It's September again. What does it mean for Richard "Beast" Best to be left back? It means being teased by his old friends while he's stuck facing the same old teacher in the same old classroom. He even has to take a special reading class with "babies" like Emily Arrow and Matthew Jackson. And just like last year, he can't help getting into trouble. But with the help of Mrs. Paris, the reading teacher, Beast starts to enjoy reading and just might find a way to help the second grade win the school banner for best class. Having to repeat a grade, losing one's place at the head of the class, keeping up with schoolwork, or dealing with bullies. These are the issues that students encounter, and the kids at the Polk Street School do their best to make their way through these challenges.