How Oliver Olson Changed the World
by Claudia Mills
Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2009. 104 pgs. Intermediate.
Oliver Olson was a sickly child and his parents have become so protective of him that he is not even allowed to do his own homework. All that changes when his third-grade class is assigned to do a diorama of the solar system. Oliver knows his parents will never let him go to the Space Sleepover, but when he is teamed up with talkative Crystal to build the diorama, he manages to do his own work (including a tiny Pluto on the outside of the box trying to get back in) and then gets up the courage to confront his parents about the sleepover. They let him go (if he doesn't drink soda and agrees to brush his teeth for two full minutes), and Oliver at last sees the beginnings of a long-wished-for independence. Great little story, well told.