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Book Club Kits: The Toothpaste Millionaire

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Jean Merrill

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Book Summary

Likable, clever, and inventive sixth-graders Rufus Mayflower and Kate MacKinstrey develop and sell toothpaste to become millionaires in just one year!

Discussion Questions

1. When Kate and her family move to Cleveland Ohio, why is it so different than Connecticut?

2. How does Kate try to make new friends?

3. Kate assumes they don’t what to be her friend because why?

4. How does Kate meet Rufus?

5. How does Rufus get the idea to try to make his own toothpaste?

6. When Kate stops by Rufus’s house, what does she see?

7. With the batch of toothpaste Rufus made, how many tubes of toothpaste can he make out of that batch?

8. What math problem does Rufus, Kate and Kate’s dad solve?

9. Kate thinks Rufus is nice in many ways, what is one of the nice things about Rufus?

10. How does Rufus get on the Joe Smiley Show?

11. What happens to Rufus’s toothpaste orders after the Joe Smiley Show?

12. How does Rufus offer to pay his friends for all their help?

13. Kate wants Rufus to try tubes instead of jars, why?

14. What is Kate’s plan for Rufus’s birthday present?

15. What was Kate’s “gross mistake”?

16. How does Rufus help Kate get all those tubes home?

17. What problem did the friends discover as they were filling the tubes?

18. What was Rufus’s answer to the problem?

19. What did Kate think of Rufus’s plan?

20. Kate has an idea, what is it?

21. What is Rufus’s first impression of Hector?

22. The kids know they will need about $15,000 to start their business, what do they decide to do?

23. When Rufus and Kate tell Hector they cannot come up with $15,000, what does Hector do?

24. What plan do the three come up with?

25. Do you think this is a good plan? Why or why not?

26. What does Kate decide she is going to do for a career?

27. What happens to their toothpaste factory?

28. What does Mr. Perkell tell Rufus he needs for his business?

29. What does Rufus decide to do right before their new factory was almost finished being built?

30. Do you think Hector will make a good owner? Why or why not?

Have you ever tried experimenting with anything to come up with a great new product or invention? If so, write about your experiment? Compare it to Rufus’s experiment. If you haven’t tried experimenting or inventing something, pretend you could invite something, what would it be? Compare your ideas to Rufus’s?