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All the Answers

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,104 ratings  ·  581 reviews
What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear.

With the help of her friend Sophie, Av
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
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Linda Grandpa likes Johnny Hodges the jazz saxophonist.
Grandpa likes Johnny Hodges the jazz saxophonist.
Rita There aren't any pictures in the book so the only thing that would be illustrated is the cover and I think it would be designed by her publisher. Bloo…moreThere aren't any pictures in the book so the only thing that would be illustrated is the cover and I think it would be designed by her publisher. Bloomsbury. (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,104 ratings  ·  581 reviews

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Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars!
This was really cute book for middle school level. I really enjoyed reading it. I loved how it was written and everything. I can so related to Ava when she gets worried and nervous about test even though she study's every night. I totally the same way. One thing about this book is that I wish there was actual pencil that would tell you all the answers to anything you asked it. I want one like Ava's so bad. I am really jealous!
Brandy Painter
4.5 stars

Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Whether or not I would read All the Answers wasn't even up for debate. It's a new Kate Messner MG and those are always a popular commodity among the kids I work with. I always enjoy them myself too.

Ava has a math test and needs a pencil. Grabbing one old blue one from a junk drawer, she is on her way and can focus on worrying about how she always forgets what she needs when taking a test no matter how much she studies. But a stra
I could not put this book down! I loved the main character and think this book would make a great read aloud for middle grade students! My favorite Kate Messner book so far!
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can never resist middle grade fiction with hints of magical realism, so Kate Messner's All The Answers has totally been on my must-read list for awhile now.

Ava is a young girl who often thinks about the worst-case scenarios in life. She worries about her parents divorcing; she's too scared to try out for jazz band or the track team, and is often too anxious to concentrate while taking math tests. But a chance discovery of a magical pencil with all the answers, soon changes her world.

Now that
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, magic
Ava, a young girl who worries a great deal — about her parents arguing, about the health of her grandparents, about speaking out in class — finds a pencil that, when used to write a question, sends the answer to her head. Her extrovert friend mainly wants to use it to find out about pop stars' private lives, which boys might like her, and when shoes will go on sale, but Ava doesn't want to use it to cheat, and finds the answers to bigger questions to be scary. When the pencil tells her some answ ...more
Kelly Hager
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this, I loved the idea of having a magic pencil that could answer every question you have. (And when I say "loved," I mean "desperately wanted one for myself.") And then the more I read, the more I saw that it was a double-edged sword.

The pencil obviously couldn't last forever, and the answers all seem to lead to more questions. (Also, there are some things the pencil can't answer---you can't know about the future, for example, because people have free will.)

It doesn't ta
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Really loved this book. As soon as I finished, I wanted to start it over from the beginning again!
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
i really liked this book! Ava was kind of like me sometimes i worry a lot but this book taught me that with answers more questions will come up, so just go with the flow through life and face the challenges in life and everything will be okay :)

Carol Royce Owen
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Kate Messner's - hooked first on Sugar and Ice, when Vermont chose it as a Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nominee, I then latched into the Silver Jaguar Societies series, Eye of the Storm, the Marty McGuire series, Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z, Wake Up Missing and then her wonderful picture books. I am a K-6 teacher, and Kate Messner's books fill so many needs in the classrooms I work with. Without fail, students come back to me after reading one of her books with the request, "Do ...more
Suad Shamma
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2016
This was a very decent read. It is targeted towards preteen or middle grade readers, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Messner succeeded in creating a very simple story with quite a poignant message, so it does appeal to many readers.

It begins with Ava Anderson, who is hurriedly rushing to school, slightly panicking about her Maths test and looking for a pencil or she won't be allowed to take the test. She finds one at random in a drawer filled with junk, and goes to school with it. She soon discov
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, reviewed
I started out detesting this book. I was reading it because my baby brother- a 7th grader apparently thinks randomly grabbing a book off a shelf and writing a book report is the way to go. Worse yet it was due the next day. I've been in a reading slump so I wanted an easy read. I got it. Purely middle grade.

