Ethan Marcus Stands Up

Twelve-year old Ethan Marcus snaps one day while sitting in Language Arts. He’s always been a high-energy kid, not ADHD, but he has something his dad calls ESD—Ethan Squiggle Disease. To make it worse, he often gets scomas (school comas). One day, he stands up in class and announces he’s protesting how long kids have to sit in school, which doesn’t go over so well with his rule-oriented teacher.

After completing two afternoons of “Reflection,” the faculty advisor suggests he enter the school’s Invention Day competition. Ethan’s never been a maker type kid—that’s his sister Erin’s department—and she laughs hysterically at the thought of Ethan inventing anything. But inspiration from a cherished picture book, The Carrot Seed, gives him the courage to try.

Erin and her best friend Zoe are working on their Invention Day project but it’s not going well. Ethan struggles but then gets a genius idea—a standing desk device he calls the desk-evator—and recruits his friend Brian to help. After they ask for advice from Marlon Romanov, Erin’s arch enemy and the winner of last year’s Invention Day, Erin is furious with Ethan and their combative relationship reaches an all-time low. It looks like nothing’s going right for anyone, until unexpected events turn everything around.

Told from the perspectives of five different seventh graders in back and forth commentary, this funny, honest novel portrays how people see and interpret events through their own lens but by stepping out of your comfort zone, you can appreciate others’ viewpoints.

Readers with siblings will appreciate this story about rivalry [and] will easily pick up on the relevant life lessons peppered throughout.
School Library Journal

The shifting narration is smartly effective at giving insight into the friction between brother and sister, and a helpful nudge to empathy. A thoughtful next step for readers of Andrew Clements.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


Nominated for Florida’s Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) 2020
Illinois Reading Council, 2018 Illinois Reads selection


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A Classroom Gets Inspired

After a Florida teacher’s book club read Ethan Marcus Stands Up, the students got inspired and asked for flexible seating in their classroom. The teacher did a fundraiser and was able to purchase a variety of standing, sitting, and floor options for her room. She says the new seating has completely changed the feel of the classroom and the way students learn. Here’s what the students had to say:

“I can finally sit on the floor with no judgment.”
“I really love that I can choose where and how to sit.”
“I love how we can go to something new each day. It makes the classroom more fun and creative.”
“It’s fun, but it is also good and helpful for the different people who either like to sit, stand, or jump!”

Book Trailer