After a rocky period in first grade (First Grade Dropout, 2015), the same anxious blond, white boy decides not to advance to second grade.
After all, those first-grade books will be a breeze for him to read, he’ll always be the one who’s lost the most teeth, and that zoo field trip scavenger hunt? In the bag! His real worries involve being in a separate class from his best friend, Tyler, having a new teacher who doesn’t know his quirks, being too big for the playground with the twisty slide, and just change in general. But Tyler’s big sisters may also have something to do with his fears. The naïve boy believes their tales of having to learn Russian by Thanksgiving and invent a substitute for water. They finally come clean to the protagonist but then start telling tales to Tyler. But the two don’t fall for their tricks. After all, they’re second-graders now. Cordell’s scribbly-style pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations again portray the kids’ every fleeting emotion. The unnamed protagonist is white while Tyler and his sisters are black. The other kids and teachers are diverse.
A new look at an age-old fact: change is hard but maybe not as hard as what one might imagine. (Picture book. 5-9)