The most popular third grader at Lincoln School is certainly NOT Ernest Clark. He is small? His mother gives him weird haircuts? He has no friends. Then Jomo Mugwana arrives from Kenya. Jomo does not speak English but he likes Ernest and after a few months the two become friends. The school has a balloon send. Each student attaches a card, with their name and address, onto their balloon and on one day the balloons are sent off. When Ernest finds out how far his balloon travels he worries about his classmates taunting and how he will ever survive third grade.
Awards and Recognition
- 1991 KC3 Reading Award, Greater Kansas City Association of School Librarians
Reviews and Comments
“Although there’s no official document to the effect, Ernest is unquestionably the class outcast. … It’s the peer dynamics, the lonely protagonist, and the natural easy-to-read style that works well here.” (Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, recommended)
written by Laurie Lawlor
illustrated by Joyce Audy Zarins
Albert Whitman, 1988
Please look for this book at
your favorite public library
or used bookseller.