Published by Feiwel and Friends
Summary: Elizabeth is excited to be in second grade and getting homework, just like her big brother Justin (from Vail’s Justin Case series). But she’s dismayed when she finds out the homework–posters showing everyone’s names–will be displayed in alphabetical order, meaning that bossy Anna will get to go first, like always. When Anna tells Elizabeth “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” Elizabeth decides to make her poster by gluing sticks and stones to form the letters of her name. She also uses a phonetic (sort of) spelling, which means her name now starts with a double A. The poster doesn’t come out quite as she planned, and when she has to show it to the class, she deflects attention from it by staging a protest against alphabetical order. The whole class gets involved in the discussion, and their wise teacher leads them to a decision about how to make sure everyone gets to go first sometimes. First in a four-book series. 128 pages; grades 1-3.
Pros: Junie B. Jones fans will enjoy meeting this spunky narrator who deals with difficulties in a very second-grade way. Short chapters and plenty of illustrations make this a good first chapter book.
Cons: I’m normally a fan of short chapters, but many of these are only a few sentences, which felt just a bit too choppy.