Author: Charise Mericle Harper

Summary: Best friends Randolph and Ivy do everything together until one day Ivy is invited to a girls-only sleepover at her cousin’s beach house. She is very excited, but her constant chatter about the party has her friend feeling left out and jealous. That’s when Randolph turns rotten and tries to make sure Ivy doesn’t have any fun at the sleepover by encouraging her to pack some very heavy and very unusual items.

WITS Connection: Talk it out, Seek help

WITS Lesson Plan (PDF)

Learning Outcomes

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Questions and Activities


  • Brainstorm on a chalkboard or chart paper all the things that can turn rotten. Discuss how those things become rotten.
  • The two main characters, Randolph and Ivy, are best friends. Brainstorm with students about what might happen to this friendship when Randolph turns rotten.


  1. What does rotten mean?
  2. How do you think Randolph turned rotten?
  3. After something rots, is there any way for it to become not rotten?


  1. What things did Randolph and Ivy do together? Read, ate and played.
  2. How did Randolph feel when Ivy told him about her invitation? Sad and left out. What did he do instead of talking it out with Ivy? He wished for things to be different.
  3. What was Randolph’s last wish? He wished Ivy would have a bad time at the party. How did he feel after making that wish? He began to feel horrible inside.
  4. What could Randolph have chosen to do instead of wishing horrible wishes and feeling icky inside? He could have talked it out with Ivy and asked her for help.
  5. Randolph packed many things for Ivy in hopes of making her very tired and frightened when she arrived at the party. What happened despite Randolph’s rotten packing? Ivy used the items to make the party a success.


  • Brainstorm other choices Randolph could have made instead of becoming rotten. Have students rewrite the story to include a different reaction to Ivy’s party invitation. Invite students to give their story a different title too
  • Sometimes friendships can feel rotten. Distribute the Heart and Bandage handout to students. Have them fill the heart with words that describe that rotten feeling and the bandage with ideas to try when a friendship feels rotten.