Patricia Reilly Giff
Ages 8 and up
Holiday House, 1998, 0-8234-1188-1
Sam and his friends are in the fifth grade. Sam is a good student. He has a best friend called Charlie. Charlie is not as good at school as Sam is and he sometimes gets into trouble. Today, however, Charlie is not in school. Neither are other kids who have the same birthday as Sam.
It is the day of Sam’s birthday, and he is eleven years old. Sam does not have a birthday party. His mother works and his father is dead. Sam is a big kid for his age. He has to wear clothes that are too big for him. He has to carry his lunch in a paper bag. Sam is also very poor.
Today, in school, Sam’s teacher gives the class an assignment. It sounds like to write an essay about what they would like to do when they grow up. Sam is not sure what he wants to do. He likes school and he likes to read. He also likes to help his mother. She is very busy with work and with taking care of Sam and his sister.
Maybe, when he grows up, Sam will be a teacher. Maybe he will help kids like Charlie.