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First Day in Grapes

by L. King Pérez
Illustrated by Robert Casilla

Published by Lee & Low, 2002
32 pages
ISBN: 1-58430-045-0

Ages 5 - 8

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. CCBC categories: Picture Books For Older Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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