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The Talent Show



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About The Book

When their town gets destroyed by a tornado, everyone is pretty depressed. So in order to cheer everyone up and raise some money, the community decides to put on a talent show. Unfortunately, no one in town is particularly talented. But that doesn’t stop everyone from giving it their all! Especially the one star in town. She just might have what it takes—if she can get to the show on time. When another tornado hits, the kids make every effort to put the show on, but there may be more surprises in store!

Dan Gutman delivers another hilarious tale about school adventures!


When the Tornado Hit …

  • Paul Crichton, a fifth grader at Cape Bluff Elementary School in Cape Bluff, Kansas, was alone in his basement with his Fender Stratocaster guitar, trying to master the intro to “Stairway to Heaven.”

  • Julia Maguire, a Cape Bluff fourth grader, was on pointe at The Fontaneau Ballet Studio, rehearsing her relevés and tour jetés for the grand allegro in Giselle.

  • Elke Villa, a sixth grader, was in the shower, belting out “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 disco anthem, into a loofah that she was pretending was a microphone.

  • Richard Ackoon, a third-grade aspiring rap star, was sitting on his back porch, paging through his rhyming dictionary, and trying to find a word that rhymed with “humiliate.” He looked up and saw his father in the distance, working in the fields on his small farm.

  • Don Potash, sixth grader, was listening through headphones while watching a stand-up comedy DVD, Jerry Seinfeld: I’m Telling You for the Last Time.

  • Lucille Rettino, the fifty-five-year-old mayor of Cape Bluff, was being photographed with the members of the Cape Bluff Garden Club at their annual fund-raiser.

  • Jon Anderson, the principal of Cape Bluff Elementary School, was at a desk in his office doing paperwork and sipping coffee.

  • Justin Chanda, a multimillion-selling pop star who grew up in Cape Bluff, was a thousand miles away at a recording studio in Los Angeles, overdubbing vocals for his next album, Back to Kansas.

  • “Honest Dave” Gale was on the lot of his car dealership, Honest Dave’s Hummer Heaven, trying to talk a reluctant customer into buying a Hummer H3T pickup.

  • Mary Marotta, a stay-at-home mom and proud member of the PTA, was watching Oprah while making peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff sandwiches for her two young children, who had just come home from school.

But everybody in Cape Bluff, Kansas, stopped what they were doing when the tornado alarm sounded.

© 2010 Dan Gutman

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Dan Gutman hated to read when he was a kid. Then he grew up. Now he writes cool books like The Kid Who Ran for President; Honus & Me; The Million Dollar Shot; Race for the Sky; and The Edison Mystery: Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time. If you want to learn more about Dan or his books, stop by his website at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 18, 2010)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416990031
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12
  • Lexile ® 800 The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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