8/8/13 ** I have to say that when I first unpacked this book from the collection of trade books included with our new basal series, I didn't have much hope. The production of the book for the basal company didn't improve things. The back doesn't have any of the normal info readers use to decide whether a book is "their kind of book;" the spine doesn't even have the title of the book!
However, I read a page or two and decided the book might have merit. I did the next thing I sometimes do when beginning a new book - checked Amazon and GoodReads for others' ratings and reviews.
I then decided the book was worth reading myself, but withheld judgement on whether or how I'd use it with my class. I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Phineas is an aspiring scientist and exhibits many traits of scientists: observation, commentary, keeping a journal. He also sets and revises goals for himself. Finally, there's even an election for class president in the book. My students love Phineas' quirky sense of humor and eagerly wait for me to read each day...just what I want in the first chapter book read aloud of the year. Try it, you'll like it.