Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment
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Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment (From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. Macguire)

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Here's what you need to know about Phineas L. MacGuire, boy-scientist extraordinaire, aka Mac:

1. He's allergic to purple, telephone calls, and girls, and can prove it.

2. He's probably the world's expert on mold, including which has the highest stink potential.

3. He does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend, who he does not -- repeat, not -...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2006)
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Debbie
Mar 28, 2008 Debbie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: science geeks
I loved this book! It's a great read for science lovers (science experiments). I would recommend it for 3rd and beginning 4th graders. This is the first book of the series. It's about Phineas (aka Mac) who is starting 4th grade and loves all things related to science. Well, in the beginning of 4th grade his best friend moves away and he ends up being paired up with another boy named Mac (Mac R.) for the annual science fair. Mac and Mac R. are mortal enemies so mayhem ensues, but it all works out...more
Mary Ann
This is a funny book about friendship and school. I agree with another reader who said, hang with it, it gets better as you get into it. Mac's friendship with Ben does develop and feels realistic. But I think there are better school stories that appeal to this age group: Frindle, Fourth Grade Rats, or the Hank Zipzer series.
Deanna
Loved this story! So cute and fun, I read it in one hour! This would be a great read for teacher to their students. It is about a 4th grade boy and science fair. I really like this author, I have read several of her books and intend on reading the rest.
Brian Strand
Mac finds out that his best friend Marcus is moving to Lawrence, Ks only two weeks into the school year. If only he knew that, he could’ve found a new best friend at the start of fourth grade. Then a new kid comes to school, his name is Mac R., and he isn’t very nice to anyone. Mac is really excited for the up coming science fair, although his best friend is gone; he thinks he is still going to be ok going at the project alone. His happiness is soon gone when he is pair up by the teacher with Ma...more
Karen
Mac, a boy who wants to be a scientist when he grows up. He has a best friend called Marcus, but Marcus will be no longer here because he needs to move to another country. Mac feels sad because he loses his best friend. However, there is a new student comes, who is called Mac too, but he is Mac R. Mac R is a boy that everyone hates him, but when the science fair comes, he is the partner of Mac. During the project time, Mac finds out that Mac R is not that bad, and he is a great artist. He becom...more
Candice
1. Genre: Science Fiction Junior Book

2. Summary: Phineas, who is a young boy that sees everything as a scientific experiment, has to work with a school classmate, Mac, on a science fair project. He learns how to compromise and work with another student as the create a volcanic eruption.

3. Critique:
a) The greatest part about this book is the plot where the two characters have to work together to create a science experiment for the school science fair. They search for ideas on what they both wa...more
Jessica M
So far this book is ok. I'm on page 117 out of 167. Phineas(That's his real name he actually likes to be called Mac) is currently planning out a science experiment with his friend Ben(Ben used to be called Mac but he changed back to his real name.)Mac's old friend moved away to Lawrence,Kansas and he is very sad because they always used to do science experiments together and consider themselves scientists. When Ben first moved to school, he made a bad impression on his class so no one liked him....more
Deborah
Mac, a fourth grade scientist, loses his best friend to another state a couple of weeks into the school year. He feels like a scientific match made in heaven has been broken up. Then moves in the new kid, Mac R. Mac R. introduction to the homeroom class is obnoxious to his fellow classmates. He declares that everything in Seattle is better and that he is smarter than everyone in the fourth grade. Mac R. always says the wrong the thing and makes enemies pretty quick. When Mrs. Tuttle assigns the...more
Vicki
I started reading this book to Michael while he was in the hot tub. He enjoyed each time Mac expressed an emotion he could relate to. While I did not have time yet to finish this book with my son, I did finish it on my own. It was throughly enjoyable. Mac is a very likable main character who sees others in a very objective light. Mac R./Ben is a character who is typical of a 3rd grader...someone who has dealt with his parent's divorce, a dad who doesn't want him to be an artist ( of which he is)...more
Brian Herrera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
xXDyingxInside-83Xx
The book Phineas L. MacGuire....Erupts by Frances O'Roark Dowell is about a boy named Mac who is a scientist of fourth grade in Brookwood Elementary.Everybody likes him because he's a scientist. There is this new student named Mac R. He likes to mess with people, loves dinosaurs, and has a lot of freckles in his face.
The science fair is coming and the teacher assigns classmates to pair in 2's everyone seems to have a partner but 4 people don't and Mac is partnered up with Mac R. What will happen...more
Smile
Mac is like any science guy you'll see in upper elementary - thinks he's a know it all, thinks girls are silly, and more. He's the kinda guy you'll avoid, not someone you'll read about.
Kim Burean
This was a great book for 3-5th graders. It had humor, real-life situations and heart. It was a very fast read, with large type and short chapters.

Mac is a 4th grader who loves science. He is bummed out when his best friend moves away and leaves him without a partner for the upcoming science fair. Mac is paired with a new kid (also named Mac), who has been very obnoxious in class. However, over the course of working with Mac R., Mac discovers that there is more to the story of Mac R.'s behavior....more
Barney
The book is about a boy named Phineas L. MacGuire who is allergic to many things. So there's almost always trouble everywhere he goes. One thing for sure is that he's addicted to science. He loves it so much. Especially when there's something that has to do with experimenting. When he gets partnered up with the most hated person in his class for the science fair, Mac, he knew that there would be drama. During their experiments, he finds out a lot of interesting things about Mac. Such as he's an...more
ghostlibrarian
I deliberately read this book after reading Project Mulberry because they have similar themes, working together on a project with someone. In this book Phineas, called Mac, doesn't have a choice about his partner since Mac R., whose real name is Ben is his assigned partner. Ben is new and manages to make a lot of enimies in his class when he brags about himself and his last school when introducing himself. Mac learns the truth but has to figure out how to let the rest of the class in on it. And...more
Afton Nelson
I think my boys would love this book if they'd ever take a single book suggestion I gave them. It seems if I pick it, they hate it.

