Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

The Universe of Fair

by Leslie Bulion
illustrated by Frank Dormer

For a young science whiz, an eagerly awaited day at the Fair turns into a wacky adventure with more twists and loops than the Gravity Whirl ride!

Miller Sanford’s parents think he’s too young to explore the annual town fair alone. Hopeful they will reconsider this year, Miller works extra hard to be nice to his little sister Penny and her friends. But when his mother can’t attend the Fair and his father has to cover her volunteer booth hours as well as his own, Miller ends up with more responsibility than he can handle. Instead of enjoying a freewheeling day on his own, he is drawn into a series of mishaps involving everything from his dad’s prize-worthy lemon meringue pie and his own ill-fated science fair project.

Frank Dormer’s kid-friendly illustrations enliven the pages of Leslie Bulion’s lighthearted take on growing up and learning to be responsible.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-634-5
Publication Date: 8/1/2012
Page Count: 240
Size: 6″ x 8″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-999-5
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 4.4
GRL: S, Gr 4
Lexile: 760L
Themes: Communicty, Physics, Responsibility, Science, Siblings, Trust
BISAC 1: JUV023000 JUVENILE FICTION / Lifestyles / City & Town Life
BISAC 2: JUV011050 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / Other
BISAC 3: JUV013000 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / General


“This winsome effort not only lovingly celebrates the color and magic of the fair, but endearingly depicts the inner landscape of a maturing child encountering his first taste of the adult world. A cheerful and totally entertaining look at fairs, friendship and the value of family.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Bulion captures the boisterous, chaotic nature of the fair, as well as its primacy in the grade-school social calendar. Dormer’s characteristically sketchy and childlike illustrations match the upbeat mood of this entertaining story.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Dormer’s occasional drawings add a sense of quirky humor to the story. Bulion’s book is simply told, in realistic kid language…” ―School Library Journal

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“The strength of this highly entertaining new novel is in the brilliantly drawn characterizations of both children and adults…readers with younger siblings will feel deeply for Miller’s plight, and parents will be even more sympathetic.” ―Parents’ Choice

“Illustrations by Frank W. Dormer, a graduate of the Savannah School of Art and Design, add to the comic flair of the text.” ―Florida Times-Union

“With simple black-and-white line drawings, Dormer’s illustrations underscore the earnestness and lightheartedness of Bulion’s text. For a clear-sighted perspective into an early adolescent mindset, or for a sheer upbeat and entertaining read, share The Universe of Fair with your students.” ―Classroom Bookshelf

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Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2012

Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2013

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2013

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Meet the Author

Leslie Bulion is the author of several children’s books, including Uncharted WatersThe Trouble With Rules, and Fatuma’s New Cloth, winner of the African Studies Association’s 2002 Children’s Africana Books. She lives in Connecticut. You can visit  her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Frank Dormer, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, is now an elementary school art teacher. He is the author and illustrator of The Obstinate Pen and Socksquatch. He lives in Connecticut. You can visit his website here.