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“. . .one of the most charmingly engaging new characters in the modern chapter-book scene”

Starred Review from Kirkus


Gets Cooking!Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Gets Cooking!
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Chemistry in the kitchen? Phineas L. MacGuire applies his science skills to culinary creations in this food-tastic tale.

Phineas L. MacGuire — scientist extraordinaire — has a new chore: cooking dinner every night. He may be a genius, but he knows nothing about following a recipe. A pinch? A dash? A smidge? This doesn’t seem very scientific. A pound of spaghetti? Salt on brownies? Lemon in biscuits? Why, these recipes look a little funky. But he’d better learn quickly if he and his friends are going to win the $10,000 Bake-Off prize. And to complicate matters, school bully Evan Forbes has taken a liking to Phineas’s brownies…too much of a liking. As in, if Phineas can’t make Evan enough brownies, he’ll get clobbered for sure.

Fortunately for Phineas, he has the help of his friends, and even better, he soon discovers that cooking is kind of like chemistry. So the whole recipe thing might just work out—as long as he can keep his cool in the kitchen.


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Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!
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Disaster strikes when his teacher pairs Mac and his un-best friend together for the upcoming science fair. Worse, this un-best friend wants the project to be on dinosaurs, which is so third grade. Worse still, it seems as though everyone else in his class finds the un-best friend as unlikeable as Mac does. But, being a boy-scientist, once Mac notices this, he just might have to do some investigating…

From Booklist: “Using repetitive phrasing and lots of lists (from project ideas to facts Mac learns about science and Ben), Dowell brings to life a likable, nerdy kid who thrives on scientific thinking.”

From School Library Journal: “Though their science project hits a few bumps along the way, the volcano has a successful eruption and it looks like Mac just might have a new best friend. Three science experiments are appended, including, of course, an erupting volcano. Readers who enjoy Suzy Klines Herbie Jones (Putnam) and Horrible Harry books (Viking) will find Mac appealing.”


pmslimed_paper_300Phineas L. MacGuire … Gets Slimed!
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Phineas L. MacGuire—a.k.a. Mac—aims to be the best fourth-grade scientist ever. It’s a tall order, but he’s confident that he can achieve his goal, especially since Aretha has asked him to help her earn a Girl Scout badge by creating the mold that produces penicillin. How many fourth graders can say they’ve reproduced penicillin? None, as far as Mac knows. And who knows more about mold than Mac? But soon Mac is busy managing Ben’s campaign for class president and dealing with his weird new babysitter. How can he focus on mold?


pmblastsoff_hc_300Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Blasts Off!
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Phineas L. MacGuire (a.k.a. Mac) is less than up-to-date on planetary happenings. (Marsquakes? Who knew?) If he’s going to be the best scientist in the fourth grade, Mac has to set his sights pretty high. To outer space, actually. But Space Camp is expensive. Where is he going to find enough money for a week on Mars (or a pretty close simulation thereof)? Houston, we have another problem: a gigantic, slobbery dog named Lemon Drop. Mac can earn the money he needs by walking Mrs. McClosky’s yellow Lab, but first he needs to survive the walks and the slobber! Good thing Mac is a scientific genius with friends like Ben and Aretha. Together the three of them discover that Lemon Drop is no ordinary dog — that Lab is a real-life Lab-oratory.

Series Awards: California Young Reader Medal Nominee; Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List (VT); Georgia Children’s Book Award Nominee; Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee (AZ); Land of Enchantment Children’s Master List (NM); Maud Hart Lovelace Award Master List (MN); NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing; Nevada Young Reader’s Award Nominee; Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Nominee; Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Master List (FL); Virginia Readers’ Choice Award Master List; William Allen White Children’s Book Award Master List (KS); Bank Street Best Books of the Year; Eleanor Cameron Golden Duck Award.


Read More Acclaim for The Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire…