Chapter 5 Summary
During school the next day, Nick grows more and more nervous about his report. He looks over his notes, but they all get jumbled in his mind. He begins to doubt his big idea.
The day rushes by, and seventh period arrives before Nick knows it. Mrs. Granger has not forgotten his extra assignment, and she wastes no time asking Nick to give his report. Nervously, Nick begins to speak. Mrs. Granger immediately interrupts, asking if his report has a title. When Nick says no, she says every report should have a title. Nick does not let this interruption get him down. He makes up a title, “The Dictionary,” on the spot, and plunges onward. He tells the kids about Samuel Johnson, who is considered to be the author of the first dictionary in English. When the kids hear that Johnson’s dictionary had 43,000 words in it, they gasp.
Nick glances at Mrs. Granger, thinking she might be angry, but she is not. In fact, she seems pleased, and she encourages him to go on. Feeling a little more confident, Nick tells the kids all about dictionaries, talking on and on so that he fills up as much class time as possible. At first, kids yawn and put their heads on desks, but Mrs. Granger loves it. She tells the kids to mind their manners, and she asks Nick to keep talking.
Secretly gleeful, Nick does exactly what she has asked. He talks for eighteen minutes straight before Mrs. Granger seems to get tired of listening. Nick pulls out his dictionary and begins to read the long, boring introduction out loud.
Mrs. Granger interrupts, telling Nick she has to get on with the class work. By now, however, the other kids are starting to understand what Nick is doing. They say they want to hear what Nick is going to read, and Mrs. Granger allows him to go on.
For several more minutes, Nick reads aloud. By now, all the kids understand what Nick is up to. He is wasting their class time so Mrs. Granger cannot teach. They pretend to be fascinated by the boring article Nick is reading.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Granger has also figured out Nick’s plan. As Nick reads, her glare gets stronger and stronger....
(The entire section is 576 words.)