Sweet Valley Kids #32-Left Back!

A new boy is starting Mrs. Otis’s class, and Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are excited to meet the new boy.  The new boy is named Kisho, and he has olive skin, dark hair and almond shaped eyes- yes he is Asian, people. Kisho is a little taller than the other second grade boys.  The kids start to read aloud, and Kisho has a hard time with reading aloud.  Kisho is happy when his turn is finally over in reading. Elizabeth can see that reading isn’t Kisho’s favorite subject.

It’s almost Grandparents’ Day, and the class is going to work on cards to give to their grandmothers and grandfathers. Wow, I just read a book about Grandparents’ Day and here comes another one!  Friggin Caroline Pearce says to Kisho ” why do you have a funny name?” UGH Kisho explains that it is a Japanese name, and Kisho is from Japan. Kisho helps Amy draw a picture of a bicycle, and Amy is amazed that Kisho is such a good artist. Kisho then announces that his birthday is in eight days, and he is going to have a cookout at the park, and the kids can all play baseball. Lila tells Kisho that Secca Lake has more space for a baseball game, and Kisho says he will tell his mom to have the party at Secca Lake. Todd asks if Kisho plays soccer. Ken says Kisho would be good because he is so tall. Kisho says ” you boys will catch up to me” and looks uncomfortable. Elizabeth tells Amy that maybe Kisho doesn’t like soccer.

The kids are all really excited for Kisho’s birthday party.  The kids are going to learn multiplication tables today, ( in 2nd grade?? We didn’t learn that until at least 3rd) and Elizabeth even has to admit multiplication is hard. Mrs. Otis gives a little test, and Kisho gets one hundred percent.  Jessica asks Kisho how he got so good at multiplication. Kisho replies he learned it last year. Jessica is all ” in first grade?” and Kisho says ” no in second grade” and Jessica asks if he meant the beginning of this year in Oklahoma, where Kisho moved from. Kisho says no he was in second grade last year.  Lila then asks how old Kisho will be on his birthday and he says 9- all the kids in Mrs Otis’s class are 7 or 8. Lila says Kisho is dumb. Jessica points out that he knows how to multiply and Lila says that of course Kisho knows that because he learned it last year. Lila says that since Kisho didn’t get promoted to third grade, he must be dumb, and Lila will not hang out with a dummy. Lila- you hang out with Jessica. Jessica agrees that she will no longer be Kisho’s friend.  Elizabeth says that they promised to go to Kisho’s party, and and Jessica says she is no longer going.

Elizabeth and Amy talk about what they want to get Kisho for his birthday. Jessica says she is not going to Kisho’s party because he’s a ” repeater.” Amy is all ” so?” Elizabeth says the kids all used to like Kisho, and Jessica says that’s before they found out he was a dummy.  Kisho is running with the boys, and Jessica says to Liz she is going on the swings and to join her as Jessica refuses to play with a dummy. And of course because Liz is a doormat, Elizabeth goes off to play with Jessica. Amy says she will play with Kisho. Then Lila and Ellen both say they will not go to Kisho’s party because they don’t go to parties given by dummies. Ummmm Ellen seems like a real dumbass who is she to talk? Winston, Charlie Cashman and Amy look uncomfortable as Lila and Ellen say that, and Elizabeth is a little suprised that Charlie is not teasing Kisho because he’s usually a bully.  Jessica then says she wouldn’t go to the party because she doesn’t want to ” play with rattles.” ?????? Kisho runs away with his face beet red. God, Sweet Valley sucks. Charlie Cashman then balls his hands into fists and says ” you better stop making fun of Kisho or else” and HE runs off to play with Kisho.

Elizabeth goes to the back of the class to talk to Kisho and Charlie. Charlie finds it so cool ( yes the Charlie who later beats up Andy Jenkins just because he is black) that Kisho was born in Japan and moved to the US when he was 4. Kisho lived in New York City for awhile, then Oklahoma and now Sweet Valley. Kisho’s parents are college professors who move around a lot for their jobs, but Kisho’s parents say they should be staying in Sweet Valley for awhile. Because Sweet Valley is the most magical place on Earth. Elizabeth asks Kisho if he had to stay back because he moves around so much, and Kisho says yes and also because he had to miss so much school due to moving, and English is his second language and he can’t read English too well. Kisho says he wishes that kids didn’t tease him- at his old school, the kids didn’t act like it was a big deal. Elizabeth agrees to go to Kisho’s house the next day along with Charlie so Kisho can show them pictures of Japan and Oklahoma. Charlie says to Elizabeth that she must wonder why Charlie is being so nice to Kisho. Elizabeth says she kind of does wonder that. Charlie says it’s because he can be nice to anyone he wants. Good enough. Elizabeth decides she can also be nice to anyone she wants, despite what Jessica thinks. 

