Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade Author:Barthe DeClements This winner of 13 state "children's favorite" awards shows Jenny and her friends as they struggle through elementary school injustices. Ages 8-12.
When fat Elsie Edwards walks into Jenny Sawyer's fifth grade class, she's the last person Jenny expects to be friendly with. Elsie is not only fat, she steals everyone's lunch money to buy candy. And when the book club money disappears, the whole class is punished. Nothing's fair!
The teacher, Mrs. Hanson, is very strict. Fractions are impossible. And Jenny is assigned as Elsie's guide in school. Notihng's fair!
But Elsie turns out to be a math genius. She helps Jenny learn fractions. Elsie's diet begins to work. Then Jenny and her friends discover that Elsie's fat really covers up a good friend. Nothing's fair-but some things aren't as bad as they seem!
Even though it is a bit nostalgic and will take most adult readers back to the '80s, it is still a great classroom read for 5th, and even 4th and 6th grade students. Issues of bullying and self-esteem are well-addressed in this "coming of age" story. A new student is trying to "fit in" this fifth grade class, while one girl in the class is working hard to accept the new student for who she is, and helps her "fit in" and belong within the girl's group of 5th grade friends. Several adventures occur throughout the story that help the girl welcome the new student into the class.