Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 5T4.653802

What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear.
With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won't predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava's confidence grows with each answer. But it's getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava's family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers...

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published on January 27, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
ISBN-10: 1619633744
ISBN-13: 9781619633742
18 Book Reviews
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  • auntieb
    auntiebWednesday, May 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm44 stars
    Ava grabs a pencil from the junk drawer in the morning, goes to take a test at school rewrites one of the answers and? Hears a voice tell her the answer?!!!! Ava is a worrier so when she starts asking the pencil all sorts of questions she gets a answer she doesn't like. But she must be brave enough to do something she doesn't want to to hopefully save a life.
    • applemango
      applemangoTuesday, May 21, 2019 at 10:06 pm55 stars
      This is one of my most favorite books!!! Ava finds a old blue pencil in her family's junk drawer. Then she discovers that the pencil can give her all the answers of facts when she is writing a question on her math quiz. Then Ava slowly realizes that all the answers does more harm than good.
      • auntieb
        auntiebMonday, January 14, 2019 at 2:07 pm44 stars
        What would you do if you found a magical pencil that could answer (almost) every question? Ava finds her magical pencil in her family's junk drawer, while quickly rushing to school for a math test. Ava ALWAYS studies but then when she gets to the test all the answers fly out of her brain. But when Ava finds the pencil it gives her the confidence to succeed........Until she finds out her mom has cancer. Which means she must act normal while convincing her mom to go to the doctor while Ava faces her fears. This book teaches that sometimes it's best not to always know all the answers in life but to just sit back enjoy it and know it will all work out!
        • olliebob
          olliebobSaturday, May 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm44 stars
          Ava finds a magic pencil that gives her all the answers. She can just write down her (factual) questions and her pencil tells her the answer, but Ava quickly realizes that having all the answers isn't always a good thing. When she learns through the pencil that her mother has cancer, she will do anything to get her mom help without raising suspicion, even if it means facing her fears and anxieties. This is a thought provoking book about how we try to control everything. But not everything is in our control. Maybe knowing something but being powerless to change anything is worse than not knowing at all.
          • applemango
            applemangoMonday, April 2, 2018 at 10:14 pm55 stars
            This book is the best book ever really and truly this pencil does more harm than good. KAte Messner expresses all the feelings in this book and it talks a little about family like divorce and some adventure to try new things.
            • kimkelly
              kimkellyThursday, January 25, 2018 at 6:21 pm55 stars
              I LOVE THIS BOOK!1 such imagination was put into it!
              • cupybisybiluxu
                cupybisybiluxuFriday, December 1, 2017 at 2:01 pm
                One lesson that Ava learns that will help her life is that knowing the future and answers would never help her life which means, knowing everything can hurt somebody's emotion or feelings. For example, Ava asks some negative questions that is relating with her family to the pencil and the pencil replies her questions, the answers made Ava frustrated and thwart, and she realizes that the pencil is causing a lot of problem. So, this means to Ava is that knowing unrevealed things and answers would not make a victorious life for her, which this made Ava pessimistic at first. And also, she realizes her life is so much better with out her extraordinary blue pencil. Consequently, knowing everything and problems would never make a triumphant life for a person. I'd rate this book an "8 out of 10." I would recommend this book because Ava is truthful and honest how she expresses her true emotions, and since the setting of this story is mostly school themed, it relates with students' life. One question that I'd ask to Ava is "How does a pencil affect and change your afterward life?"
                • tori3ghoul
                  tori3ghoulTuesday, November 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm33 stars
                  When Ava finds a magic pencil that gives you answers whenever you use it to write a question, she and her best friend, Sophie are in for a wild ride. From homework answers to first crushes, this pencil has all the answers.
                  • smallpaul12
                    smallpaul12Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 8:50 pm55 stars
                    I love this book but I can be sad at some parts. Her grandpa dies, her mom has breast cancer, her grandma found out she is lactose and tolerance but the book is still pretty good because there are still some great and happy parts!
                    • hummingbird1
                      hummingbird1Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 5:26 am44 stars
                      Ava was going to have a math test. She studied hard, but she knew she would forget everything once she start the test. She snatched a blue #2 pencil and rushed out the door. When she took her test, just as expected, she forgot everything. She wrote down the question for no good reason, and she heard the answer! She tried this a few more times and the pencil told her the answer everytime! Soon, Ava learns the pencil can answer any question, as long as it's a fact, and gets All The Answers.