Win a copy of The Universe of Fair! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

The Force Field

On the way home from school on the bus I’m staring off into space and thinking about how weird it is that I ended up to be me, Miller Sanford, from Holmsbury, Connecticut. I think how much more likely it is that I would have been born in China, because there are more than a billion people there and only three hundred million here, and even less in Connecticut, and way less in Holmsbury.

Then I think that if I was born in China, I’d probably be allowed to ride my bicycle home from middle school. Unless I had the same mom in China that I have now. Which I guess I’d want, even if she wouldn’t let me ride my bicycle home from school. Which she wouldn’t.

What’s even weirder to think about is that if my molecules and atoms and electrons and quarks were put together in a different way, I could just as easily be an earthworm. Or a rock. Maybe I am a rock. Maybe I’m a rock that just thinks I’m an eleven-and-a-half-year-old boy.

“How do you know you’re not really a rock?” I ask my friend Lewis, who’s in the seat behind me.

“Because rocks don’t make movies,” Lewis says. He waves his hand sideways, keeping his eyes glued to the flip screen of his video camera. “Stand up and look out the window.”

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Leslie Bulion

About the book:

For young science whiz Miller Sanford, an eagerly awaited day at the fair turns into a wacky adventure with more twists and loops than the BlastoCoaster! Instead of enjoying a freewheeling day on his own, he’s drawn into a series of mishaps involving a string of tagalong first graders, his dad’s prize-worthy lemon meringue pie, and flying death heads!

What people are saying:

“…this winsome effort not only lovingly celebrates the color and magic of the fair, but endearingly depicts the inner landscape of a maturing child encountering his first taste of the adult world. A cheerful and totally entertaining look at fairs, friendship and the value of family.”–Kirkus Reviews

“…Bulion captures the boisterous, chaotic nature of the fair, as well as its primacy in the grade-school social calendar. Dormer’s characteristically sketchy and childlike illustrations match the upbeat mood of this entertaining story.”–Publishers Weekly

About the author:

Leslie Bulion has graduate degrees in oceanography and social work. She has written parenting and education articles and is the author of several children’s books, including Uncharted Waters, The Trouble with Rules, and At the Sea Floor Café. Leslie lives in Connecticut with her husband, Rubin Hirsch, and at the youth exhibit of her town’s agricultural fair. Visit her at

About the illustrator:

Frank W. Dormer, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, is an elementary school art teacher. In addition to illustrating many children’s books, he wrote and illustrated The Obstinate Pen and Socksquatch. He has drawn dogs, kids, cowboys, pens, imaginary creatures, and now thanks to Leslie Bulion, bumper cars. Rank lives in Branford, Connecticut. Visit him at


The publisher has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Universe of Fair for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 31st at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

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Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!