Elizabeth tells Jessica after school she is going to play Space Explorers with Charlie and Kisho and Jessica says she doesn’t want to. Jessica thinks that Elizabeth playing with Kisho and Charlie is embarrassing. Jessica tells Lila, Ellen and Caroline that Elizabeth is playing with Kisho, and Lila says it’s because Elizabeth likes Kisho. Jessica says Liz just feels bad for Kisho. Then Jessica marches over to Elizabeth and tells her she wants Liz to stop being that dumbo’s friend.  Elizabeth says Kisho is not dumb and Jessica asks why he was left back. Elizabeth says she “doesn’t know” ( Liz yes you do) but it doesn’t matter and Kisho is not dumb. Jessica says now Lila and Ellen think she is dumb because Liz hangs out with Kisho. So doormat Liz says she and Jessica should just go home.  Elizabeth asks Mrs. Wakefield at dinner why kids are left back in school and Mrs. Wakefield says some kids learn at a slower pace and need more time to learn things, and Mr. Wakefield says it doesn’t mean those kids aren’t smart. Jessica thinks that Kisho needs more time because he is dumb. Jessica YOU ARE DUMB AS BRICKS SHUT UP! Jessica- you only pass college because you sleep with half your professors. SHUT UP! ( Jessica sucks in this book)

Mrs. Murasaki picks up Elizabeth, Kisho and  Charlie so they can play at Kisho’s house the next day.  Kisho has to go to the phone to talk to his grandma in Oklahoma and Elizabeth and Charlie are all amazed to hear Kisho speak Japanese- he said English was his second language! HELLO! Charlie says Japanese is really different from English. Kisho says his grandma is visiting next month to see a baseball game. Kisho then says he and his parents speak Japanese a lot at home.  Charlie then reveals that his grandparents came here from Italy and when they first arrived a lot of people made fun of them because they didn’t speak English well. Charlie says some people still tease his grandpa because his English still isn’t the best. (which of these books was written first? Either way- ghostwriters didn’t do their homework too well, since Charlie later becomes a racist butthole).  Charlie says he speaks a little Italian because his mom and grandparents taught him. Elizabeth then gets why Charlie is nice to Kisho.  Charlie and Kisho say it’d be great if Mrs. Otis could teach in Japanese one day and Italian in another and then Lila and Ellen would have no clue what was going on in class. This gives Elizabeth an idea…

Mrs. Otis gives a lesson about there being all different cultures in our world, with different foods and languages. Mrs. Otis says when people first come to the US they have a lot to adjust to, and have to learn a whole new language, and it can be very tough for new immigrants. Jessica says ” oh Mrs. Otis is talking about this for Caroline to be nicer”- umm for CAROLINE to be nicer, Jess? Mrs. Otis says most of the kids in class had relatives who once came from another country in some point in time.  Elizabeth says to Jessica she will find out what the ” big surprise” is tomorrow.

Kisho’s granddad and Charlie Cashman’s Italian grandma are visiting the class! The old people tell the kids about what it was like to move to America long ago. Mrs. Gangemi Charlie’s grandma talks about all of the buildings in the US being so big. Mr. Murasaki only came to the US three years ago, and has to learn English for hours each day. The kids learn how to say ” Good” in Japanese (  a character that is yoi) and in Italian ( bene). Lila knows how to say good in Spanish, Ken knows the word in German, and Eva Simpson knows the word in French. Mrs. Otis says there are many other languages besides even those spoken in the US. Jessica says she doesn’t think Kisho is dumb anymore. Jessica doesn’t speak Japanese, but it doesn’t make her dumb. Jessica decides she will go to Kisho’s party and she is going to get him a box of 64 crayons, since he likes to draw.

The  morning of Kisho’s party, Jessica asks if there are any relatives of theirs who came from another country. Mrs. Wakefield then tells the story of her great grandma Alice Larsen, who came from Sweden.  The whole class came to Kisho’s party at Secca Lake.  The kids have a Japanese dessert- some pastry with red goo inside that are beans- and Jessica says she likes it.  Charlie says he wants to play a Japanese game and Kisho suggests baseball, because Kisho says the Japanese love baseball. Elizabeth and Charlie are both so happy that Kisho has tons of friends now.  After the party, the kids discuss Halloween and what they will all be for a costume, and it leads up to the next book of course.

Stay tuned for next week’s selection- Little Miss Stoneybrook… and Dawn! If you own the book, read along! If not, watch Toddlers and Tiaras- you will get the general idea.

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2 Responses to “Sweet Valley Kids #32-Left Back!”

  1. hi there, I didn’t know where to contact you but your layout design looked messed up on firefox and internet explorer. Anyways, i just suscribd to your rss.

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