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Ms. Bixby's Last Day

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  7,869 ratings  ·  1,540 reviews
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The good ones. The not-so-good ones. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. But Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like the indignity of school is worthwhile. Who makes the idea of growing up less t ...more
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Walden Pond Press
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,869 ratings  ·  1,540 reviews

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Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
First things first: I will admit I had a hard time starting this book, because I've lost way too many loved ones to cancer. I had to read the first 40 pages through almost-closed eyes. I don't tend to gravitate to cancer stories because they're not generally where I find pleasure reading. But boy oh boy am I glad I stuck with this one. MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY is so well done, so good, with hints of the full story dropped just so, so you have to keep reading, and utterly real and believable characte ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ARC from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there

Brand, Topher and Steve are enjoying their year in school because their teacher, Ms. Bixby, is one of "the good ones". She listens to her has her fair share of quirks, like working part time as a clown, having a pink streak in her hair, and spouting quotations. When the boys find out that Ms. Bixby is sick and has to finish the year early, they take some consolation in the fact that they can give her a good "last day". When her cancer treatmen
Incredible moving. Hits all the right notes--funny, tender, and thoughtful.
Michele Knott
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
She saw them.
She saw the good.
She saw the little things.
And she made that matter.
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are sad books for middle grades, and I've read and loved many of them, sympathized with the hurt of children, wishing they could grow a little more before facing loss. But this book teaches! It shows teachers why they must listen and watch their students so carefully, knowing that hiding true things is what they do, just like Ms. Bixby knows. And it shows friends-Steve, Brand and Topher-uncommonly loyal, something to remember to be, something to learn to be! I was teary through quite a lot ...more
Haley Shaffer
This one will stay with me for a long time. I hope I'm one of the Good Ones. ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I reread this book for our discussion this afternoon in our kids book group. I cried just as much at the end as I did the first time I read it. I love this book so much and have recommended it to teachers, parents, and students time and time again.

My original review from two years ago follows below.

I seem to agonize over writing reviews for the books that I loved. I want to say all the right words to let people know how special the book was to me, but then months go by and I still can't seem to
Kris Patrick
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you read one book this year, and we're more than likely not Goodreads friends if you only read one book a year, read this one!

Dear John David Anderson, pleeease keep writing realistic fiction.
Love, Kris Patrick
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you are a teacher or if you ever had a teacher that you loved, stay away from this book. It's a tear-jerker.

You have been warned.

Three friends are in the sixth grade class of the amazing Ms. Bixby, teacher-extraordinaire, who knows how to influence kids and parents toward what's best, provider of apt Bixbyisms for every situation, diffuser of tensions, promoter of good will.

The bottom falls out. Ms. Bixby has cancer and will not be able to finish out the year.

A plan forms. The three boys wi
Destinee Sutton
Well, this made me bawl my eyes out. So I have to give it five stars.

Topher, Steve and Brand are sixth graders. They're the target of bullies, but they're also resilient and fun dudes. Topher is an artist with a wild imagination. Steve is a little like Spock, super logical and intelligent. Brand thinks there's nothing special about him, but the fact that his dad is disabled means Brand has taken on a lot of adult responsibilities, making him especially determined and capable.

These three friend
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, the beginning is trite. And the whole concept panders to those who consider themselves 'good teachers' and will buy the book for their kids. And there's plenty of discussion themes, and bibliotherapy tags. Also it's full of stuff that will alert those who want to keep interesting books away from kids, so it will get on Banned Books lists, giving it more notice and cachet. So, cynical me says it's overrated.

But. It's engaging, and original, and gets better and better until the end at which
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Told from three points of view, we meet Topher, Brand, and Steve.

And these friends' teacher, Ms Bixby, is one of the good ones. She's a teacher that has made a huge impact on their lives. She's one of the ones that will be remembered, that has shaped their lives for the better. And she's sick. And she skipped out on the last few days of school before she started her treatment. And these guys are not going to end the year without telling her goodbye. Without giving her a day to remember. As they
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A special teacher (Ms. Bixby) catches the imaginations of three entirely different sixth grade boys--Topher, Brand, and Steve--by extending kindness and understanding to each one of them. They form a friendship with each other. When they discover that Ms. Bixby is unwell they do everything in their power to offer her a special and unforgettable day. In order to create the day, it meant that they had paid special attention during a certain writing prompt in class. The book is split into chapters ...more
Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow. This book was amazing, A-MA-ZING. I actually found out about this book through Audible and I read it, and I loved it.

