Extra Credit

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This article is about the book. For other uses, see Extra credit (disambiguation).
Extra Credit
Extra Credit cover.jpg
Author Andrew Clements
Country United States United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Publisher Simon & Schuster[1]
Publication date
June 23, 2009
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 183[1]
ISBN 1-4169-4929-1

Extra Credit is a 2009 children's novel written by Andrew Clements. The work was first published on June 23, 2009 through Simon & Schuster and follows a young schoolgirl who is given the option of receiving extra credit by writing to an overseas pen pal in a small Afghanistan village.[2] The book won a Christopher Award for Books for Young People in 2010.[3]


It isn’t that Abby Carson can’t do her schoolwork. She just doesn’t like doing it. And in February a warning letter arrives at her home. Abby will have to repeat sixth grade—unless she meets some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project to find a pen pal in a distant country. Seems simple enough, but when Abby’s first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, the village elders agree that any letters going back to America must be written well. In English. And the only qualified student is a boy, Sadeed Bayat. Except in this village, it is not proper for a boy to correspond with a girl. So Sadeed’s younger sister, Amira will write the letters. Except for the fact that she knows hardly any English. So Sadeed must write the letters for his sister to sign. But what about the villagers who believe that girls should not be anywhere near a school? And what about those who believe that any contact with Americans is . . . unhealthy? Not so simple. But as letters flow back and forth—between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of central Asia, across cultural and religious divides, through the minefields of different lifestyles and traditions—a small group of children begin to speak and listen to one another. And in just a few short weeks, they make important discoveries about their communities, about their world, and above all, about themselves.


The book has received multiple reviews.[4][5][6][7] Two critics for the Horn Book Guide reviewed Extra Credit,[8] with one writing that "Although the ending is a little too neat, it’s the kind of ending kids like, and Clements’s timely story should receive high marks from middle-grade and early-middle-school readers."[9] Publishers Weekly praised the work, as they liked that Clements discussed different cultures in a way that could be understood and appreciated by younger readers.[10]



  1. ^ a b "Extra Credit". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Extra Credit (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "The 61st Annual Christopher Award Winners". Christopher Awards. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Winslow, Betty (April 2010). "ANDREW CLEMENTS SCHOOL STORIES". Teacher Librarian. 37 (4): 10. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Marston, Elsa (March 2010). "Extra Credit". Multicultural Review. 19 (1): 74. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Extra Credit (review)". New Moon Girls. 19 (6): 28. Aug 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Kimberly, Shekosky. "Extra Credit (review)". StoryWorks. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Extra Credit (reviews)". Horn Book Guide, School Library Journal, Junior Library Guild. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Smith, Robin L. (July–August 2009). "Andrew Clements: Extra Credit (review)". Horn Book Guide. 85 (4): 418–419. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Extra Credit (review)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 11 July 2014.