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These are Phineas L. MacGuire's (a.k.a. Mac) goals for 4th grade:

1. To be the best fourth grade scientist ever.
2. To be the best fourth grade scientist ever.
3. To be the best fourth grade scientist ever.

It's a tall order, but he's confident that he can achieve his goal, especially since Aretha has asked him to help her earn a Girl Scout badge by creating the mold that produces penicillin. After all, who knows more about mold than Mac? And how many fourth graders can say that they've reproduced penicillin? None, as far as Mac knows. But the school year gets a lot busier when he has to manage Ben's class president campaign and deal with his new babysitter, Sarah Fortemeyer, the Teenage Girl Space Alien from the Planet Pink. How is he supposed to focus on mold now?

Photograph (c) Clifton Dowell

Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Dovey Coe, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; Where I’d Like to BeThe Secret Language of Girls and its sequels The Kind of Friends We Used to Be and The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far AwayChicken BoyShooting the Moon, which was awarded the Christopher Award; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; Falling InThe Second Life of Abigail Walker, which received three starred reviews; Anybody Shining; Ten Miles Past NormalTrouble the Water; the Sam the Man series; The ClassHow to Build a Story; and, most recently, Hazard. She lives with her family in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at FrancesDowell.com.

Preston McDaniels is the illustrator of the Phineas L. MacGuire series and Cynthia Rylant’s Lighthouse Family series. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska, with his wife and two daughters.

More books from this author: Frances O'Roark Dowell

More books from this illustrator: Preston McDaniels

More books in this series: From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire