Room One: A Mystery or Two

Room One: A Mystery or Two

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Overview

Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town.

But the mystery that has Ted's full attention at the moment is about that face, the face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons' house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least it's supposed to be.

A shrinking school in a dying town. A face in the window of an empty house. At first these facts don't seem to be related. But Ted Hammond learns that in a very small town, there's no such thing as an isolated event. And the solution of one mystery is often the beginning of another.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689866876
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/20/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 170,381
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.52(d)
Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.

Mark Elliott has a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has illustrated a number of book covers, and his work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Guild. Mark lives on a sheep farm in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

Read an Excerpt

Room One

A Mystery or Two
By Andrew Clements

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Copyright © 2006 Andrew Clements
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0689866860

Chapter One

May

Ted Hammond huffed and puffed as he pedaled up the small hill on the road back into town. Every morning he rode his bike to the junction of Route 92 and County Road 7 and picked up a bundle of the Omaha World-Tribune. And between seven thirty and eight thirty, rain or shine, summer or winter, Ted delivered the news.

The newspapers in his canvas shoulder bag felt like they weighed a hundred pounds. That's because it was Tuesday, and that meant he had an extra bundle of the county paper, the Weekly Observer. But at least there wasn't any snow or rain or hot dust blowing into his face.

May was Ted's favorite month for bike riding. Not too hot, not too cold. He loved October, too. But with May, summer wasn't far off, and summer meant no school. So May was the best.

It wasn't like Ted made a lot of money delivering papers, but in Plattsford, Nebraska, any job was a great job. Even during its high point in the 1920s, Plattsford had been a small town, not much more than a speck on the Great Plains of west central Nebraska. And for years and years the population had been shrinking.

But that didn't bother Ted. He liked the leftovers, the people who were stillaround. And when the Otis family had moved away? Didn't bother Ted a bit. He had delivered papers to them for two and a half years, and they'd never given him a tip, not even a dime -- not even at Christmas. Plus Albert Otis had been a dirty rotten bully. Good riddance.

Ted could ride up and down the streets and know who lived in every house -- well, nearly. He didn't personally know all 108 people who lived in Plattsford, because the whole township covered thirty-six square miles. But the in-town part, the part where he had most of his paper route, that was only about forty houses, and he'd knocked on almost every door looking for new subscriptions or collecting money from his customers. His last stop every day was Clara's Diner, right on Main Street, and a homemade doughnut and a glass of milk was always waiting for him on the end of the counter.

With a last burst of effort, Ted got his bike over the crest of the hill, and then he was coasting down the other side, the early sun bright on his face. Bluebirds singing along the fence row, the waving grass beginning to green up, the faded red paint on the Andersons' barn -- Ted pulled it all into his eyes and ears, and then into his heart. He loved this place, his own peaceful corner of the world.

And when Ted happened to see a face in an upstairs window of the Andersons' house, he wanted to smile and wave and shout, "Hey! Beautiful day, huh?" But he didn't. And there was a good reason for that. The Andersons had moved away almost two years ago, and the old farmhouse was empty, boarded up tight.

At least, it was supposed to be.

Text copyright 2006 by Andrew Clements



Continues...


