EllRay Jakes is tired of being bullied by fellow classmate Jared Matthews. But when EllRay tries to defend himself, he winds up in trouble. Then his dad offers him a deal: If he stays out of trouble for one week, they'll go to Disneyland! EllRay says he can do it. But saying it and doing it are two very different things....
When EllRay and his friends hear about the school talent show, they're not impressed. They're too old for that stuff. But Mrs. Sanchez, their teacher, isn't so quick to let her students off the hook. Five students MUST try-out, and EllRay somehow ends up being one of them. Now he must figure out something he's talented at....like, maybe magic? With some unexpected help from his dad, a scientist, EllRay begins to realize that he does have talent and brains after all.
Things are going just swimmingly for EllRay. He's finally getting along with most of the kids at school. He's even getting along with his family. But then everything comes screeching to a halt when his younger sister accidently overfeeds the classroom goldfish EllRay was supposed to be taking care of over Spring vacation. What is EllRay going to tell his teacher and the kids in his third-grade class? Fortunately, most of them are sympathetic. But not bossy Cynthia.
All the boys in EllRay's third-grade class have something they can brag about. Corey's on the swim team, Kevin is super tall, Jared's dad has an ATV. But EllRay's dad is a geologist - not much to brag about. After all, rocks are boring. Then EllRay sees the crystals in his dad's office, and they are really cool looking. If EllRay just "borrows" them to show his classmates, he knows they'd be impressed. And his dad will never have to know. It's a perfect plan…until things go awry.
Eight-year-old EllRay is down to one-and-a-half best friends, which leads his little sister to point out the obvious: He needs new friends. A spare, at least. For emergencies. So EllRay decides to audition other boys for the role of Spare Best Friend.
EllRay Jakes is a small kid with big problems! EllRay Jakes may be the smallest kid in his class at Oak Glen Primary School, but he's also his sister Alfie's big brother. So when it looks like Alfie is being bossed around by a dragon-like girl at her school, EllRay feels responsible. As her older (and wiser!) brother, shouldn't he show her that she should stand up for herself? But little sisters and four-year-old dragons are a bit more complicated than he thought.
Emma McGraw just can't sit back and watch someone being teased - especially one of her friends. So when class bully Jared Matthews chooses EllRay Jakes as his next target, Emma can't hold back. But unfortunately for Emma, her good deed is not appreciated. Instead of helping EllRay, Emma just embarrassed him. What boy wants to be 'saved' by a girl?!
There's a new game in town: basketball! Or in EllRay's case, "pre"-basketball. Coach Havens has all the third graders dribbling, passing, and shooting, and he's quick to compliment EllRay's skills. No one else seems to notice them, however, and as "the shortest kid in the class", EllRay is still chosen last for teams at recess. What's a short guy gotta do to get noticed? When EllRay comes up with a plan that involves the off-limits teacher's lounge, "everyone" does a double take!
It's December at Oak Glen Primary School, and all EllRay can think about is Christmas. As far as he's concerned, Christmas is the best - no school, presents, fun parties, and lots of cookies! But before EllRay can celebrate with his family, he must lead half the school in the Winter Wonderland assembly. How tough can it be to memorize a few lines? Very tough, especially when EllRay's soon-to-be ex-friend gives him a challenge to perform onstage.
Eight-year-old Emma McGraw is an only child who lives with her mom in their "cozy" condo. When four-year-old Anthony Scarpetto moves in for a week while his parents are away, Emma is not happy. He's loud, he smells, and he touches her stuff. And that's only half of it! Emma has started at a new school, and has finally begun to make friends. But how can she invite anyone over when annoying Anthony is there? Emma is in for a surprise, though. As the week goes by, she starts to realize that having a "little brother" may not be as bad as she thought.
Krysten "Kry" Rodriguez is the new girl in school, and Emma decides she would make a great best friend. The problem is that her arch nemesis, Cynthia, thinks so, too. Emma doesn't want to fight Cynthia, but she has to come up with a plan to get to Kry before Cynthia does. The other problem? Emma accidentally forgot that she already has a best friend? Annie Pat. But it's not Emma's fault that Annie Pat got a stomachache and missed meeting Kry. And it's not her fault that she made plans with Kry on the same day she and Annie Pat had planned their big trip to Marine Universe.
EllRay Jakes may be the shortest kid in his class, and he may get into trouble from time to time, but he can always count on his best friends Kevin and Corey. But lately, Kevin has been skateboarding with the meanest boy in class. Could EllRay be losing one of his friends? Not giving up without a fight, EllRay asks his older neighbor to show him a few jaw-dropping skateboard moves - like ollies and kickflips. EllRay must learn as many tricks as he can before the secret boys-only third grade skate-off. But will it be enough?
Emma Mcgraw is slowly making friends at her new school. but when Cynthia calls her weird, Emma is shocked. They are supposed to be best friends! in response, Emma decides that Cynthia’s new name should be bossy pants, and she tells everyone in the class.
Dilly's mom, Elspeth Dillon Howell, died when Dilly was just six. She left her daughter an Adirondack farmhouse and a letter for when Dilly was "older". Now that Dilly's old enough, the letter's missing. As Dilly searches for it in the house's many hiding places, she makes a few discoveries about the mom she never really knew. Surprisingly, Elspeth's long-ago life looks a lot like Dilly's today.