The Boy Who Grew Too Small by Cliff Beaman, High Pitched Hum Publishing, 2006, Paperback, Age 8 and older, $12.95, 57 pages

This average kid, Jeremy had a dog and a cat, loved sports and riding his bike. He loved food and lots of it. He was thrilled when an older and taller kid, Lance became friendly with him. Jeremy admired Lance, thinking since he was older, he must be smarter.

Jeremy noticed some high school kids walking along trailed by smoke. He wondered what it was like to smoke. The teenagers looked so cool and the billboard showed a cowboy smoking while riding a horse. Could smoking be as much fun as the advertisements showed?

When Lance shared his cigarettes with Jeremy they were hard to resist. The problem was how could he keep this secret from his family? He decided to hide out in his treehouse and no one would guess what was going on.

Actually the smoke burned his throat, made him cough and his eyes began to water.

Jeremy just thought he needed more practice.

The next morning something very strange happened to Jeremy. His shirt and pants were bigger than he remembered. In fact everything in the house had grown larger. Everything he put on to wear to school felt too loose.

None of his family, none of his friends seemed to notice Jeremy’s struggles. He had to sit on some of his textbooks to reach his desk. He continued to practice his smoking in the treehouse, hoping it would finally be fun. As he shrunk and shrunk, Jeremy’s world kept shrinking. How can he get out of this situation? Do the cigarettes cause such a drastic thing to happen? Maybe Jeremy could teach Lance a thing or two.

This story is a valuable resource to help elementary school to recognize the dangers of smoking.


JoAn Martin is a retired teacher with five published novels. Reach her at or

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