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, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won't predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava's confidence grows with each answer. But it's getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava's family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers...
About the Author
Kate Messner is the author of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. She teaches junior high in New York, where she lives with her husband and two children.
“Messner (Manhunt) has created a relatable, sympathetic character in anxious Ava, and her story is at its best when Ava's life remains centered around the norms of her school, friends, and multigenerational family.” —Publishers Weekly
“The lesson here--not only about the values of not knowing, but about managing oneself in the face of uncertainty--will resonate and, hopefully, inspire.” —BCCB
“Messner captures the anxieties of middle school girls. . . Would work well to spark discussions about problems that may plague middle school students.” —Library Media Connection
“Ava is a sympathetic and well-rounded character, and the relationship, conflicts included, between her and the more outgoing Sophie rings true. The writing is smooth and the dialogue believable. Firmly planted in realistic fiction with a single fantastical element, this story will appeal to Wendy Mass fans as well as those who love Messner's previous novels.” —School Library Journal
“It's no surprise that Kate Messner's magic pen could write a charming, moving, funny, and ultimately very surprising story about a magic pencil!” —Wendy Mass, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of 11 BIRTHDAYS
“Combines a fascinating concept with page-turning suspense. A wild roller-coaster ride.” —Margaret Peterson Haddix on WAKE UP MISSING
“Loved it! Mystery, intrigue, danger, and creepy futuristic science set in today's world? Yes, please!” —Lisa McMann, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of WAKE and THE UNWANTEDS on WAKE UP MISSING
“Laced with humor and heart . . . an insightful and affecting read.” —Booklist on THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z