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Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade Paperback – September 11, 2008

99 customer reviews

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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).
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; First Edition edition (September 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142413496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142413494
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 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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15 of 16 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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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "tempestuous" on September 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
... I'm 23 years old, and I still love this book. It was an ever present staple of my childhood reading library. This book was my first paperbackpurchase, which I bought after I became really obsessed with the book and was denied from taking it out of the library anymore, because it seemed that I -always- ahd it checked out. This book was absoulutly great because it shows how even "big fat theives" need friends too.
When a girl named Elsie Edwards is a new student in Jenny Sawyers 5th grade class, the class makes fun of her (behind her back of course) because of how heavy she is. When some of the class' lunch money starts disappearing, they discover that it was Elsie who's been taking it. After a while, after Elsie, a math whiz, tutors Jenny in math, Jenny befriends Elsie and so does alot of kids. The ending really shocked me when I first read it, and I know you'll be shocked too!
I highly recommend this book to any parent looking for great reading material for their kids. In fact, I was so shocked to see that Amazon carried this title, that I actually placed a copy of it on my OWN Wishlist, so that my children can enjoy it when they've grown
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Bubb on April 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was first exposed to the work of Barthe DeClements in my FOURTH-grade year - 1989. During story time, my teacher read this book to us, and I immediately fell in love with it.

Some may compare this to Judy Blume's "Blubber," as both are about fifth-graders, both feature girls who are singled out for teasing and torment due to being overweight, and both the narrator and the object of torment are presented - initially at least - as unsympathetic characters (Elsie because she steals from her classmates and panhandles for forbidden sweets during lunch, Jenifer because of her initial hate of Elsie before she begins to understand Elsie's life situation). However, this book seems to have more heart and certainly has a more satisfying conclusion than "Blubber."

In "Blubber" (which I still enjoy) Judy Blume never characterizes Linda "Blubber" Fischer as anything more than a chubby pushover without a backbone. In "NFIFG," we come to understand why Elsie is the way she is - she comes from a broken home, she's been abandoned by her father (at least it seems so), she has a verbally and physically abusive mother who very likely has some psychological issues of her own, and she eats for comfort. (In that respect the book, published in 1981, may be seen as ahead of its time, being written at a time when the psychology behind obesity was not as widely discussed in the public sphere as it is today.) At the same time, her stealing is not condoned and she is made to face the consequences for her actions.

One other reviewer thought the book was an example of fat-shaming. I can't disagree more.
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