How Oliver Olson Changed the World

Claudia Mills; Pictures by Heather Maione

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Oliver Olson's teacher is always saying that one person with a big idea can change the world. But how is Oliver supposed to change the world when his parents won't let him do anything on his own—not his class projects or even attending activities such as the space sleepover at school. Afraid he will become an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, Oliver decides to take control of his corner of the universe!  How Oliver Olson Changed the World is an irresistible chapter book from Claudia Mills, featuring lively illustrations by Heather Maione. Oliver Olson learns that before you can change the world, sometimes you need to change yourself.


Read an Excerpt

How Oliver Olson Changed the World
1Oliver Olson looked up at the moon.The large inflated ball hung on a string from the ceiling in Mrs. O'Neill's third-grade classroom. Earth and Mars and the other planets hung there, too, because this was the Monday that Oliver's class was starting its five-week study of outer space."When I was a girl," Mrs. O'Neill said, "astronauts walked on the moon for the very first time."Oliver tried to imagine Mrs. O'Neill as a girl. The best he could do was picture a much shorter version of a stout, short-haired lady with thick glasses and a kind smile."How many of


Praise for How Oliver Olson Changed the World

“Kids . . . will appreciate this warm and humorous story about one family’s struggle for balance.” —BookPage

“Personable and friendly, with touches of rueful humor.”—STARRED, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Mills has a knack for creating characters who demand compassion due to a pitch-perfect sense of humor and pathos.” —School Library Journal

“An engaging and though-provoking chapter book.” —Booklist

“Mills’s previous beginning chapter books have been stellar, and this one is no exception.” —The Horn Book

“Oliver may not change the world by the end of his diorama project, but he will certainly provide a fast-paced, entertaining read to the chapter-book audience.”—Kirkus Reviews

In the Press

HOW OLIVER OLSON CHANGED THE WORLD by Claudia Mills, Heather MaioneKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of HOW OLIVER OLSON CHANGED THE WORLD . Third grader Oliver Olson has a problem that may make many young readers envious: His parents have a compulsion to be deeply involved in his homework, to the extent that when he's assigned a diorama on the solar system, Dad and Mom are planning to do all the work.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Claudia Mills; Pictures by Heather Maione

  • CLAUDIA MILLS is the author of numerous books for children of all ages. Other chapter books include 7 X 9 = Trouble!, an ALA Notable Book, and Being Teddy Roosevelt, a Best Children’s Book of the Year, Bank Street College. She lives in Boulder, Colorado. HEATHER MAIONE has illustrated many children’s books, including Remembering Mrs. Rossi by Amy Hest. She lives in Laurel Hollow, New York.
  • Claudia Mills
  • Heather Maione


Available Formats and Book Details

How Oliver Olson Changed the World

Claudia Mills; Pictures by Heather Maione

South Dakota Prairie Pasque Children's Book Award Master Lis, Rhode Island Children's Book Award Master List, Texas Horn Toad Tales Master List, Virginia Readers' Choice, Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Master List, Kansas City KC3 Reading Award Master List, Massachusetts Children's Book Award Master List, Oregon Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award Master List
  • Trade Paperback


  • Hardcover


  • e-Book