Excerpted from Room One by Andrew Clements Copyright © 2006 by Andrew Clements. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Topics
What do the opening pages of the novel tell readers about Ted's daily routine, his town, and his feelings about both? What is different about the morning on which the story begins?
Describe the Red Prairie Learning Center. How is it similar to, or different from, your school? Would you like to go to school in Plattsford? Why or why not?
How does Ted's love of mysteries affect his investigation of the face in the farmhouse window? Was he correct in going to the farmhouse alone?
How have April and her family come to be hiding in the farmhouse? Do you think April is making a good choice to hide there? Explain your answer.
How does being a Boy Scout affect Ted's actions? Given the situation, can Ted act honestly toward everyone — April, his family, Ruby Cantrell at the E&A Market, Mrs. Mitchell — at the same time? Have you ever found that keeping a secret for one person required you to behave dishonestly toward another? How did this make you feel? How did you solve your dilemma?
How has Mrs. Mitchell made her small schoolhouse situation work? What are he concerns for the Red Prairie Learning Center's future? How does Mrs. Mitchell's home life affect her concerns? Compare Mrs. Mitchell's situation to Mr. Hammond's outlook for his farm. What similarities or differences do you note?
Why does Ted tell his secret to Mrs. Mitchell? How does she feel about keeping Ted's confidence? What does she do? How does Ted feel about her actions?
What happens when Ted discovers April's family gone from the Anderson farmhouse? What was Deputy Linwood really investigating? What does this confusion suggest about keeping secrets? Where does Ted find April?
What does Ted decide is the best way to help April and her family? To whom does he reach out for help? What effects do his actions have upon his town?
Is Ted ultimately able to help April? How do the efforts of his town ultimately help others? How does this, in turn, help Plattsford?
Describe ways in which your school, religious, or civic groups reach out to others. Have you ever participated in such efforts? How did this make you feel? Why is it important for communities to offer help to those in need?
Imagine you are Ted as a senior in high school. Looking back, how might you describe your Room One mystery experience? What is the most important thing you learned?
Activities and Research
Write a letter to Ted recommending a mystery novel. Explain why you think he will enjoy the book and whether or not you think he can solve the case before the final page. If desired, share your recommendation with friends or classmates.
Create a class survey about jobs. How many students have jobs? Do students plan to get jobs and at what age? What jobs would they like to try? How many students have daily chores at home? How many receive allowances? Compile the results of your survey into a short report, including graphs or tables.
On a two-columned chart, compare Ted's school to your own. Consider the building, class size, daily routines and other observations. In small groups, research different ways kids are educated, from public schools to homeschooling. Use your research for a classroom debate on the best types of learning settings.
In the character of April, write a series of journal entries describing: how you feel when you spot Ted through the window; why you decide to tell Ted your story; your feelings about losing your dad in the war; your concerns about your mother; your feelings just before leaving Plattsford.
In the character of Mrs. Mitchell, list the pros and cons of keeping Ted's secret. Discuss your list with friends or classmates. Vote to see whether most kids agree or disagree with Mrs. Mitchell's actions. Ask students to explain their votes.
Go online to learn more about the Boy Scouts (www.scouting.org) and/or Girl Scouts (www.girlscouts.org). Then write a short essay describing scouting values and conduct codes, or about other groups or organizations to which you belong that have a strong impact on your behavior.
With friends or classmates, role-play one of the following conversations from the novel: Ted telling April about his plan to help her family; Mrs. Mitchell asking Superintendant Seward not to close Red Prairie Learning Center; Plattsford residents telling television reporters about trying to help April and her family.
Create an imaginary blog for Red Prairie Learning Center. What would you call your blog? Write a series of postings in the character of Ted, Mrs. Mitchell, and other students in the classroom. What links might the group suggest offering? How might Ted's encounter with April affect the content of the blog?

Introduction

Discussion Topics

What do the opening pages of the novel tell readers about Ted's daily routine, his town, and his feelings about both? What is different about the morning on which the story begins?

Describe the Red Prairie Learning Center. How is it similar to, or different from, your school? Would you like to go to school in Plattsford? Why or why not?

How does Ted's love of mysteries affect his investigation of the face in the farmhouse window? Was he correct in going to the farmhouse alone?

How have April and her family come to be hiding in the farmhouse? Do you think April is making a good choice to hide there? Explain your answer.

How does being a Boy Scout affect Ted's actions? Given the situation, can Ted act honestly toward everyone — April, his family, Ruby Cantrell at the E&A Market, Mrs. Mitchell — at the same time? Have you ever found that keeping a secret for one person required you to behave dishonestly toward another? How did this make you feel? How did you solve your dilemma?

How has Mrs. Mitchell made her small schoolhouse situation work? What are he concerns for the Red Prairie Learning Center's future? How does Mrs. Mitchell's home life affect her concerns? Compare Mrs. Mitchell's situation to Mr. Hammond's outlook for his farm. What similarities or differences do you note?

Why does Ted tell his secret to Mrs. Mitchell? How does she feel about keeping Ted's confidence? What does she do? How does Ted feel about her actions?

