Being the new kid is never easy...sometimes, neither is being the new kid’s new best friend.
Fourth-grader Danny Cohen likes Calvin Waffle, the new kid at school, well enough, but Calvin is a little odd. After just two weeks of friendship, Calvin starts using Danny as the subject of an experiment—and he won’t tell Danny what the weeklong study is. It involves statistics, observing Danny from afar and pockets full of jelly beans. Meanwhile, Danny tries to figure out if Calvin’s absent father really is a spy or if that’s just a story Calvin tells. Danny’s also trying to help Calvin make new friends...and both of them are trying to not run afoul of Mrs. Cakel, their tough teacher, who’s armed with a huge list of “NO”s. Award-winning nonfiction author and creator of Cam Jansen, Adler starts a new series of gently humorous stories aimed at those just starting chapter books. The first-person narration, realistic characters and occasional line-drawing “doodles” will keep pages turning. Young readers will easily see themselves in Danny and his compatriots.
Sequels are planned, so Danny’s newly won fans will have something to look forward to. (Fiction. 6-8)