the homework machine by ann gianola

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The Homework Machine

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50 pages • 1 hour read

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Introduction-Chapter 2

Chapters 3-4

Chapters 5-6

Chapters 7-8

Chapters 9-10

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Summary and Study Guide

The Homework Machine , written by acclaimed American author Dan Gutman was first published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and is the first of a two-book series. The second book, The Return of the Homework Machine , was published in 2011. Gutman is primarily a children’s fiction writer who has been nominated for and won numerous awards, including 18 for The Homework Machine alone. Gutman is best known for his humorous series, My Weird School , in which there are more than 70 books. He lives in New York City with his family.

The paperback edition used for this study guide was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007.

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Plot Summary

The Homework Machine is told from the perspectives of multiple characters in the format of tape recordings for a police report.

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The four main characters are fifth-grade students who are grouped at the same classroom table because their last names start with D: Sam Dawkins (Snik), Kelsey Donnelly , Judy Douglas , and Brenton Damagatchi . Other than sharing the same last initial, the students have nothing in common. Snik is the cool class smart aleck; Kelsey is laid back and doesn’t care about school; Judy is conscientious and in the gifted program; and Brenton is a loner and genius who designs software and studies psychology in his spare time. Snik pushes people’s buttons, and one day he pushes Brenton too far—implying that Brenton spends all his free time doing homework. Brenton retorts that he doesn’t spend any time doing homework and lets slip that he has invented a homework machine.

Snik calls Brenton a liar, so Brenton invites Snik, Judy, and Kelsey to his house to see for themselves. The group are stunned when Brenton’s machine prints out perfectly completed homework in Brenton’s handwriting. Brenton agrees to let Snik, Judy, and Kelsey join him after school to “do” their homework and even rewrites the software to accommodate their handwriting. The unlikely foursome spends every afternoon together, but they insist that they are not friends and that the only reason they tolerate each other is to use the homework machine, which they name Belch. Judy feels guilty about cheating but enjoys getting A’s and uses the extra time to take up ballet. Kelsey’s vastly improved grades earn her privileges, such as a belly-button piercing, from her mother. As the weeks pass, the D Squad becomes addicted to using Belch and the boundaries between their various social identities begin to blur. Snik shows an interest in “boring” chess, which Brenton plays, and Judy tries to be complimentary about Kelsey’s piercings (while finding them disgusting). Everything seems to be going well. However, things start to rapidly fall apart halfway through the year. Judy and Kelsey’s other friends resent their new associations and “unfriend” them, and their teacher, Miss Rasmussen , suspects that they are cheating.

In addition, a strange man has been stalking the group ever since Brenton designed software to instigate a hugely successful social media-driven “red socks day” that spread across America. Miss Rasmussen springs a surprise test on the class to see whether the D Squad really knows their schoolwork. Sure enough—Kelsey and Snik fail, and Judy gets a C, confirming Miss Rasmussen’s suspicions. Before Miss Rasmussen can report them, Snik’s father, who is in the military, is killed in the Middle East. This tragic event diverts Miss Rasmussen’s attention from the cheating, which seems trivial in comparison. The bond between the D Squad strengthens as the stress of keeping Belch secret increases.

Together they decide to shut Belch down, only to discover that Belch has taken on a life of its own and will not power off. They throw Belch into the Grand Canyon and feel relief as they watch it disappear. However, when backpackers find computer pieces at the bottom of the canyon, the D Squad is called into the sheriff’s office where they confess to everything. The case is closed, but their unlikely friendships continue to strengthen and grow. The stalker turns out to be someone scouting Brenton to offer him a job as an influencer for his company. The company’s clients want to market their products to kids. Brenton simply offers him an idea he would like to influence kids with: “Do your homework” (146).

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The Homework Machine

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Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus (Grades 5-7)

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For Grades 5-7 A great way to ensure more titles for your middle-grade readers-with 14 additional popular B titles arriving at your door every year.

Chapter Books/Novels, Fiction, Reluctant Readers, Transitional Readers, Realistic Fiction

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The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine

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DOING HOMEWORK BECOMES A THING OF THE PAST The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher’s pet, and a slacker – Brenton, Sam Snick, Judy and Kelsey, respectively, – are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. And attention is exactly what you don’t want when you are keeping a secret. Before long, members of the D Squad, as they are called at school are getting strange Instant Messages from a shady guy named Milner; their teacher, Miss Rasmussen, is calling private meetings with each of them and giving them pop tests that they are failing; and someone has leaked the possibility of a homework machine to the school newspaper. Just when the D Squad thinks things can’t get any more out of control, Belch becomes much more powerful than they ever imagined. Soon the kids are in a race against their own creation, and the loser could end up in jail…or worse!

