for First Day in Grapes
by L. King Perez
and Robert Casilla
Moving from one migrant camp to another as his parents follow the crops throughout California, Chico has started at new schools many times. Yet it never gets any easier being the new kid. At the start of third grade, Chico is dreading another first day once again. Even getting on the bus is scary when the driver greets him gruffly. But his new school turns out to have Ms. Andrews, a teacher who makes Chico feel welcome and who quickly recognizes and praises his math abilities. When two kids start to tease and verbally bully Chico, he understands for the first time the meaning behind his mother’s simple act of having him stand tall at the start of the day. She is telling him to be proud and have courage. He is able to draw upon his math skills, not his fists, to stand up to the boys in a hopeful story that will resonate with many children. (Ages 5-8)
CCBC Choices 2003 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003. Used with permission.
All year long Chico and his family move up and down the state of California picking fruits and vegetables. Every September they pick grapes, and every year Chico starts at a new school again. Often other children pick on him - maybe because he is always new or maybe because he speaks Spanish sometimes.
Chico's first day in third grade turns out to be different. His teacher likes him right away, and she and his classmates are quick to recognize his excellent math skills. He may even get to go to the Math Fair! When the fourth-grade bullies confront Chico in the lunchroom, he responds wisely with strengths of his own.
Readers of all backgrounds will relate to Chico's bravery and the creative way he finds to resolve conflict. This story of personal triumph is a testament to the inner strength in all of us.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.