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Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade Paperback – May 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (May 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140344438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140344431
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This winner of 13 state "children's favorite" awards shows Jenny and her friends as they struggle through elementary school injustices. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Barthe Declements is an author of children's and young adult books. Some of her published credits include Fourth Grade Wizards, Double Trouble, I Never Asked You to Understand Me, and Bite of the Gold Bug: A Story of the Alaskan Gold Rush (Once Upon America).

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I read it in one night.
Pam
This book was absoulutly great because it shows how even "big fat theives" need friends too.
"tempestuous"
I'm surprised to know that this book is still in print.
Diaspora Chic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Barthe DeClements has created the most wonderful book for fifth-graders to read. Kids of all ages and grades would appreciate it as well, but I imagine that it is a target for most fifth-graders. There is humor, for sure. Cracks about Elsie Edwards' weight, such as when she's walking with Jenny, Diane, and Sharon, some sixth-grade boys say the bunch is "three flagpoles and a beach ball" and "three asparagus strings and a tomato". Elsie at first has no friends, and is disliked by everyone for stealing lunch money and scrounging at lunch time. But Jenny befriends her, and convinces Diane and Sharon to give her a chance as well. This is a read full of friendship, the real world, and fifth grade. And I declare one thing about the author of this book: Barthe DeClements is a genius!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read so many books in my life that I sometimes feel that I have warped my sense of reality. But of all the books I have ever read, and that has to be at least thousands, this is the book I have read the most. I am 21 now, I have been reading in since I was in third grade. But I don't just read it, or remember it as some cheexy book from when I was a kid. Barthe DeClements was a school psychologist for many years, and that comes through in her writing. There's not a character in this book that rings false, I could picture each one of them as someone I knew. All these years later, the story is so familiar to me that I should be tired of it. But I am not. This really is a classic for kids, because everyone dislikes and them relates to Elsie. Elsie, of course, goes on to become the heroine of two more of DeClements novels, "How Do You Lose Those Ninth Grade Blues" and "Seventeen And In-Between". These are also rich novels, and they bring a happy end to characters we've loved forever. But I know everyone else wants another sequel! Start with this incomparable work, and then get to know the rest of DeClements fiction. You'll never forget it, trust me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Is nothing fair for you in fifth grade?If so,the book Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade is the perfect book for you to read. Another reason to read the book is because it is full of friendship,so for all of you who like friendship books, this is for you.
The story is focused on the life of Elsie Edwards, who goes to a new school and is not welcome there. Elsie is an overweight girl, who is on a diet, but still asks people for food. One day, she starts stealing money, and when the teacher and the principal find out, the classroom door has to be locked. Jennifer, and Diane, are two girls in her class who don't like her. A little later in the book, Jennifer and Diane...Find out when you read the book!
I would recommend this book to forth and fifth graders, because it tells people about being friends, and relates to real life. The reason I really likes this book is because I liked the technique that the author used (of really explaining the characters feelings), and also, I could relate it to one of my friends' life. I read this book in the end of fourth grade, and I knew I was ready to help new people fit in in fifth grade. For all the people who don't like to read, THIS IS FOR YOU!
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "marynstockman" on May 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am absolutely appalled by this book. I read it as a child, and it encouraged my extreme fear of fat-ness. I remember thinking, after reading of this book, "There must be nothing worse in the whole world than being fat." After all, Elsie is labeled as "lazy", "undisciplined", "unworthy", "gross", "a pig", merely because she is a large person. No one in this book begins to accept Elsie for who she is until she loses weight. This book is only another vehicle of the lethal message of our culture that "fat is bad". I say "lethal" because for the past year, I have been in the hospital for the anorexia I developed as a child. I almost died. It's really time we all started asking ourselves "why must the human body be a source of shame?". After all, our body is our greatest earthly possession. It is the container of the human soul.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diaspora Chic on October 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm surprised to know that this book is still in print. I read it in the third grade and loved it. Some things never change as to how we view others making judgements of what we see on the outside. Elsie Edwards was the new student in class. Her weight made the students uncomfortable and disgusted, including Jenny. Jenny was picked to make Elsie feel welcome which she found unfair. An attack of the flu and seeing Elsie in tears made her realize that Elsie wasn't a bad person after all.

Elsie's weight problem was a result of her parents marital discord. Food was given to her for comfort. Her mother, seeing how it affected her put on a stric diet. But Elsie's mother having no patience with Elsie, decides she is better off in a boardng school. Elsie's mother was not attached emotionally to Elsie. She saw her as something standing in her way. Jenny's friendship with Elsie changed not only Jenny, but her two friends Diane and Sharon. Elsie's self-esteem also improved.

The book is a good read. As people, we make hasty judgements towards others not by listening to others and worrying what others are thinking. Rather than going by instinct, we tend to hold back and limit ourselves. Nothing's Fair shows us that friendships don't matter in size and form.
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