I loved this book. Frances O'Roark Dowell has a fabulous way with words, especially in my two favorites "Dovey Coe" and "Shooting the Moon." What I loved most about Phineas is that the author doesn't skimp on the clever writing even though this is more of a mass market type book.

Plus, there are easy science experiments at the end of the book.
Susan
This is the 2009 One book, one city for kids selection. Mac is a 4th grade scientist. His best friend has moved away and a new kid, Mac R. has just joined Mac's class. Mac R. has managed to alienate the entire fourth grade during his introduction to the class. As a scientist, Mac will need a partner for the 4th grade science fair that he wants to win first place in. Since his best friend moved away, will he get stuck with Mac R? Read Phineas L. MacGuire... Erupts! and find out.
Debbie
Oct 22, 2007 Debbie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: younger readers; science fans
Mac is a budding scientist. His partner in messy experiments, Marcus, moved away right after the start of the school year, leaving Mac without a best friend. When an obnoxious new kid, Mac R., gets paired with Mac for the long-anticipated fourth grade science fair, his talent for science will be put to good use.

Cute story; best for younger readers. Kids who like science will enjoy the volcano recipe in the back of the book.
Duane
This is a great book for younger readers. Young Mac learns that although he tries to live in a world that resembles a scientific experiment, sometimes you can't "assemble" the ingredients of a friendship. Although he tries to control his life, life has a tendency to through in a little chaos and young Mac learns fast that sometimes you just have to go with the flow and maybe, just maybe, you'll learn a little from it.
Bran'dee Williams
The book Erupts is about a kid named Mac who is a little nerdy.Mac gets another friend named Mac as well.He helps his new friend show his true colors.
I liked the book because it shows how two different people can still be friends.I also liked the little crazy facts that Mac kept brining up.I would recamend this book to anybody because it's funny and diffrenet.
Ryan
I have read this book so many times. Only, because it is a good book. Not because I like kiddy books. i think the author really captured a "two faced" personality. He also got that good enemy's turned friends perspective. I just think that it is a good book. If you have nothing to read then this is a good book for in between books.
Kate Hastings
RL810. Phineas "Mac" is not looking forward to 4th grade since his best friend Marcus moved away. He likes science, and nobody else wants to read Scientific America, take notes, etc-- except some girl Aretha. When Science Fair comes around, everyone has to work with a partner, and Mac get stuck with the new kid-- and he's mean. Or is he?
Becky
Jun 28, 2008 Becky rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2nd through 4th grade boys
This is a promising new series that should attract male readers with its humor. Though Phineas is in 4th grade, 2nd through 4th can easily handle this chapter book. Another story of an unlikely friendship between 2 classmates who are unique and needy. McDowell is one of my favorite authors of realistic fiction.
Kim
Mac loves science and is always doing experiments. Unfortunately, his best friend just moved away. To make matters worse, a new kid, Mac R. moves in and he picks fights with everyone. THEN, Mac is paired with Mac R. for the science fair. Will they ever agree on a project and, if so, will it work?
Mary Kay
PHINEAS... is in fourth-grade & I found him utterly delightful what with his scientific proclivities & "allergies". (He doesn't like the color purple & I am in complete accord with him on that one!) The illustrations are great, too. William Allen White & BOB lists for this one.
Kathy
If you are looking for a fun book to read to your kids/grandkids this summer, check this one out. Funny, fast, interesting. As an added bonus, it gives you three great science experiments to try at the end of the book. A great middle grade novel. I laughed.
Hilary
Mac, scientist in training, has high hopes for this years science fair until he is partnered with Mac R., the new kid in school who no one likes. Mac is a little self important, but humbles himself in the end. Fun science experiments are highlighted in the back page.
Nicole
Dec 19, 2007 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 3-4th graders
Shelves: kids
Pretty decent little book. Low for my 7th graders, but it was donated to the class. Full of interesting science facts that kids, especially boys, would be interested it ...mold, stinky stuff, dander, etc.

There's a male school nurse, which I think is pretty cool.
Barbara
Cute - really fast read - another of those feisty clever characters that are somewhat endearing. This is one of the nominees in the 3rd through 6th grade California Young Reader Medal contest for 2009. Book club is reading as many of them as they can get through.
Meghan
Cute book (for your young readers) that captures childhood perfectly. There are some very hilarious descriptions of the way life works in Mac's third grade class. Since it's written for such young readers, you could finish it in a half and hour.
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Frances O'Roark Dowell is an author of middle-grade fiction. Her books have received numerous awards, including an Edgar (Dovey Coe), the William Allan White Award (Dovey Coe), the Christopher Award (Shooting the Moon), the Voya Book Award (Where I'd Like to Be), and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children's Fiction, Honor Book (Shooting the Moon). Dowell has an MFA in Creative...more
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