The Landry News

by Andrew Clements (Author) Salvatore Murdocca (Illustrator)

The Landry News
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

From the Editor's Desk
A Question of Fairness

There has been no teaching so far this year in Mr. Larson's classroom. There has been learning, but there has been no teaching. There is a teacher in the classroom, but he does not teach.

Cara Landry is a budding journalist. When she posts a scathing editorial about her burned-out teacher on the bulletin board one afternoon, everything changes. Prodded into action for the first time in years, Mr. Larson challenges his fifth-grade students to create a real newspaper. Soon The Landry News gets more attention than either Cara or her teacher bargained for, as the principal uses the paper to try to get Mr. Larson fired. While the whole town is swept up in a dramatic debate over The Landry News and the First Amendment, Mr. Larson uses the controversy as raw material for some of the finest teaching of his career. And Cara and her classmates learn the importance of tempering a newspaper's truth with mercy. But will their lessons cost Mr. Larson his job?

Written by the author of the immensely popular Frindle, this is a compelling new novel about the collision of a student in need of a teacher with a teacher in need of inspiration

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School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 4-6-A thought-provoking novel from the author of Frindle (S & S, 1996). Mr. Larson has taught for 20 years and he's burned out. His idea of the open-classroom method is to start his fifth graders on a project and then sit back and relax with coffee and a newspaper. So when Cara Landry writes a newspaper with an editorial about the lack of teaching going on in room 145, the former "Teacher of the Year" gets very upset. Realizing that the girl is stating the truth, he starts a unit on journalism and the class enthusiastically begins a newspaper. With Cara as editor, the project blossoms. However, when she allows a very personal and poignant story on divorce to be printed, the principal sees it as an opportunity to get rid of Mr. Larson. The teacher then uses the proceedings as a real-life lesson on the First Amendment. The children rally to his support, as does the faculty, and at a public hearing he is vindicated. With chapter headings reading like headlines, the plot moves quickly. Bits of humor lighten the theme of "Truth with Mercy." The author has created believable characters, from the beleaguered Mr. Larson to the intelligent and thoughtful Cara. Readers will cheer for both of them as they move toward the satisfying conclusion.-Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX

Copyright 1999 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission

Andrew Clements
Andrew Clements (1949-2019) was the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was nominated for a multitude of state awards, including a Christopher Award 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 was also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. Find out more at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
May 19, 1999
BISAC categories
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV039000 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | General
Library of Congress categories
Bluebonnet Awards
Nominee 2002 - 2002
Georgia Children's Book Award
Nominee 2003 - 2003
Sunshine State Young Reader's Award
Nominee 2002 - 2002
Maine Student Book Award
Third Place 2001 - 2001
Golden Sower Award
Nominee 2002 - 2002
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award
Nominee 2001 - 2002
Iowa Children's Choice (ICCA) Award
Nominee 2001 - 2002
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2003 - 2003
Black-Eyed Susan Award
Nominee 2000 - 2001
Massachusetts Children's Book Award
Nominee 2001 - 2002
Sasquatch Award
Nominee 2002 - 2002
William Allen White Childens Book Award
Winner 2002 - 2002
Sequoyah Book Awards
Nominee 2001 - 2002
Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award
Honor Book 2001 - 2002

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