What Kind of Book is .css-1msjh1x{font-style:italic;} The Homework Machine

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The Creative Behind the Book

Dan Gutman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Genius Files series; the Baseball Card Adventure series, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies around the world; and the My Weird School series, which has sold more than 12 million copies. Thanks to his many fans who voted in their classrooms, Dan has received nineteen state book awards and ninety-two state book award nominations. He lives in New York City with his wife, Nina. You can visit him online at www.dangutman.com.

What Has Dan Gutman Said About This Book

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Discover All the Books in the The Homework Machine Series

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Homework Machine

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Table of Contents

About the book, about the author.

Dan Gutman

Dan Gutman hated to read when he was a kid. Then he grew up. Now he writes cool books like The Kid Who Ran for President ; Honus & Me ; The Million Dollar Shot ; Race for the Sky ; and The Edison Mystery: Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time . If you want to learn more about Dan or his books, stop by his website at DanGutman.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (March 1, 2006)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780689876783
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

Browse Related Books

  • Age 12 and Up
  • Children's Fiction > Social Themes > Adolescence & Coming of Age
  • Children's Fiction > Social Situations > Adolescence
  • Children's Fiction > School & Education
  • Children's Fiction > Humorous Stories

Awards and Honors

  • ILA/CBC Children's Choices
  • Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee (MN)
  • Booklist Editors' Choice
  • South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee
  • Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee
  • Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (IN)
  • Indian Paintbrush Book Award Nominee (WY)
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • Colorado Children's Book Award Master List
  • Child Magazine's Guide to Top Books, Videos and Software of the Year
  • Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Choice Award Master List
  • Volunteer State Book Award Nominee (TN)
  • Virginia Readers' Choice Award List
  • Prairie Pasque Award Nominee (SD)
  • Land of Enchantment RoadRunner Award Nominee (NM)
  • Nene Award Nominee (HI)
  • Sunshine State Young Readers' Award List (FL)
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Golden Sower Award (NE)
  • Sasquatch Book Award Nominee (WA)

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The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine

Starting with a stern statement from the Grand Canyon, Arizona Police Chief Rebecca Fish, meet four fifth graders in big trouble. There's long-haired, rebellious, cool guy Sam Dawkins; fun-loving, unacademic, pink-haired Kelsey Donnelly, African American grind Judy Douglas, and friendless genius Brenton Damagatchi. The whole thing starts because Sam is anti-homework, especially the daily fill in-the-blank worksheets his first-year teacher Miss Rasmussen hands out. Sam is skeptical when Brenton claims he has programmed his computer to search the web and do all his homework each day, but it’s true. Soon the four seatmates are spending every afternoon in Brenton’s bedroom, printing out their daily assignments on the computer they nickname Belch. It can’t do any harm, right? The chronology and confession of their ill-fated escapade is related entirely through a series of transcripts, narrated by the four contrite kids, their parents, classmates, and Miss Rasmussen.

There are many interesting threads explored in this nimble story: keeping secrets, making friends, being popular, the morality of taking the easy way out, first crushes, the meaning of war, and even the loss of a parent. The setting of the Grand Canyon and sub-themes about playing chess, starting fads, and using a catapult will get kids looking up supporting information in books and on the Internet. Questions readers can think about as they read include: Which of the four main characters is most like or unlike you and why? Which one would or would not be your friend and why?

Reviewed by : JF.

Themes : DEATH. FRIENDSHIP. GRIEF. HUMOR.

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CRITICS HAVE SAID

  • “A dramatic and thought-provoking story with a strong message about honesty and friendship.” – Elaine E. Knight, School Library Journal
  • “Booktalkers will find this a natural, particularly for those hard-to-tempt readers whose preferred method of computer disposal involves a catapult and the Grand Canyon.” – Carolyn Phelan, Booklist
  • “Tucked in between the laughs are excellent messages about tolerance, honesty, and the importance of what the students’ teacher calls the “homework machine [that] already exists. It’s called your brain.” – Child Magazine
  • “Short chapters of alternating voices tell the story, which is funny in some places, but is not without intense and sometimes sad moments.” – Susie Wilde, Children

IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:

