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PA LIA'S FIRST DAY by Michelle Edwards


A Jackson Friends Story

by Michelle Edwards

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-15-201974-X
Publisher: Harcourt

A simple story about starting school and making friends. Pa Lia Vang’s treacherous first day at Jackson Magnet School begins badly; she not only has difficulty finding her classroom, but Matthew “Stinky” Stern, the “enemy of the second grade,” happens to be in her class. The teacher, Mrs. Fennessey, doesn’t appreciate Pa Lia’s giggling in class, while the humorous notes Pa Lia passes to Howardina and Calliope serve to get all three of them in trouble. In the end, it’s Pa Lia’s act of publicly owning up to her mistake and getting the others off the hook that secures new friendships and acceptance among her peers. Edwards’s winning black-and-white illustrations capture the feelings of desolation, fear, embarrassment, and joy associated with first days, while the prose, composed with emerging readers in mind, yields up events briskly and concisely. (Fiction. 6-9)