Phineas L. MacQuire… Blasts Off!, by Frances O’Roark Dowell

blasts-offPhineas L. MacQuire … Blasts off!

by Frances O’Roark Dowell

  • publisher and date: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, 2008
  • genre: fiction
  • age/grade:ages 8-12

Synopsis (from:

Houston,we have a problem!

Phineas L. MacGuire (a.k.a. Mac) is less than up-to-date on planetary happenings. (Marsquakes? Who knew?) If he’s going to be the best scientist in the fourth grade, Mac has to set his sights pretty high. To outer space, actually. But Space Camp is expensive. Where is he going to find enough money for a week on Mars (or a pretty close simulation thereof)?

Houston, we have another problem: a gigantic, slobbery dog named Lemon Drop. Mac can earn the money he needs by walking Mrs. McClosky’s yellow Lab, but first he needs to survive the walks and the slobber! Good thing Mac is a scientific genius with friends like Ben and Aretha. Together the three of them discover that Lemon Drop is no ordinary dog — that Lab is a real-life Lab-oratory.

What Nan says:

This book made me laugh out loud. It was the first Phineas L. MacQuire book that I have read, but it won’t be the last. I’m using the book in my after school program with 3rd and 4th graders.

There are some science experiments at the end of the book which are the same experiments Phineas does in the story.

I couldn’t find any lessons  online that other teachers have done, but here some some links to some of the things mentioned in the story:

Dog Saliva – the Next Wonder Drug

A 7th Graders Science Experiement: Does Dog Saliva Kill Bacteria?

Information about Gila Monsters


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