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Ethan Marcus Stands Up

Ethan Marcus Stands Up
Coming September 19!

Twelve-year old Ethan Marcus snaps one day while sitting in Language Arts. He's always been a high-energy kid, not ADHD, but he has something his dad calls ESD—Ethan Squiggle Disease. He stands up in class and announces he's doing a "protest" about how long kids have to sit in school, which doesn't go over so well with stodgy, rule-oriented Mr. Delman.


"A scoma is what I call that semi-conscious, numb, bleary condition we're all sadly familiar with that occurs only during school hours. It's an epidemic, but no one talks about it.

"I've totaled up how long I sit at a desk, and it's about seven hours. It's not so bad at first, in the morning. But later in the day, my feet and legs fall asleep, my brain shuts down, and my butt hurts so bad, I swear when I get home, it's square-shaped. So when I'm not a Ping Pong ball, I'm Sponge Bob.

"Monday in Mr. Delman's class, it was the perfect storm. We sit in rows—he told us on the first day that he's a 'row kind of guy'—and that makes it worse. All you're looking at is the kid's head in front of you, and no amount of interesting hair can keep you from scomatizing."

After his protest, Ethan is required to serve two days of "Reflection," McNutt Jr. High's answer to detention, and the faculty advisor, Ms. Gilardi, suggests he channel his energy into the school's Invention Day competition. Ethan resists—he's never been a maker/inventor type kid. That's his sister Erin's department. But inspiration from a beloved picture book, The Carrot Seed, gives him the courage to try.

Erin and her best friend Zoe are hard at work on their Invention Day project but keep failing. Ethan recruits his friend Brian then they ask for help from Marlon Romanov, Erin's arch enemy and the tech genius who won last year's Invention Day. This creates a huge rift between brother and sister, and their contentious relationship reaches an all-time low. It looks like nothing's going right for anyone, until unexpected events turn everything around.

Told from the perspectives of five different seventh graders—Ethan, Brian, Erin, Zoe, and a mysterious tough kid named Wesley Pinto—Ethan Marcus Stands Up is a funny and honest portrayal of how the labels we have serve to define us, but also can challenge us to step out of our comfort zone and make things happen in a totally different way.

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"Readers with siblings will appreciate this story about rivalry (and) will easily pick up on the relevant life lessons peppered throughout."
   —School Library Journal

Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, hardcover, September 19, 2017
Sequel in 2018!