  • Amato, Mary. The Word Eater. Holiday House, 2000. ISBN-13: 9780823419401
  • Clements, Andrew. Frindle. Simon & Schuster, 1996. ISBN-13: 9780689818769
  • Clements, Andrew. Lunch Money. Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN-13: 9780689866852
  • Clements, Andrew. No Talking. Simon & Schuster, 2007. ISBN-13: 9781416909835
  • Codell, Esm Raji. Sahara Special. Hyperion, 2003. ISBN-13: 9780786816118
  • Fletcher, Ralph. Flying Solo. Clarion, 1998. ISBN-13: 9780395873236
  • Gutman, Dan. The Get Rich Quick Club. HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN-13: 9780060534424
  • Gutman, Dan. The Kid Who Ran for President. Scholastic, 1996. ISBN-13: 9780590939881
  • Gutman, Dan. Qwerty Stevens Back in Time: The Edison Mystery. Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN-13: 9780590939881
  • Park, Barbara. Maxie, Rosie, and Earl—Partners in Grime. Knopf, 1990. ISBN-13: 9780679806431
  • Pearsall, Shelley. All of the Above. Little, Brown, 2006. ISBN-13: 9780316115261
  • Rocklin, Joanne. For Your Eyes Only! Scholastic, 1997. ISBN-13: 9780142003220
  • Sachar, Louis. Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Morrow, 1978. ISBN-13: 9780380698714

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Homework Machine

The Homework Machine

Table of contents, about the book, about the author.

Dan Gutman

Dan Gutman hated to read when he was a kid. Then he grew up. Now he writes cool books like The Kid Who Ran for President ; Honus & Me ; The Million Dollar Shot ; Race for the Sky ; and The Edison Mystery: Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time . If you want to learn more about Dan or his books, stop by his website at DanGutman.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 26, 2007)
  • Length: 176 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780689876790
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12
  • Fountas & Pinnell™ R These books have been officially leveled by using the F&P Text Level Gradient™ Leveling System

Browse Related Books

  • Age 12 and Up
  • Children's Fiction > Social Themes > Adolescence & Coming of Age
  • Children's Fiction > Social Situations > Adolescence
  • Children's Fiction > School & Education
  • Children's Fiction > Humorous Stories

Awards and Honors

  • ILA/CBC Children's Choices
  • Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee (MN)
  • Booklist Editors' Choice
  • South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee
  • Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee
  • Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (IN)
  • Indian Paintbrush Book Award Nominee (WY)
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • Colorado Children's Book Award Master List
  • Child Magazine's Guide to Top Books, Videos and Software of the Year
  • Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Choice Award Master List
  • Volunteer State Book Award Nominee (TN)
  • Virginia Readers' Choice Award List
  • Prairie Pasque Award Nominee (SD)
  • Land of Enchantment RoadRunner Award Nominee (NM)
  • Nene Award Nominee (HI)
  • Sunshine State Young Readers' Award List (FL)
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Golden Sower Award (NE)
  • Sasquatch Book Award Nominee (WA)

Resources and Downloads

High resolution images.

  • Book Cover Image (jpg): The Homework Machine Trade Paperback 9780689876790 (2.4 MB)

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The homework machine audible audiobook – unabridged.

When four unlikely friends become dependent on this marvelous device, they'll soon learn that cheating always has its consequences - including legal trouble. No matter what happens, their best bet is to stick together.

  • Listening Length 3 hours and 7 minutes
  • Author Dan Gutman
  • Narrator Cherise Boothe, see all
  • Audible release date March 17, 2008
  • Language English
  • Publisher Recorded Books
  • ASIN B00166CBEU
  • Version Unabridged
  • Program Type Audiobook
  • See all details

Read & Listen

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IMAGES

  1. The Homework Machine: Novel Study Study Guide for 4th

    the homework machine by ann gianola

  2. The Homework Machine

    the homework machine by ann gianola

  3. Homework Machine Book 2 Return of the Homework Machine

    the homework machine by ann gianola

  4. The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

    the homework machine by ann gianola

  5. The Homework Machine eBook by Dan Gutman

    the homework machine by ann gianola

  6. Ch 10 “The Homework Machine”

    the homework machine by ann gianola

COMMENTS

  1. Reading Log Level 3 Topic 1

    b y Ann Gianola. T opic 1 10. U1COrl3.indd 10 6/9/17 2:21 PM. L eo doesn't like to do homework after school. He spends many hours a day in ... The homework machine was supposed to make his life happier. But Leo . doesn't feel happy at all. Instead, he feels silly. Leo puts his face in his hands and lets . out a groan. 16 T opic 1.

  2. "The Homework Machine " Summary and Study Guide

    The Homework Machine, written by acclaimed American author Dan Gutman was first published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and is the first of a two-book series.The second book, The Return of the Homework Machine, was published in 2011.Gutman is primarily a children's fiction writer who has been nominated for and won numerous awards, including 18 for The Homework Machine ...

