All the Answers

All the Answers by Kate Messner


  • Age Range: 8-13
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s (January 27, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1619633744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619633742
  • Iowa Children’s Choice Award Nominee
  • Virginia Readers’ Choice Award Nominee
  • Keystone to Reading Book Award Nominee

What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear.

With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won’t predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava’s confidence grows with each answer. But it’s getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava’s family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers…

“Although Ava is constantly worried, the novel’s tone remains bright and cheerful. Yes, there’s a magical pencil, but this remains an emotionally resonant portrait of a sweet girl whose struggles are firmly rooted in reality.”