Third-grader Marsha Cessano has promised to make a fresh start. At the beginning of the school year, she decorates a sheet of paper with roses and rainbows and writes to her parents: I, Marsha Cessano, promise to be very, very good all year long. Her school desk is neat as a pin, she loves her new teacher, and so far the first day of school looks very promising — until Roger Friday turns up with eyeballs drawn on his hand, and a pocketful of litter to throw inside her desk. Marsha’s dream of a fresh start deflates as she realizes that third grade will never be different so long as Roger Friday is in her class.
Colleen O”Shaughnessy McKenna, the author of the popular Murphy series, shows both kids as having good and bad qualities in very real portraits of third-grade students. Their quarrels are typical and funny, and McKenna”s lighthearted humor shows a real sympathy for the dilemmas of friendships in elementary school. Although Marsha and Roger’s feud nearly gets one of them kicked out of school, in the end they both see the error of their ways and actually become friends.