Class President by Johanna Hurwitz, Sheila Hamanaka, Shelia Hamanaka |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Class President

Class President

4.5 4
by Johanna Hurwitz, Sheila Hamanaka, Shelia Hamanaka

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The fifth-grade class election is shaping up as a close contest between class clown Lucas Cott and one time teacher's pet Cricket Kaufman. It's just possible that the student with the greatest leadership ability is Julio Sanchez, but Julio's too busy running Lucas's campaign to notice. Or is he? And how can Julio throw his hat into the ring without betraying his


The fifth-grade class election is shaping up as a close contest between class clown Lucas Cott and one time teacher's pet Cricket Kaufman. It's just possible that the student with the greatest leadership ability is Julio Sanchez, but Julio's too busy running Lucas's campaign to notice. Or is he? And how can Julio throw his hat into the ring without betraying his best friend?

Johanna Hurwitz introduced Julio, Cricket, and Lucas in Class Clown and Teacher's Pet, earning a ringing vote of confidence from Publishers Weekly: "Hurwitz masterfully demonstrates why she is one of the premier practitioners of the humorous school story genre."In Class President, she has backed these delightful characters with a winning ticket of humor and insight.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The characters first met in Hurwitz's Class Clown and Teacher's Pet return here, with the spotlight on Julio Sanchez and the upcoming fifth-grade election. Julio would like to be president, although he lacks the confidence to run. But almost in spite of himself, he demonstrates his ability to lead--rallying his peers to raise money to replace a classmate's broken glasses; convincing the principal that a new rule is unfair--and these efforts are recognized on election day. A few of the novel's events have a facile, fabricated tinge, and for all of Julio's demurrals the election's results seem a foregone conclusion from the start. But even with these weak aspects, Hurwitz's breezy, humorous touch, her feel for the details that matter to grade-schoolers and her focus on a strong Hispanic character carry the day. Ages 7 - up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- Hurwitz scores again with the continuing story of the children first introduced in Class Clown (Morrow, 1987), now in the fifth grade and getting acquainted with a new teacher. Julio, known up to now as the class athlete, is the focus of this story, developing new talents as the tale unfolds. Mr. Flores announces that an election for class officers will be held, and the students begin choosing up sides. Julio is immediately interested, but promotes the candidacy of an unenthusiastic Lucas for president instead. As Julio strives on his friend's behalf, his own leadership qualities become more apparent. He organizes a class fund raiser, acts as spokesperson during an interview with the principal, and even respectfully challenges Mr. Flores on how class money is to be spent. These kids live in a well-mannered, harmonious world. Adversity is only hinted at, as when readers discover that Julio's father is ``no longer alive.'' Miscreants are understood and forgiven, and virtue is recognized and rewarded in just the way it always should be. Gently thoughtful and cheerfully humorous, this will make a good read-aloud as well as a satisfying read-alone. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Julio Sanchez ran all the way to school. He wouldn't have admitted it to anyone, but he was looking forward to the first day of fifth grade. He liked being in a roomful of kids. It was too ba that going to school also meant stuff like spendin time on arithmetic and social studies.

The summer had been long and hot and boring. Julio had missed his school friends. He wondered if any of them had missed him. He wished he had been old enough to get a summer job like his brothers, Ramon and Nelson. With his mother and brothers off at work, he had stayed at home with his grandmother watching TV reruns. His grandmother had arthritis and couldn't help out much in the kitchen, so Julio had to make his own lunch almost every day.

Although he didn't like arithmetic, Julio had added up all his lunches in July and August. He had emptied a total of 17 jars of peanut butter onto 248 slices of bread to make 124 sandwiches. Gross!

Julio liked the variety of school lunches-but he wouldn't have admitted that, either. Everyone was supposed to hate school lunches, or at least, as Julio did, pretend to hate them.

A Safety Patrol monitor was stationed at the corner across the street from the school. Both Ramon and Nelson had been members of the Safety Patrol, and Julio looked forward to sixth grade when he, too, could wear the Safety Patrol blue sash with a silver badge pinned to it.

Julio patted the top of his head as he reached the school yard. His hair had been cut into spikes, just like his older brother Nelson's. The spikes kept falling down. Still, Julio hoped his new haircut would help him stand out in a special way.

