Humphrey the hamster is puzzled when unfamiliar students fill Mrs. Brisbane's classroom at summer's end, but he soon learns that his friends from last year are fine and that the new class needs his special help.
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.
"In Kenny Wright's active imagination he's a world famous superhero, but in the real world he's a sixth grade 'Grandma's Boy' whose struggles to fit in at his Washington D.C. inner city school will put his grades and family loyalty to the test"-- Provided by publisher.
In a story told in letters, when Claire's best friend moves away just before the start of fifth grade, Claire becomes the only girl in her school--and suddenly boys she has been friends with her whole life turn into bullying strangers.
At the end of fifth grade, Fara decides to wear mismatched socks as a statement of individuality, but once middle school starts and she wants to be known for her ideas rather than her clothing, she feels burdened by an image that she no longer wants.
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
Eighth grade turns out to be an eventful year for Ginny and her family, as notes, lists, report cards, doctor bills, and other "stuff" reveal that the family moves to a big new house, Brian starts to be more than just a friend, Ginny's mother has a baby, and her stepfather loses his job.
Middle school is bad enough for braces-wearing, manga-loving, uncoordinated Kat, but helping her two best friends get together will mean that Kat has no chance of winning Tyler's affection for herself.