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Extra Credit

(Junior Library Guild Selection )

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  8,316 ratings  ·  551 reviews
It isn’t that Abby Carson can’t do her schoolwork. She just doesn’t like doing it. And in February a warning letter arrives at her home. Abby will have to repeat sixth grade—unless she meets some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project to find a pen pal in a distant country. Seems simple enough. But when Abby’s first letter arrives at a small schoo ...more
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published June 1st 2009)
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Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always liked Clements' books, but was really impressed with this one. Some things I liked about it:
1)It effectively portrays a student who doesn't really care to do her work; it's not that she can't, she just doesn't want to. I think I have many students who could relate to this. I expected the stereotypical "never really learned how to read", but that wasn't it.
2) There are caring parents and teachers. (Sure, the dad is a bit gruff at times, but that's probably realistic.)
3) Kids can learn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garrin Reiter
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was fun and exciting. It was sad and got weird at some moments but overall it was a good book
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well-done. Highly recommended, especially to the target audience of 3rd - 6th grade children, especially to female reluctant readers grade 5 or 6. Because that's Abby. And she's easy to empathize/ identify with, and a good role model, too. Maybe a little too earnest for the full five stars, but a wonderful story nonetheless.

Very mild spoiler:

(view spoiler)
Libby May
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Kids weren't very well behaved, had a bad attitude. Beside that, I liked the political look it gave.
Abby Johnson
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
When Abby Carson learns she's in danger of failing the sixth grade, her teacher assigns her an extra credit assignment to help with her social studies grade. Abby will write to a pen pal in Afghanistan and then present a report to the class. When Sadeed writes back to her, Abby learns that although they are different, they are also the same, and she begins to see her life in America through new eyes.

Andrew Clements is a master of realistic fiction for middle graders. Abby and Sadeed came to lif
Arica Lingerfelt
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
My 8 year old recommended this book to me since she really loves books by Andrew Clements. This was a sweet book about understanding others and their culture as well as friendship. I think this book was written in a way that kids can relate to and is interesting for them to read.
Maximilian Lee
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was BORING because it didn't have any adventure or excitement in it and those are my favorite things in books. A basic summary of the book is that Abby is a 6th grader who goes to school in Illinois. She was failing 6th grade so she might have to repeat it next year, so if she doesn't want to repeat 6th grade next year she has to do EXTRA CREDIT. The extra credit is that Abby has to be a pen pal with someone in Afghanistan. In the end she does pretty well on the tests but I d ...more
This started out slow for me and I wasn't sure about it. Then something happened and it became a fantastic story. This is about Pen Pals between Abby in Illinois and Sadeed in Afganistan. It does a great job of showing difference between the two cultures and all the privileges Americans have. The story was so well done. Andrew Clements can be counted on for a fantastic story. I've never been let down. It also reminds me of my youth and the pen pals I had. I think that is such a great experience.
Nancy Kotkin
In order to graduate sixth grade and move on to junior high school, an under-achieving student must take on an extra-credit assignment of a foreign pen-pal. Both she and her Afghani counterpart grow and change in unexpected ways throughout their correspondence with one another. Manages to be realistic without being too scary or gruesome for middle school readers. Kid-centric and nuanced, this is definitely Andrew Clements at his finest.
When Abby learns she may need to repeat sixth grade she vows to do anything to prevent this from happening. Her teacher offers her an extra credit opportunity: start a penpal correspondence with a kid in another country. Abby writes to a school in Afghanistan and Sadeed Bayat responds, except it's supposed to be his sister who does. The letters allow Abby and Sadeed to learn more about each other and discover that although they live very different lives, they actually have much in common. This i ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book begins with the opposite premise from "The Report Card" by the same author. Whereas The Report Card is all about questioning the hyperfocus on grades and the effectiveness of memorization testing, Extra Credit takes this all as the status quo and does not question it. The main character is failing 6th grade and under threat of being held back, takes on an extra credit assignment becoming a penpal with someone in Afghanistan. As with several of the author's books, the story touches on s ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very unique, creative, thoughtful, and timely book dealing with realistic fiction in the authentic and powerfully meaningful ways Andrew Clements is so well known for. Firstly, his approach toward helping students grasp the seriousness of slacking off on their academic responsibilities - putting their promotion onto the next grade in serious jeopardy - was wonderful. I've never heard of an author seriously broaching this topic and showing failing students the steps they can take to turn their ...more
Rachel Aranda
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet and endearing middle schooler book. I like how both Abby and Sadeed changed a little throughout the story. One issue I have with books is how characters change drastically from who they are with hardly any effort. Nothing and nobody changes without any effort or reason. Amira and Mariah act as constants for both Sadeed and Abby so readers notice the change. I also liked how Mr. Clements showed a realistic way that children see ether world at a young age (in this case 10 and ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
This was the 10th book by Clements that I have read over the last few months. Most of his books have a lesson but this one dealing with hostilities between the US and Afghanistan as experienced by students in both countries pushes the boundary for Clements. It is an interesting read but not one of my favorites by Clements.

This is primarily a story about pen pals, Abby Carson and Sadeed Bayat. Abby is in desperate need of a pen pal because she is about to repeat her grade and an Extra Credit pro
Plot: Abby Carson is in danger of being held back in the 6th grade. As part of an extra credit assignment she writes to a pen pal in Afghanistan. Amira is the girl who receives Abby's letters, but it's her brother who handles writing back even though it's not considered proper by the men of the village for a boy to write to a girl. Abby's growing friendship with Amira and her brother Sadeed must come to a quick end when it becomes unsafe for the village to receive letters from America.

