her teacher explains that instead, the class will be having its first ever math fair. Ella’s group is assigned the topic of time conversions, something Ella’s been struggling with for a while. This is hardly Ella’s idea of fun. But Ella’s mom is quick to point out that math and science aren’t so very different—she suggests that Ella imagine she’s doing a science experiment instead of a math project. With a little imagination and some inspiration from their friend the opossum (now named Morty, short for rigor mortis), Ella and her group come up with a project that gets them excited about math—and they might even have a chance to win at the fair!

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Sky Pony (November 3, 2015)
  • Length: 192 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781634509275
  • Grades: 2 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Raves and Reviews

"Souders has a pretty good feel for middle (or nearly) school academic and social interactions....Diverting and frequently funny."—Kirkus Reviews

"Math fans and math phobes alike will gobble this one up. Math has never been more tasty, as Souders delivers a story as delicious as a Banana-Coco-Choco-Loco ice cream treat." —Claudia Mills, author of 7 x 9 = Trouble! and Annika Riz, Math Whiz

"Ella is kind, charming, and believably flawed. Souders has created a pitch-perfect story for reluctant readers—and reluctant math students.” —Courtney Sheinmel, author of the Stella Batts series

"The next time I hear someone say, 'Math has nothing to do with real life' I am going to tell them to read Dead Possums Are Fair Game. In this hysterically funny, fast-moving, and often poignant novel, Souders has a great time showing us that perfection isn’t always necessary and that sometimes we can’t control our circumstances but we can always control our reactions, even when math is involved. So, what does a dead opossum, a math phobic, a quirky aunt and a cast of lovable friends add up to? A great story told with heart. And as a self-admitted non-math person I have to say that Souders made math fun for me. Bravo." —Joyce Magnin, author of Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar and Carrying Mason

"Souders has a pretty good feel for middle (or nearly) school academic and social interactions....Diverting and frequently funny."—Kirkus Reviews

"Math fans and math phobes alike will gobble this one up. Math has never been more tasty, as Souders delivers a story as delicious as a Banana-Coco-Choco-Loco ice cream treat." —Claudia Mills, author of 7 x 9 = Trouble! and Annika Riz, Math Whiz

"Ella is kind, charming, and believably flawed. Souders has created a pitch-perfect story for reluctant readers—and reluctant math students.” —Courtney Sheinmel, author of the Stella Batts series

"The next time I hear someone say, 'Math has nothing to do with real life' I am going to tell them to read Dead Possums Are Fair Game. In this hysterically funny, fast-moving, and often poignant novel, Souders has a great time showing us that perfection isn’t always necessary and that sometimes we can’t control our circumstances but we can always control our reactions, even when math is involved. So, what does a dead opossum, a math phobic, a quirky aunt and a cast of lovable friends add up to? A great story told with heart. And as a self-admitted non-math person I have to say that Souders made math fun for me. Bravo." —Joyce Magnin, author of Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar and Carrying Mason