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About Average

About Average

Illustrated by: Mark Elliott
For Ages: 8 - 12
  • reading group guide
  • 1award
Can average be amazing? A girl challenges herself to become extraordinary in the latest from bestselling author Andrew Clements.

Jordan Johnston is average. Not short, not tall. Not plump, not slim. Not blond, not brunette. Not gifted, not flunking out. Even her shoe size is average. She’s ordinary for her school, for her town, for even the whole wide world, it seems.
     But everyone else? They’re remarkable. She sees evidence everywhere—on TV, in  magazines, and even in her classroom. Tremendously talented. Stunningly beautiful. Wildly gifted. And some of them are practically her age!
     Jordan feels doomed to a life of wallowing in the vast, soggy middle. So she makes a goal: By the end of the year, she will discover her great talent. By the end of the year, she will no longer be average. She will find a way to become extraordinary, and everyone will know about it!
     Well known for his expert ability to relate to kids in a school setting, bestselling author Andrew Clements presents a compelling story of the greatest achievement possible—personal acceptance.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 128 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416997245 | 
  • July 2012 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile 860L
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Writer Andrew Clements: Revealed

Author Andrew Clements finds inspiration in Benjamin Franklin's contributions to American history.

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for

About Average

By Andrew Clements

About the Book

Jordan Johnston wishes she were extraordinarily popular, pretty, athletic, musical, intelligent . . . something! She dreams about escaping her average existence but what she can’t figure out is exactly how. Then nature intervenes and Jordan discovers something way above average about herself that may have been there all along.

Discussion Topics

1. From the start of the novel, it is clear that Jordan is frustrated by her lack of special talents. Reread the first ten pages of the novel and then list at least four things at which Jordan appears to have skill. Can you think of a word or phrase to describe the types of aptitudes Jordan possesses? What kind of “above average” abilities does she want?

2. What does Marlea Harkins do that upsets Jordan? What options does Jordan consider to retaliate against Marlea? Do you agree with her thought process? What advice would you give to Jordan at the end of Chapter Four?

3. At the end of Chapter Six, Jordan observes that: “Numbers were so clean and simple. No words, no feelings, no mind tricks. Numbers were like a hiding place, a quiet corner of the world.” Do you feel this way about numbers or can you understand what Jordan means? Is there another school subject or activity that brings you comfort? Explain your answer. see more

More Books from this Author

About the Author

Andrew Clements
Photo Credit:

Andrew Clements

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, andmore. 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.

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