Why I pick
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Abby Carson hasn't done well in school and might have to repeat sixth grade is she doesn't bring up her grades and do an extra credit project. The project is a penpal exchange with a student in Afghanistan.
She writes and gets a letter in return. It is supposedly from a girl, but in fact she's helped by her able brother who is two years older and the best student in the school. He couldn't write directly because the culture deems an exchange between 12-year-olds of the oppposite sex inappropriat
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Abby Carson has perfected the art of homework avoidance. It's not that she can't do it, she just finds other things more enticing. She discovers to her shock, however, that unless she can make up some of the missing work, she will be held back a year. Abby finds herself working on a project involving a pen pal from Afghanistan.

Sadeed loves his schoolwork and is the best student in his class, but he cannot correspond with Abby directly, because she is a girl. His younger sister is given the task
jessica wilson
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have to say I am quite fond of Andrew Clements. I have yet to read one of his books that I didn't like. This one was just as delightful as the rest. Maybe I best relate to the twelve year olds of his world?

Last night I began reading and as I crawled into bed to finish up the chapter I was on I found myself turning page after page until I was done. Finished! I finished the whole book in one reading. I know it is a kids book and all but the story was sweet, and telling. Andrew Clements has a way
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'd really like to give this 3 1/2 stars, but I can't do the half star. This story is about a penpal project between an American girl and a boy in Afghanistan, who has to let his little sister appear to write the letters for the sake of propriety. It was an interesting look at two very different cultures, and showed how both children had misconceptions about each other's country. Through their contact, Abby learns to appreciate her country more, and Sadeed learns that the Americans fighting in h ...more
Felix Raeber
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is really good book for me because it has a lot of good things in it like expressions, emotion and enthusiasm. I like how it is a girl and a boy who talk to each other from far away.From Afghanistan to the United States of America. They communicate by writing letters to each other from Afghanistan to USA.

I recommend this book to people that like adventure books. They would write letters every day to each other. It is hard for the boy in Afghanistan to write in English so he figures it
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This book wasn't really my favorite book but I'd still recommend my friends to read it. It is about this girl named Abby. Instead of doing her homework, she likes to do outdoor activities like rock climbing. She then starts to fall behind in her classwork/homework in school and has a consequence of failing the 6th grade. In order for her to pass, her teachers make her do an extra credit. Now, Abby is doing her best to pass.
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-caudill
A disappointing outing by Clements, who is usually so dependable at writing stories kids will read and like. This overly simplistic story of an American girl who must write to an Afghan pen pal to earn enough extra credit to be promoted to 7th grade feels forced, flat, and rushed. Kids deserve a more thoughtful look at the conflict in Afghanistan and the feelings of resentment and misunderstanding on both sides than Clements provides here.
Selena Dahabreh
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
_Extra Credit_ was a really good book. I enjoyed reading about how to young children from two totally different countries managed to create a friendship, despite their countries not being on good terms. I also found it amazing how the young girl was able to bring her grades up with little time left in the school year. One of my favorite books for sure!
Darlene Foster
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good book for tweens that shows the differences in cultures while also demonstrating the similarities in children around the world. There are some relevant details and likeable characters with out being stereotypical. A good book for a school library.
Bibi Larson
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great little book about getting to know another culture.
Apr 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-great
wasen't the best. the book trailer looked much more exciting.
Charity Parrinello
Extra Credit is about a sixth grade girl who is given the option of receiving extra credit by writing to an overseas pen pal in a small Afghanistan village. Since she needs all the help she can get in order to go into seventh grade. There were a few main characters in the story. The most important one is Abby Carson, she is a sixth grader who was assigned an extra credit assignment. Then there was her pen pal Sadeed Bayat and his sister Amira Bayat. Next was Abby’s teacher Mrs. Beckland and Sade ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Book 10/15 for 2017-2018 EBoB: I am typically a fan of Andrew Clements, but many aspects of this book fell flat for me. I most enjoyed the chapters of the book that followed Sadeed's story rather than Abby's. It is clear that Clements did his research to make sure Sadeed's story was believable - from the landscape to the schooling to Sadeed's life at home. This is the main reason I gave the book two stars. However, I did not at all believe Abby's story. I work in an elementary school, and I find ...more
Suzanna Hollinsaid
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdng-350, rdng-413
This book described the lives of two sixth graders. Abby is a struggling sixth grader in Illinois. If she doesn't improve her grades in the last half of second grade, she won't move onto junior high school. Along with getting better grades, Abby has to do an extra credit assignment. This assignment turns out to be a quite different than she was expecting. Abby's assignment is to write letters to another student in Afghanistan. Sadeed is one of the brightest students in his village, so when a let ...more
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afganistan 6 28 Mar 28, 2012 07:13AM  
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I was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1949 and lived in Oaklyn and Cherry Hill until the middle of sixth grade. Then we moved to Springfield, Illinois. My parents were avid readers and they gave that love of books and reading to me and to all my brothers and sisters. I didn’t think about being a writer at all back then, but I did love to read. I'm certain there's a link between reading good books an ...more

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