Book Excerpts

Excerpt from Can You Get an F in Lunch?

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Joyce Kilmer Middle School was Addie Wilson’s red-and-white T-shirt.

Well, not the T-shirt actually. It was more the way Addie looked in the T-shirt. It was kind of short and moved up just past Addie’s belly button when she raised her arm to wave to somebody down the hall. She looked like a pop star on MTV.

I looked down at my oversize green-and-white Camp Kendale T-shirt, the one with the lizard and the mountain on the front, and freaked out. I looked bad. Really bad. Like a big green tent with a head popping out of the top.

It’s not like I’d planned on looking so bad when I’d picked out my clothes for the first day of school. When I left for school in the morning, I thought that wearing a T-shirt from a sleepaway camp was kinda cool. Not too many other sixth graders had been brave enough to go away to camp for a whole summer.

But me, I hadn’t been afraid. Not at all. (Okay, at least not after the first few nights, when the homesickness had worn off.)

So you see, that was why I’d put on the T-shirt. I thought it made me seem very cool. Wrong!

MIDDLE SCHOOL RULE #1:
A BIG GREEN T-SHIRT WITH A LIZARD
ON THE FRONT IS NOT MATURE

Not at all. Especially not compared to Addie’s teenage — or at least almost teenage — shirt.

Well, maybe everyone would be too excited about the first day of school to notice how lame my shirt was.

At that moment, I really wished I’d called Addie last night to see what she’d planned on wearing. Then maybe we could have coordinated, and Addie could have saved me from looking like such a dork.

  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation, Back-to-School Experiences, Fashion and Beauty, First Day of School
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