New Kid in School (Ellie McDoodle Diaries Series)


Moving to a new house? Bad. Being the new kid? Worse.

Ellie's family is moving to a new town, and Ellie is sure she won't fit in at school. The other kids play "new kid bingo" behind her back, and even the teachers can't seem to remember her name. But when her new classmates start complaining about long lunch lines (and bad food), Ellie jumps at the chance to lead a protest. And tackling the school cafeteria just might be the perfect way to ...

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Moving to a new house? Bad. Being the new kid? Worse.

Ellie's family is moving to a new town, and Ellie is sure she won't fit in at school. The other kids play "new kid bingo" behind her back, and even the teachers can't seem to remember her name. But when her new classmates start complaining about long lunch lines (and bad food), Ellie jumps at the chance to lead a protest. And tackling the school cafeteria just might be the perfect way to make new friends!

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Done in a style reminiscent of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007), this sequel to Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel (Bloomsbury, 2007) is a humorous and realistic look at moving. At school and in the neighborhood, Ellie faces many experiences typical to relocation. She gets excited about her first invite, only to end up watching her new friend play a handheld game; at school her classmates secretly play "new kid bingo," waiting for her to mess up or cry. Her story is told through a notebook, which is a combination of handwritten text and line drawings. The pictures, comic frames, and dialogue balloons serve to further the story. Reluctant and struggling readers and young fans of graphic novels are sure to find this title appealing. The book also includes an illustrated interview with the author, tips and directions for keeping a "sketch journal," and a teacher's guide to Have Pen, Will Travel .-Sharon R. Pearce, Longfellow Elementary School, Oak Park, IL

Kirkus Reviews
Although Ellie McDoodle knows that moving means the end of everything good, her sketch journal (which, glumly, begins, "The End") shows her gradually making a place of her own in her new house, finding friends and conducting a successful nonviolent campaign to improve the school-lunch situation. Ellie is lucky in her move; her house is roomy and her neighborhood full of young people who gather for evening group activities. This sequel to Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen Will Travel (2007) carries healthy messages: Ellie finds a new friend in the librarian; reading is more interesting than TV and video games; her new friend's Down syndrome brother is just another piece of a complicated life; peaceful protest works. But readers won't notice as they gobble down this fast read, enjoying the jokes and riddles, familiar situations and interesting instructions for group games and paper-folding woven into the story. An appendix includes an interview with the author and suggestions for making and keeping a sketch journal. (Graphic fiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619631748
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Series: Ellie McDoodle Diaries Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 581,155
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth McNally Barshaw, lifelong writer and artist, has worked in the advertising field, illustrated for newspapers, and won numerous essay-writing contests. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her family. Visit her at

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Marie Robinson for

    Ellie McDougal is the new kid in school. She had to leave her happy life behind when her family moved to a new town, and she is sure that her new home cannot possibly measure up. Little by little she begins to adjust, first by settling in at home with her new room, and then by spending time at the local library, where she finds books comforting and familiar. <BR/><BR/>She is especially nervous about fitting in at school. The other kids tease her, and no one can get her name right. But spunky Ellie does not stay down for long. Her classmates need an advocate to stand up to the principal, and it turns out that Ellie is just the kid for the job. In fact, she meets a number of challenges throughout this story and handles each one head-on, coming up with passionate yet reasoned solutions, and enacting positive change. <BR/><BR/>Author/illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw has created something special with this character and with this format. Part novel, part journal, part comic book, Barshaw's unique style of sketch-journaling is a treat. The illustrations tell the story as much as the words, creating a lively, interactive narrative. You won't just read about Ellie's first day at school; you'll go to school with her and see everything through her eyes. <BR/><BR/>What's best about Ellie is her sense of humor. Occasionally she will pause in her narrative to share a joke, or to let us in on dinner at the McDougal house and all of the warm-hearted shenanigans her family participates in together. <BR/><BR/>Ellie may struggle with the common problem of starting over, but what sets her apart from other heroines is how she handles her problems. When she isn't happy with her new bedroom situation, she doesn't just complain to her parents or mope about it in her journal; instead she proposes a solution that will make every member of her family happy. Best of all, her parents allow her to take responsibility for herself, in ways that are loving and supportive, but also non-intrusive, so that Ellie can learn from her own experiences.<BR/><BR/>The book includes bonus features, such as an interview with Barshaw that she conducted in her signature sketch-journal style. There are even instructions on how to make a sketch-journal of your own, and there are tips on how to sketch, and how to draw comics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    Great book for young girls!

    My almost-8-year-old daughter loves this book! She got it from the public library and has read it again and again and again. She literally sat on the sofa all evening reading this book (again). I am buying her more books from the series for Christmas. While the library is great for lots of books, this is one to buy so that they can read it again when ever they want!

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    read again and again

    This is one of my daughter's number one favorite series for reading again and again! She likes it so much that she has even chosen it as a birthday gift for a friend. It was also one of her younger sister's first chapter books, because lots of pictures makes for easy reading.

    It is similar in format to WIMPY KID, but all of my kids - including my son - like these books better.

    Not only are there great illustrations and a good story, but the rules for numerous groups games for kids are given as a part of the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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