What happens when Ted discovers April's family gone from the Anderson farmhouse? What was Deputy Linwood really investigating? What does this confusion suggest about keeping secrets? Where does Ted findApril?

What does Ted decide is the best way to help April and her family? To whom does he reach out for help? What effects do his actions have upon his town?

Is Ted ultimately able to help April? How do the efforts of his town ultimately help others? How does this, in turn, help Plattsford?

Describe ways in which your school, religious, or civic groups reach out to others. Have you ever participated in such efforts? How did this make you feel? Why is it important for communities to offer help to those in need?

Imagine you are Ted as a senior in high school. Looking back, how might you describe your Room One mystery experience? What is the most important thing you learned?

Activities and Research

Write a letter to Ted recommending a mystery novel. Explain why you think he will enjoy the book and whether or not you think he can solve the case before the final page. If desired, share your recommendation with friends or classmates.

Create a class survey about jobs. How many students have jobs? Do students plan to get jobs and at what age? What jobs would they like to try? How many students have daily chores at home? How many receive allowances? Compile the results of your survey into a short report, including graphs or tables.

On a two-columned chart, compare Ted's school to your own. Consider the building, class size, daily routines and other observations. In small groups, research different ways kids are educated, from public schools to homeschooling. Use your research for a classroom debate on the best types of learning settings.

In the character of April, write a series of journal entries describing: how you feel when you spot Ted through the window; why you decide to tell Ted your story; your feelings about losing your dad in the war; your concerns about your mother; your feelings just before leaving Plattsford.

In the character of Mrs. Mitchell, list the pros and cons of keeping Ted's secret. Discuss your list with friends or classmates. Vote to see whether most kids agree or disagree with Mrs. Mitchell's actions. Ask students to explain their votes.

Go online to learn more about the Boy Scouts (www.scouting.org) and/or Girl Scouts (www.girlscouts.org). Then write a short essay describing scouting values and conduct codes, or about other groups or organizations to which you belong that have a strong impact on your behavior.

With friends or classmates, role-play one of the following conversations from the novel: Ted telling April about his plan to help her family; Mrs. Mitchell asking Superintendant Seward not to close Red Prairie Learning Center; Plattsford residents telling television reporters about trying to help April and her family.

Create an imaginary blog for Red Prairie Learning Center. What would you call your blog? Write a series of postings in the character of Ted, Mrs. Mitchell, and other students in the classroom. What links might the group suggest offering? How might Ted's encounter with April affect the content of the blog?