Yes, I cried.

Sue me.

UPDATE: I'm currently listening to the audiobook and it's everything I'd hoped it be.

Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a perfect book! It was well-written, funny, and deeply moving. I would recommend it to all middle grade readers. Even readers who don't like serious or sad books might enjoy this one. ...more
Susan Crowe
This was such a good book. Beware, may cause major sobbing towards the end.
Ms. B
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Three boys, one epic adventure to visit their beloved 6th grader teacher who has been diagnosed with ductal adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that attacks the pancreas. Can they skip school and give Ms Bixby the last day that she's hoped for without being caught?
Inspiring and sad (as you would expect with any book dealing with cancer), I loved all the characters telling the story of the epic day.
Alyssa Calhoun
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This is one that I know I'm supposed to like because of all it's rave reviews, but I just didn't really care for it much. The voices weren't different enough to differentiate which was which, and I got confused about the characters. My biggest struggle is that I think this is a book that adults will love but that kids probably won't. ...more
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-caudills
Thanks goodness I read this book. I cry way too easily when I read books like this, and now my cheeks are wet and I want cheesecake and french fries.

My favorite character was definitely Brand. I loved the way he had a super close relationship with Ms. Bixby. I’m also happy that his dad had the courage to get up and drive. Bottom line is, I loved this book.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is as close to perfect as anything I've read in awhile. The character's narratives are as if they are speaking right into your ear. The book's voice is clear and charming. I will recommend this to all! I loved it so much. ...more
Gretchen Taylor
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
One of the BEST MG novels I've read in a long time. ...more
Clare Lund
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very sweet story about three middle school students who are on a mission to make their dying teacher's last day memorable. ...more
Lauren Waters
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the good ones!

I have to admit. I was slightly terrified to start this novel. The title alone can be interpreted as something to spark tears, but I fell in love with the heartfelt humor of Ms. Bixby's Last Day after reading the first few pages. Topher, Steve and Brand are characters you want to get to know and root for during their entire adventure, and Ms. Bixby inspires kindness. I recommend this book to students, teachers and parents.
Scott Fillner
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
John David Anderson's writing brings about strong voice and emotion throughout the entire text in such a humorous, humorous, engaging tact.

As a teacher of fourth grade, I loved reading this and was thinking a lot about how it would engage our students.
Christopher Hicks
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an absolutely fantastic book. It's a story of friendship, love and loss and the journey of life we're all on. It's not about the first day or the last day but all the days in between. This is technically a children's book but people of all ages should read it. ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book took a while to get into, but it does get really good. The three boys go a ton of places just to go visit their teacher and make her day better. This book is really good and I would recommend it to people in 6th grade and above.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Made me cry in the best way.
Aryana Parmar
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-caudills
This was a really good, sad, heartbreaking, sad, sad story, and I loved it so much. Everyone needs to read it!
I think the main theme of this book is love. I think it is love because the kids really show how love can be for teachers, friends and not just your family. In the start, the three kids categorize teachers into groups. The bad ones, the strict ones, and the nice ones. And Ms. Bixby, their favorite teacher falls into the nice one's category. But suddenly, she gets really sick and has to go to the hospital for the rest of the year. So the three boys made a plan to show their love to their teacher. ...more
Emma S.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book so much. It told me about that there is always someone to talk to in a emergency or if you just need to talk to someone. It also tells the reader that if you are also treated with kindness make sure that you treat people with kindness.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John David Anderson once hit himself so hard on a dare by his sister that he literally knocked himself out of a chair and nearly blacked out. He has since translated this passion and singularity of purpose to the related arts of novel writing and pizza eating. The author of STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR, SIDEKICKED, MI

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