As Kevin helps his parents with the family mortuary his dream of working for National Geographic seems a million years away — until he and his friends are picked for a special science class at Armadillo Middle School. The class is taught by Dr. Alfred Leopold Wallace, the pompous proprietor of the local Arkansas Marsupial Museum and Discount Souvenir Outlet. Kevin's friends aren't keen about the doctor or his possums, but Kevin's sure that Dr. Wallace can help him become the youngest biologist in history. All he has to do is get Dr. Wallace to notice his scientific genius! The harder Kevin tries, however, the worse his projects flop – including the midterm tarantula project that escapes and terrorizes the funeral home. The class trip to Seven Devils Swamp is Kevin's last chance – if he doesn't let his pride get in the way of his final project. Winner of the 2005 Young Adult Fiction Award from the Association for Mormon Letters.
First edition published 2005 by Covenant Communications. Reprint/Digital edition published 2013 by Open Road Integrated Media LLC via Authors Guild Digital Services.
“…Kevin’s struggle with humility … makes this novel stand out as great LDS young adult fiction.… Wiles’s depiction of small-town life is witty at times, heartbreaking at others, and her characters are charming without being caricatures. Underlying it all is a story about faith-about having it, keeping it, and gaining it-that is a far better testimony of the gospel than overt preaching could be.” —Association for Mormon Letters