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Extended Audio Sample Extra Credit Audiobook, by Andrew Clements Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 5 3.88 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Clements Narrator: Gabra Zackman Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780743582070
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It isn't that Abby Carson can't do her schoolwork, it's just that she doesn't like doing it. And that means she's pretty much failing sixth grade. When a warning letter is sent home, Abby realizes that all her slacking off could cause her to be held back -- for real! Unless she wants to repeat the sixth grade, she'll have to meet some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project: find a pen pal in a foreign country. Simple enough (even for a girl who hates homework).

Abby's first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, and Sadeed Bayat is chosen to be her pen pal....Well, kind of. He is the best writer, but he is also a boy, and in his village it is not appropriate for a boy to correspond with a girl. So his younger sister dictates and signs the letter. Until Sadeed decides what his sister is telling Abby isn't what he'd like Abby to know.

As letters flow back and forth between Illinois and Afghanistan, Abby and Sadeed discover that their letters are crossing more than an ocean. They are crossing a huge cultural divide and a minefield of different lifestyles and traditions. Their growing friendship is also becoming a growing problem for both communities, and some people are not happy. Suddenly things are not so simple. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is an important book, especially in the atmosphere of general distrust of foreigners here and throughout the world. Clements is a fine writer and captures teenage angst well...This book is very well done!” 

    Children’s Literature

  • “Clements successfully bridges two cultures in this timely and insightful dual-perspective story...Clements effectively broadens his canvas in this worthy addition to his oeuvre of school-themed novels.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “As she quietly depicts each child’s life, thoughts, and letters, Zackman allows listeners to draw their own insights about culture, gender, and personal values, including the question of what an education is worth.”

    AudioFile

  • “Clements offers readers an engaging and realistic school story and provides an evenhanded comparison between a Midwestern girl’s lifestyle and a culture currently in the news.”

    School Library Journal

  • Part of the Beehive Award Master List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victoria | 2/17/2014

    " Excellent! Great information about writing pen pal letters, and interesting information about Afghanastan "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Virginia Brace | 2/15/2014

    " Very well done, as usual, by Andrew Clements. Acceptable (PC)information about Afghanistan and the way people live in small villages there. The very bright youngsters, Sadeed and Abby manage to outwit their elders and learn quite a bit about each others' feelings even though correspondence between and boy and a girl is forbidden. Those kids who have always thought it great to have a Pen Pal from a foreign country will definitely want to have one after reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kesha | 2/11/2014

    " This is an enlightening read about the cultural differences between Americans and Afghanistanis. Young people will learn to value the liberties our country affords us as well as gain an appreciation of the natural beauty and some cultural aspects of the Middle East through correspondences between Abbey and Shaba in Abbey's attempt to graduate sixth grade. As the plot progresses ignorant and narrow minded remarks are made on behalf of opposition to each culture, but readers will hopefully walk away from this read with a viewpoint that their are pros and cons to every society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monika Kristen | 2/8/2014

    " Andrew Clements always does a great job of creating stories that school-aged children can identify with. I liked how he created this common ground between two students who were from very different places that were at war with one another. This novel of Clements' is great for the classroom because it can be integrated into an intercultural lesson and can bring about some great discussion about people of other cultures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Child960801 | 2/7/2014

    " Excellent. I love this author. His books are so smart and unexpected. I also love that they are short. His characters are interesting people there aren't just everything is all fixed and happy endings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 2/3/2014

    " I enjoyed this book - a quick read. I'll probably use it as a read aloud next school year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine Mustread | 1/26/2014

    " Good premise but not much substance. Clements brings up the issues of discrimination, violence, tolerance and gender roles but none are well developed in this book about a pen pal correspondence between Abby in Illinois and Amira and her brother Sadeed in Afghanistan. The quick pace and familiar author would make this a popular choice for kids' book reports. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Arendt | 1/25/2014

    " Would generate some good classroom discussion on tolerance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christi | 1/23/2014

    " good book. have grace read it. deals with her need to do extra credit because she slacked and may not pass 6th grade--and her adventure in meeting someone from another country as a penpal. great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 1/19/2014

    " Through a required extra credit penpal assignment, Abby learns of the similarities and differences of life in Afgahnistan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amber | 12/31/2013

    " It was OK for a young adult book. I knew how it was going to end on page 20. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 12/27/2013

    " Again having to read it for a book discussion, I put it off. But once started it flowed smoothly and I really felt for Abby & Sadeed. I wonder if they ever meet? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kandee | 7/26/2013

    " Great story of pen pals based on real events and real places. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brandy | 7/18/2013

    " This book didn't grab my attention fast enough so I put it down for another time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dixie | 5/5/2013

    " What can I say? This is another of many GREAT andrew clements book!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lea | 1/13/2013

    " Ally needs extra credit to pass the sixth grade. When she chooses her pen pal project to gain the extra credit she has no idea how it will change her attitude and life. She correspondes with Sadeed from Afghanistan and it affects his life as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eoin | 11/5/2012

    " Not one of the best books ever. But it was pretty good and had a sad ending "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 10/26/2012

    " Great for 4th graders looking for something different. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 5/23/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book! Although it ended quite suddenly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason Penckofer | 3/23/2012

    " Interesting to consider life in another country contrasted with a more familiar American lifestyle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 L | 12/2/2011

    " Gives reader a view into the life of a boy in Afghanistan-may help students to realize how lucky they are... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 8/15/2011

    " As usual, Clements writes a good school story with a bit of a geopolitical twist here. It's a gentle introduction to Afghanistan for children and a morality tale about being a good student and its benefits. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 6/28/2011

    " Interesting perspectives. Possibly a little too controversial for elementary readers OR could spark meaningful conversations...considering the district/building, conversation and controversy could mean the same thing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dextersgirl | 6/22/2011

    " good book. have grace read it. deals with her need to do extra credit because she slacked and may not pass 6th grade--and her adventure in meeting someone from another country as a penpal. great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam S | 6/22/2011

    " i lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvved the ending but i want a squal what happens to the boy sppal?????? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 6/20/2011

    " I think this a good book to help kids think about other cultures and how we are all human no matter where we grow up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 6/12/2011

    " This is a great book for this day and time. Students can learn a little about the Afghan culture through this book. It is a perfect read for a 3rd or 4th grade student. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eiko | 6/9/2011

    " Andrew Clements writes a great realistic fiction book for children. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mallory | 6/5/2011

    " When I was younger I really liked Andrew Clements, so in my read as many short books that don't challenge me at all week I desided to read this one. It was good, a lot more entertaining than a lot of books written for a younger age group. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberly | 5/21/2011

    " Quick easy read that was enjoyable. Gave some insight into the Afghan culture and mind set. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tenille | 5/21/2011

    " This may be my favorite 4th grade read aloud! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laeroport | 5/18/2011

    " Now I understand why my daughter is so ga-ga over Andrew Clements books. I very much enjoyed it. It was a quick read but the characters were well developed and the situations felt real. An excellent William Allen White award choice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kennedy | 5/17/2011

    " I started reading this for a school competition. Then I got addicted and I read it 5 times! It's SO good! "

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About the Author
Author Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously successful children’s novel Frindle. He has won two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award, and more than ten million of his books are in print. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, and others. Clements is a graduate of Northwestern and National Louis universities, and he currently lives in central Massachusetts with his wife.

About the Narrator

Gabra Zackman is an actress and narrator who has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University and performed at many venues in Chicago before touring the country with Boston Chamber Theatre. She has been seen on television in Law & Order.