Overview

The author of the beloved Kids of the Polk Street School series introduces a new generation of readers to a multicultural group of kids who enjoy all the activities of an after-school center.
 
I'M #1! That’s what Mitchell McCabe’s favorite T-shirt says. He'd like to be Number One at the Zigzag Afternoon Center, where there are lots of fun activities to choose from: swimming, nature walks, field trips, art, even homework help. And ...
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Number One Kid

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Overview

The author of the beloved Kids of the Polk Street School series introduces a new generation of readers to a multicultural group of kids who enjoy all the activities of an after-school center.
 
I'M #1! That’s what Mitchell McCabe’s favorite T-shirt says. He'd like to be Number One at the Zigzag Afternoon Center, where there are lots of fun activities to choose from: swimming, nature walks, field trips, art, even homework help. And YAY—there's snack time! But Mitchell is worried. What if he's the only kid who doesn’t get a prize on Prize Day? Luckily, Mitchell realizes he's a winner at something terrific.
 
In this delightful new series, award-winning author Patricia Reilly Giff introduces readers to a quirky, lovable group of kids, capturing all the excitement and surprises of new friends and after-school fun.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This spirited if choppy novel marks the debut of Giff's Zigzag Kids series starring students in an after-school program. New to the Zelda A. Zigzag School, Mitchell wears his "I'm #1" T-shirt yet fears that others think he's a loser. He's apprehensive about attending the Afternoon Center and--rather implausibly--dons a mask he finds on the floor hoping no one will recognize him. As he participates in such activities as singing, swimming, and visiting a nature center, Mitchell becomes increasingly worried that he isn't good at anything and won't win an award on prize day. The humor can be strained: after misplacing the mask, Mitchell "hoped it wasn't on the floor. It would look as if a cow had run over it." Yet Giff (the Kids of the Polk Street School books) persuasively portrays Mitchell's anxieties and his rapport with his peers and with his sister, who surprises him by announcing that she's also afraid of being passed over on prize day ("He thought she was good at everything"). It's a slight story--but one with heart. Also available: Big Whopper. Ages 6–9. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Making friends in a new school can be difficult, as Mitchell McCabe finds out. Mitchell's family had to move when his father got a new job, and the school in his new neighborhood, the Zelda Z. Zigzag School, is not like his old one at all. It is filled with kids he doesn't know, and some of them don't seem to like him. Mitchell likes to wear a t-shirt with the words "I'm # 1" on it, and he needs to find something at school that can earn him an award on "Prize Day." He tries all sorts of things: swimming, nature walks, and art, but he is unsuccessful. As he writes in his journal during "homework help" time, things were a lot better in his old school. After some bumpy encounters with the other kids—who turn out to be not so bad after all—"Prize Day" arrives and Mitchell is delighted to find out that he has won a prize for his writing. In fact, everyone wins a prize for something, and Mitchell decides that this new school is okay after all. This is the first book in a new series called "Zigzag Kids." More than twelve characters are introduced in 69 pages, and because of that, the reader gets only surface information about most of them. The theme—making new friends—is certainly relevant for our mobile society, but it is not really explored in any depth. Instead, the emphasis seems to be on Mitchell's winning a prize, but this is a dubious accomplishment since everyone ends up winning a prize. Some additional editing could improve the writing. There are some non-sequiturs, and in one case, the same descriptive phrase is used in two different situations in the space of two pages. Reviewer: Leona Illig
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375896354
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Series: Zigzag Kids Series , #1
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 389,537
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Patricia Reilly Giff is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan’s Song, a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction; and the Newbery Honor Books Lily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. Lily’s Crossing was also chosen as a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book. Her most recent books are Big Whopper, Eleven, Wild Girl, and Storyteller. Patricia Reilly Giff lives in Connecticut.

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