The book is centralized around a girl, her best friend and magic all knowing pencil. Something I would have liked ish at his age but he prefers books like the Giver and dystopian zombie book
Apr 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
Ava has anxiety. She's taken worrying to a new level. For her, it's practically an art form. Until one fateful morning, a random pencil from her junk drawer changes her perspective.
This is a cute story with family conflict, student conflict, a light and funny tone, and it's great for Middle Grade readers!
My 8 year old and I enjoyed this one.
***ARC courtesy of Netgalley
Soraya Laboy
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is NOT your typical fantasy. Great writing and characters- sweet, sad, funny.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
First reviewed on Redeemed Reader

In her haste one morning, Ava grabs a pencil from the kitchen drawer. During her math test, Ava realizes that the pencil can tell her answers to the questions she’s writing down. Obviously this is the sort of thing to tell a best friend, and soon Ava and Sophie are testing the pencil’s knowledge. They move on from homework questions to whether a boy likes a girl, information about their teachers, and questions about the future (which the pencil refuses to answer)
The Styling Librarian
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
All the Answers by Kate Messner – Fourth grade and Up- Realistic Fiction/Fantasy- Released in January 2015- This book hit a little too close to home. I loved reading every minute but the main character who is so fixated on worrying that life is passing her by is quite the powerful one to read about. I was quite touched by this story. It was interesting to read the ethical dilemma of a girl who realizes that a pencil is telling her answers to test questions and answering other questions as well. ...more
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When it's the first day of a new year, many take time to reflect back on the past 365 days while looking ahead. Situations are assessed wondering what else might have been said or done. Two words, if only, sometimes creep into our thinking. We wonder if only we would have known then what we know now.

Let us suppose for just a minute we might have known then what we know now. Would this new knowledge have changed anything? Would it have altered moments or events for the greater good? Kate Messner
Scottsdale Public Library
Our protagonist has acute social anxiety that prevents her from participating in school clubs, sports or band and she performs poorly on tests in school. She prefers to eat alone in the library rather than sit among other students and feel ignored. She has a best friend who is her polar opposite. One day she grabs a pencil from home and finds that it answers any written question by whispering the answer in her mind. This is the set-up for a wonderful tale of a young girl and her everyday life wi ...more
Maureen Forys
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Books about pencils inhabited by spirits are truly not for me.

Also, just noticing that almost every YA book I read with a white, female protagonist who struggles with her self esteem is described as skinny in a negative way. Like, oh no. She gets bullied because she's thin. Isn't that... Kind of the western standard of beauty? I think I might be bringing my bitterness from growing up obese too much into this observation, but I just don't understand why even in books we are implying that girls wh
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
So I got this book a few years ago when I was in middle school, and I just got around to reading it. Anyways this book was really cute and I related a lot to Ava when it comes to her having anxiety about not knowing what is going to happen in the future. So I would give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars as I enjoyed it, but I kinda wish the ending would’ve been different. Like I felt like it didn’t really give me the certain kinda closer that I wanted?
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely phenomenal! I could so relate to Ava, being the worrywart I am. This book sucks you in from the very beginning and doesn't let you go. One of those rare books that holds on long after you have finished reading. ...more
Kathryn Bell
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredible! The final chapters had me sobbing in my seat. The anxiety themed plot and characters really digs deep and finds the inner panic within you. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages, including adults, but warning, it's a tear-jerker! ...more
Michele Knott
Wow. This book had me reeling a few times. This is a do not miss!
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, having all the answers only gives you more questions…
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book, definatly deserves my approval.
Jun 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
A cute story about a pencil that will give the answer if you ask it a factual question. Ava, our young protagonist, is scared of everything but her whole life changes when she finds the pencil. Ava and her best friend, Sophie, ask it tons of questions, not always liking the answers. Between the funny outcomes of listening to the pencil and discovering truths about herself, Ava begins to see her life from a different point of view. This book starts out as a fun, light, fantasy, but halfway throug ...more
Rase McCray
May 31, 2019 added it
Shelves: mg-reads
I started this book a year ago and then set it down, then picked it up again and finished it in a day.

As for the book itself, it's a surprisingly fun way to address anxiety! I liked the characters and the conceit is charming. It gets fairly heavy near the climax ((view spoiler), which is something to keep in mind when suggesting it to kid readers.
Kate Adams
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this. Main character is in middle school but the content is okay for elementary, I’d say. Good book for kids who deal with anxiety - the main character is always trying to process her anxiety and I think it would be relatable and good to see themselves reflected in Ava. One word of warning - I was surprised that the book got a bit heavy about 2/3 in, so be prepared to have a conversation about cancer with your kid if they’re reading this.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-school
Great book! Middle school girls will like this. There's the typical middle school drama, but it also deals with some difficult topics-anxiety, divorce, watching a grandparent slipping away, fitting in, cancer. ...more
Sep 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wow, that was a long, intense reading! I felt like I couldn't breathe when Ava was going through her anxieties. Everything seemed tough for her but I am happy that the author answered all the questions at the end. That is all I'll say to avoid spoilers. ...more
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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

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