Customer Reviews

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Room One 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Room One is an incredible book created by Andrew Clements and he is a great writer with excellent description. The main characters in this book are mostly just Ted and he is a young boy who delivers papers in the morning. He is a very diligent student who is in third grade. He listens to what people say and you don't have to say it more than once. There is a young boy named Ted who delivers papers and love mysteries. So, one day he was delivering papers and saw a young girl face in the old abandoned house window. Therefore he decides to stop and go see and doesn't find any body. Now everyday he leaves a few cans of food right inside and of course eats the food. Happily they became really good friends and then one day she is not there and everybody figures it out. The novel's setting was past and it theme is a mystery. I liked this story because I love freaky mysteries. I connected to the book very good. But I suggest that if you are going to you should be at least in third grade depending on your reading level and I loved this book!
LukerML More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome, it was thrilling and suspenseful. I would recommend this book to any fifth grader!
Room-106-Super-Readers More than 1 year ago
I really liked it! It is a great mystery to read on rainy days. My favorite part of the book was when Andrew Clements was explaining the one room school house and the Kids and teacher. This book is not boring it is very exciting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My nephew really likes the author, Andrew Clements, and he likes mysteries so I thought it would be a winner. For the first half of the book my 9 yr old nephew kept saying it was boring, but that he was going to stick with it. About 2/3 of the way through he started to get more interested in the story, and ended up liking the book. Still it was not one of his favorites, and I doubt he would recommend it. He really enjoyed Clement's "No Talking".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much!!If you love mysteries then this book is great for you!It's about a boy who meets a family who is in need of a home.It's a really great book and once you read it you'll know what I mean!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Room one is about a family that lives in an abandoned house. The house is located in a small town in nebreska called Plattsford. The family consists of a mother and her son and daughter. The mom's name is Alexa Thayer the son's name is Artie, and the daughter's name is April. The Thayer family is hiding in the house because they are on the run from the mom's ex-boyfriend. The family has gone through some tough times after the childrens father died in Iraq. So they are hiding in the house until the rest of their family comes to get them to bring them to Colorado. In Nebraska they meet a boy named Ted Hammond. So Ted starts to help april and her family surive by bringing the family what they needed. But Ted can't keep bringing them what they need. So Ted set up a plan to help april and her family and he hopes it will work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great story for when you are just learning to read, it has mystery and suspense this book will  bring you to the edge of your seat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it. Was it the best Andrew Clements book? No. Is it still a good book? Yes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great! It involves things that actually happen in reality. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
andrew clements is one of my favorite authors and this book topped it all off starting from the beginning to the end it was just so interesting i didn't want to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do you like mystery books? Lf you do, then you should read Room One by Andrew Clements. It is one of the best mystery boos I have read. This book is about a boy named Ted Hammond who is a newspaper delivery boy for a small town. On day he found a girls face in a girl's face in a deserted house. He had never seen this face before and is now on a mission of finding out who that face is and what she is doing in a deserted house.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is pretty interesting, but I prefer more of Andrew Clements other books, such as ' Report Card. ' There is no mystery in it, except one for the main protagonist. I wouldn't recommend it for children lower than the fourth grade, because the story gets complicated and confusing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome.It's very interesting.It a great mystery book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was surprized that this is one of the best childrens books i have ever read i was a very exciting book .
Guest More than 1 year ago
It all started out when Ted was delivering newspapers. He saw a girl in an abandond house. The next day he went out and looked in the house.T he girl asked him what he was doing there. The girl's name was April. She moved there because her dad died in Iraq. A man that her dad knew was trying to find the family. In the end Ted threw a party that the whole town came to his house. They ended up going to their aunt's house. I loved this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this Simon and Schuster product would definitely be a candidate. We bought this recording for light entertainment on a trip (through small town America which we love as much as anyone). The plot was slow. The main character, who the narrator repeatedly calls 'smart' fancies himself a detective and seems pretty slow himself. We were just wondering what point of the entire thing was, when it became obvious: this is pro-war propaganda aimed at children. Not only is it aimed at children, it particularly targets less intelligent children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book by Andrew Clements. You don't have to like mysteries to like this book. It's more adventure than mystery. It makes you keep on wanting to read until you've finished.
johnlobe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clements manages to capture the difficulties of living in a shrinking town and also the big-heartedness of a rural Nebraskan community. In Room One, the young protagonist, Ted Hammond, must work through some deep issues related to responsibility and trust. These elements are effectively woven together with a mystery to solve and the challenge of attending a small school. The audio version is well produced and the reader (Keith Nobbs) has a natural style that is easy to listen to for the 3 hour story.
bibliophile26 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gah! Now this is mundane kiddie lit. Ted is the only 6th grade boy in his school and he loves mysteries. A real-life mystery unfolds when he finds a family living in an abandoned farmhouse. Ted is a likeable character, but the plot pretty much sucks and the ending was very unsatisfying. I read this to prepare for next year's Battle of the Books competition.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Growing up in a very small town in Nebraska, sixth-grader Ted Hammond loves to read mysteries but rarely finds a big one in a real life. That is, until one day he sees a face in the upper window of an abandoned farmhouse as he is delivering newspapers. Soon, Ted finds himself becoming a helper to a family on the run. The mystery in this book is fairly light and not terribly suspenseful, but in some ways the book functions as a meta-mystery. Ted thinks through the mysteries he¿s read and the steps detectives take, and he mimics them with the mystery he has on his hands. Ted has all the components of the ideal all-American boy ¿ he¿s a paperboy, a Boy Scout, and a good student; he is honest, cheerfully does chores, likes to read instead of watch TV in his spare time, and is compassionate. Parents will enjoy this book because Ted is such a good role model, and the heartwarming ending should appeal to just about everyone (even if it is just a bit sappy).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mystery!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book one of his best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great book and when i am bored this is exactly what i take out to read