The schoolyard was filled, with kids. No one was ever late on the first day of school. It didn't take Julio long to find his classmates. Lucas Cott, Arthur Lewis, Sara Jane Cushman, Cricket Kaufman, and Zoe Mitchell were all standing in a group and talking.

"Hi. Give me five!" Julio called, raising his hand to slap a greeting with Lucas. The two boys were old pals even though they hardly had seen each other all summer. Lucas had gone to sleepaway camp for a month and then his family had taken a trip together.

Lucas slapped hands with Julio. "Have you heard the news?" he asked.

"I just got here," said Julio.

"Mrs. Upchurch is gone," said Cricket before Lucas could say anything.

They had all been promoted to Mrs. Upchurch's class on the last day of fourth grade.

"You mean old Upchuck isn't going to be our teacher?" asked Julio.

"How do you know she's not here?" asked Sara Jane Cushman. "None of the teachers is out in the yard yet. Only kids are waiting outside."

"I heard two teachers talking," said Cricket.

"One said, 'I'll miss Shirley,' and the other one said, It's too bad we didn't give a party for her in June.' Mrs. Upchurch's name was Shirley, so that proves she's the one they were talking about. "

"Maybe she got a better job," said Lucas.

"Anything would be better than being here," said Julio, pretending to hate school.

Before there was time to talk any more about what Cricket had overheard, a bell rang. It was the signal to line up. Because it was the first day of school, everyone obeyed instantly. By tomorrow, they would all be less eager to enter the building. The excitement of the first day always wore off quickly.

Sixth-grade monitors showed the younger children where they were supposed to line up. The fifth graders didn't need Safety Patrol monitors. Next year, they would be wearing the blue sashes and giving the orders. Not every fifth grader dreamed of becoming a monitor, but Julio had wanted to be one even before he'd entered kindergarten, when Nelson had been a school monitor.

The second bell rang. The monitors directed the lines of students to enter the building in alphabetical order by teacher. Mrs. Gordon's and Mrs. Hershey's fifth-grade classes entered the building, followed by Mrs. Upchurch's class.

it would be funny if she was there after all, Julio thought. But Mrs. Upchurch was not in her classroom. In her place was someone they had never seen before. It was a man. A man for a teacher! The only other men in the building were Mr. Herbertson, the principal, and Mr. Conners, the janitor. Julio hoped the teacher didn't turn out to be like old Herbertson, or they would be in real trouble.

"Good morning," the new teacher said. "I'm Ernesto Flores, your teacher for fifth grade. "

In all his years in school, Julio had never heard a teacher tell her first name. Of course, the students always found out who they were-Joyce Hockaday, Augusta Schraalenburgh, Shirley Upchurch-but it was up to the students to discover this information for themselves. The new teacher had spoiled the game.

"Now I'd like to find out who you are," said Mr. Flores. He began to call the roll, starting with the boys.

Julio shook his head. Teachers always began with the girls.

"Julio Sanchez," called Mr. Flores, pronouncing it Hulio. That was the correct way to say the name in Spanish.

Several kids laughed. They had never heard Julio's name pronounced without the J?"

Mr. Flores looked up from the roll book. "Isn't that how you say your name?" he asked Julio. "Or do you prefer Julio with a J?"

Julio shrugged his shoulders. "At home, they call me Hulio. But at school everyone calls me Julio. "

"How do you feel about that?" asked the teacher. "Do you like two pronunciations of your name? It's a good Spanish name and you should be ...

Meet the Author

Johanna Hurwitz is the award-winning author of more than sixty popular books for young readers, including Faraway Summer; Dear Emma; Elisa Michaels, Bigger & Better; Class Clown; Fourth-Grade Fuss; and Rip-Roaring Russell, an American Library Association Notable Book. Her work has won many child-chosen state awards. A former school librarian, she frequently visits schools around the country to talk about her books. Mrs. Hurwitz and her husband divide their time between Great Neck, New York, and Wilmington, Vermont.

Sheila Hamanaka is an award-winning fine artist whose work has also appeared in Scholastic magazines as well as in Permanent Connections by Sue Ellen Bridgers and Barbara Campbell's Taking Care of Yoki. Ms. Hamanaka lives in Tappan, New York.

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