Having a bossy robot for a friend really isn't much fun. Seven-year-old Ben loves pretending to be a robot, but his best friend Jessy is tired of being ordered to oil his knee joints and check his batteries. She says the robot game is boring and runs off to play with someone else. So Ben decides to build a real robot instead. He's built all kinds of things before: wind generators, solar-powered marble launchers, pinball machines. But none of his creations have ever really worked. Until now. When his robot begins talking, Ben is thrilled. However, nothing goes quite the way he thinks it will. Ben's robot is rather difficult to get along with. He complains a lot. He's bossy. He never wants to do anything Ben suggests. Having a real robot isn't nearly as much fun as Ben thought it would be. And to make things worse, no oneâ€”not even Jessyâ€”will believe him.
Rocks and bugs and kites and more. Reg and Keely are twins. Keely loves painting and bugs. Reg loves rocks. Keely sings crazy rhymes. Reg plays softball. Shawna and Burt are their friends. In this series of linked stories, the children's deep involvement with their daily activities never falters, from a bug walk, through incidents flying a kite and dividing labor at clean up time, to a chance to swim in the river on a hot summer's day.
Friends are not always for keeps. Kate and Jake have always been best friends; always, that is, until Jake's cousin, Lionel, moves nearby and Jake starts spending time with him instead. Kate struggles with his abandonment and her own loneliness as she seeks new friends that share her likes and dislikes. And, perhaps there is a place in her life for her old best friend after all.
In Pardon Me, Stella needs to find a new best friend after her friend, Willa, moves away. But finding a new best friend is not easy. Things are looking up when she meets Evie, the new girl in town. She is going to be in Stella's class at school and she needs a new best friend too. Stella can't wait to introduce her to the other third graders. Except when they get to school, things don't exactly go the way Stella planned.
Kate wants to enter the spelling bee, but she doesn't want to compete against her best friend. Kate is determined to win her spelling club's spelling bee, but the competition is fierce. She can almost put up with Violet's relentless claims of superior spelling ability, but when Kate and Jake begin to fight with each other, Kate is miserable. She wants to win the contest, but she doesn't want to lose her best friend.
Lawrence's dimples are far from delightful. Lawrence hates being teased about his dimples, but nothing he does seems to make any difference. Joe goes right on teasing him, and the teasing gets meaner and meaner. Finally, Lawrence notices something about his friend Stewart that may provide the tool he needs to tease-proof himself once and for all.
Small plastic toy or hero of mammoth proportions, George is a character you won't soon forget. George is hardly bigger than a child's middle finger. His knees and his elbows don't bend and his legs are fused together. When Katie and Mackenzie find him at the edge of the ocean, they are unimpressed, but George keeps turning up in their lives. And what may seem ordinary to a girl and a boy can be an awesome adventure if you are six centimeters tall.