A standout in its class, this snappy, well-grounded story of a small elementary school's election begins when a nerdy, donnish boy genius transfers into the fifth grade. Before classmate Nutty Nuthatch can get a handle on what's happening, the new kid, William, has him running for student council president and has Nutty's friends busy on the campaign. The appeal of power and glory, combined with the campaign's momentum, win out over Nutty's reluctance; and so he goes along, straight through to victory--despite some doubt about his own suitability for office and the ethics of William's campaign. Above all, Nutty comes to resent William pulling his strings and putting words in his mouth, making him seem the forthright defender of student rights; and after the election, when it turns out that William will be transferring out, Nutty tells him off. But what has happened, as Nutty's standing-up to both William and the principal neatly demonstrate, is that William actually has transformed him from a likable goof-off to a confident, responsible leader who might actually change the docile student council to a platform for student rights. There are lots of funny spots, along with a fascinating picture of William at work and, with no big deal made of it, a sympathetic study of Nutty coming into his image.