As someone who threw a fit until she was allowed to go to kindergarten, I can't imagine not going to school until the 5th grade. But that is just what our protagonist Emma is dealing with; she has been home-schooled until this year and is nervous about starting public school and making friends. She thinks that the two girls she is sitting with might be her friends, but they pair up for a class project and leave her to work with Jack.
Jack likes science and knows lots of animal facts, so it seems like they would be a good pair. After all, Emma loves animals and her father is a game warden. But Jack is also impulsive, doesn't always get social cues, and there is an assistant in the class to help keep him on track. If Emma is paired up with him, will she ever be able to make other friends?
This is the perfect story to read aloud to a class at the beginning of the school year since it deals with fitting in, first impressions, being open to differences, and friendship. The addition of the cute rabbit, Lapi, increases the appeal for animal lovers in the group. Emma learns a lot of lessons, in and out of school, about friendship and being true to yourself.
Highly recommended for grades 3 and up. Perfect for fans of stories featuring animals like Ben Baglio or Bill Wallace books.