. . . and fifth grade is turning out to be a bad one for Alice. Her teacher, Mrs. Swick, never smiles. A good friend moves away. Her plan to find a stepmother is a total failure. And then something happens that's so terrible it makes Alice mad at the entire world.
But then her brother, Lester, breaks his leg, and Alice discovers she feels much better when she stops feeling sorry for herself and starts helping him. The old Alice is back -- just in time for the biggest surprise of all.
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My dad says there are good years and bad years for wine. I think there are good years and bad years for kids, too. My fifth-grade year in particular.
I'll admit I started out as sort of a grump, first because my brother celebrated his eighteenth birthday and asked for lemon cake, which I hate.
"Why don't you really go for it, Lester, and ask for prune cake?" I said. "Crab apple cake with grapefruit frosting?"
"Nobody's making you eat it, Al," he told me. My full name is Alice Kathleen McKinley, but Dad and Lester call me Al.
The second thing that made me grumpy was that I ripped a pocket on my... see more