March 1, 2006
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780689876783
Ages 8-12

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Also available as an audiobook


Study Guide


The unlikely foursome made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher’s pet, and a slacker—Brenton, Sam, 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!


ILA/CBC Children’s Choices ● Child Magazine’s Best Children’s Books of 2006 ● Booklist Editor’s Choice ● Booklinks‘ Lasting Connections of 2006, ● 2006 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing ● Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best ● Sasquatch Award Winner (Washington) ● Bluestem Book Award Nominee (Illinois) ● Colorado Children’s Book Award Master List ● Delaware Diamonds Award Nominee ● Disney Adventures Book Awards Nominee ● Golden Sower Award (Nebraska) ● Indian Paintbrush Book Award Nominee (Wyoming) ● Iowa Children’s Choice Award Nominee ● Keystone to Reading Award Nominee (Pennsylvania) ● Land of Enchantment RoadRunner Award Nominee (New Mexico) ● Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Nominee ● Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee (Minnesota) ● Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee ● Nene Award Nominee (Hawaii) ● Nutmeg Children’s Book Award Nominee (Connecticut) ● ONEBOOKAZ Nominee (Arizona) ● Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award Master List ● Prairie Pasque Award Nominee (South Dakota) ● South Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominee ● Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee (Florida) ● Virginia Readers’ Choice Award List ● Volunteer State Book Award Nominee (Tennessee) ● Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (Indiana)


★ “This fast-paced, entertaining book has something for everyone.”Booklist

“Humorous”Kirkus Reviews

“A dramatic and thought-provoking story with a strong message about honesty and friendship.”
School Library Journal

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