Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole were running and laughing-their first day of school was today! And they wondered just what was in store.
Would this be a good year?
Would school be a bore?
Everyone remembers feeling excited and nervous each fall on the first day of school. It's no different for Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole. But this year, there's not only a new teacher to meet, but a brand new kid as well. Lazlo S. Gasky doesn't look or speak quite like the other kids, and no one is sure what to make of him. In fact, they respond to his arrival at Brookhaven School by taunting and teasing him. But when Ellie realizes how tough it is for Lazlo, she reaches out, and after school one day they share an afternoon of soccer, strudel, and chess. Besides making a new friend, she and Lazlo teach their classmates an important lesson-one that isn't in their schoolbooks-about accepting people who are different...and in getting to know Lazlo, the kids learn that people aren't that different from each other after all.
From one of America's most respected journalists, The Brand New Kid is a heartwarming story about tolerance and the need to give others a chance that will entertain and inspire children and adults alike.
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On Ellie and Carrie's first day of second grade there's a brand new kid in the class. But when the teacher asks her students to welcome the ultrablond, blue-eyed, pink-lipped, loud-voiced, accent-sporting Lazlo S. Gasky to Brookhaven School, they all mock him instead: "Too different and strange to fit in they all feared." Lazlo grows unhappier by the minute, as he is ostracized and taunted by his classmates. One day, however, when Ellie sees his sad-looking mother walking forlornly toward her car ("Her son's having trouble, she might pull him out, / this school may be wrong for him, she's full of doubt"), things begin to look up for Lazlo. At that moment Ellie begins to wonder what it must be like to be a new kid, feeling so "different and strange," and she decides to take steps to get to know him, even at the risk of facing her friends' ridicule. ("At school the next day the kids stopped her and said, / 'You were walking with Lazlo, are you sick in the head?' / Ellie paused and replied, 'Now I know him, you see, / Lazlo isn't that different from you and from me.'"
NBC News' Today coanchor Katie Couric's rhyming book provides a healthy approach to treating people who may be perceived as different, and works well as a springboard to discussion. Though the suddenness of Ellie's turnaround in attitude seems a bit unnatural and the rhymes are often forced ("They arrived at his door greeted by his French poodle / and Mrs. Gasky was there with a plate of warm strudel!"), the message of The Brand New Kid will certainly not be lost on children. As Couric writes in her introduction, "It sometimes takes courage, but I hope this story will inspire all of us to reach out and make someone feel a little less scared and a little less lonely." Hear, hear. Caldecott Honor artist Marjorie Priceman's watercolor spreads are positively delightful, washing warmly over the pages in a free, buoyant style. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie CoulterAbout the Author:
Katie Couric has been a co-anchor of NBC News' Today since 1991, and in that position she has covered and debuted many important stories about life in America. She is also a contributing anchor for the newsmagazine Dateline NBC. She has been awarded two Emmys, named one of Glamour's Women of the Year, and won wide recognition for her excellent journalism. Raised in Arlington, Virginia, she lives in New York with her two daughters and is at work on her next book.
Marjorie Priceman was awarded a Caldecott Honor for Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss, one of the New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of 1995. Since her first book, the award-winning Friend or Frog, she has illustrated sixteen books and authored five more, including Emeline at the Circus (1999), also a Times Ten Best Illustrated book. Raised in New York, she studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
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Book Description Scholastic, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0439328977