  3. The Homework Machine

    Description. The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker - Brenton, Sam "Snick," Judy and Kelsey, respectively, - are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together ...

  4. PDF Genre: Realistic Fiction

    "The Homework Machine" is about an imagined device that could make a student's life much easier. by Ann Gianola by Aaron Burkholder Scientific Discoveries 9 U1COrl3.indd 9 6/9/17 2:20 PM. Key Words assignment diagram directions enthusiastic life cycle magically metamorphosis

  5. The Homework Machine

    When fifth grade genius Brenton invents a machine to do his homework for him, his deskmates-Snik, the class clown; Judy, the teacher's pet; and Kelsey, slacker extraordinaire-want in on the action. The unlikely foursome eventually become friends, but wha

  6. The Homework Machine: Gutman, Dan: 9780689876783: Amazon.com: Books

    The Homework Machine. Hardcover - March 1, 2006. The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker -- Brenton, Sam "Snick,", Judy and Kelsey, respectively, -- are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start ...

  7. The Homework Machine

    DOING HOMEWORK BECOMES A THING OF THE PAST The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker -- Brenton, Sam "Snick," Judy and Kelsey, respectively, -- are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of ...

  8. The Homework Machine

    Doing homework becomes a thing of the past! Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention.

  9. The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman (The Homework Machine, #1)

    Written by Dan Gutman. Book # 1 in the The Homework Machine Series. Paperback. $ 7.99. $ 7.59. Add to cart. 8 - 12. Reading age. 176.

  10. The Homework Machine

    Four fifth-grade students--a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker--as well as their teacher and mothers, each relate events surrounding a computer programmed to complete homework assignments.

  11. The Homework Machine (The Homework Machine, #1) by Dan Gutman

    Dan Gutman. 3.84. 9,117 ratings626 reviews. DOING HOMEWORK BECOMES A THING OF THE PAST. The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker -- Brenton, Sam "Snick,", Judy and Kelsey, respectively, -- are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code named Belch, is ...

  12. The Homework Machine

    About The Book. DOING HOMEWORK BECOMES A THING OF THE PAST The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker -- Brenton, Sam "Snick,", Judy and Kelsey, respectively, -- are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code named Belch, is doing their homework for them ...

  13. The Homework Machine (2 book series) Kindle Edition

    Doing homework becomes a thing of the past! Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine.

  14. The Homework Machine

    There's long-haired, rebellious, cool guy Sam Dawkins; fun-loving, unacademic, pink-haired Kelsey Donnelly, African American grind Judy Douglas, and friendless genius Brenton Damagatchi. The whole thing starts because Sam is anti-homework, especially the daily fill in-the-blank worksheets his first-year teacher Miss Rasmussen hands out.

  15. The homework machine : Gutman, Dan : Free Download, Borrow, and

    146 pages ; 22 cm. Four fifth-grade students--a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker--as well as their teacher and mothers, each relate events surrounding a computer programmed to complete homework assignments. Accelerated Reader AR-ATOS 4.8. A Junior Library Guild selection.

  16. The Homework Machine Kindle Edition

    The Homework Machine. Kindle Edition. Doing homework becomes a thing of the past! Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their ...

  17. The Homework Machine

    Doing homework becomes a thing of the past! Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine.

  18. The Homework Machine Series by Dan Gutman

    Book 2. Return of the Homework Machine. by Dan Gutman. 3.97 · 920 Ratings · 91 Reviews · published 2009 · 5 editions. Snik, Brenton, Judy, and Kelsey haven't stayed in …. Want to Read. Rate it: The Homework Machine (The Homework Machine, #1) and Return of the Homework Machine (The Homework Machine, #2)

  19. The homework machine : Dan Gutman : Free Download, Borrow, and

    The homework machine by Dan Gutman. Publication date 2006 Topics Homework -- Fiction, Cheating -- Fiction, Schools -- Fiction, Interpersonal relations -- Fiction, Arizona -- Fiction Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Collection printdisabled; internetarchivebooks Contributor Internet Archive Language English.

  20. The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman, Paperback

    Doing homework becomes a thing of the past! Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending ...

  21. The Homework Machine

    Doing homework becomes a thing of the past!Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention.

  22. The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

    The Homework Machine - Ebook written by Dan Gutman. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Homework Machine.

  23. Amazon.com: The Homework Machine (Audible Audio Edition): Cherise

    THE HOMEWORK MACHINE is presented in the format of characters taking turns narrating into a recording device the progression of events that have taken place over the past school year. The narration is being done at the direction of the police.