EllRay Jakes is a Rock Star!

by Sally Warner (2012)

Meet Ellray Jakes, the young African-American protagonist of Sally Warner’s fun, quick-reading series.  Meet his parents and classmates and neighbors – and take a peek behind the curtain of life in third grade.

In this entertaining second book of the series, we find Ellray returning from summer vacation.  Everyone’s bragging about their summertime adventures. EllRay decides to “one up” his peers by “borrowing” a few of his geologist dad’s crystal specimens for show and tell at school. Dad is away on a business trip but EllRay’s sure he won’t mind and besides – he’ll have them back in his dad’s office before he gets back from his trip.

His presentation is REALLY well received by his classmates. So much so, that EllRay feels like a “rock” star. (Pun intended!) After school his classmates’ adoration continues and EllRay, in a euphoric frenzy of peer acceptance, does the unthinkable. He gives all of his dad’s crystals away to his classmates! Upon his return, Dr. Jakes immediately notices that some of his prized crystals are missing. Can you say learning opportunity?

EllRay is forced to admit to his thievery and rather than have his dad call the school to recover the crystals he agrees to let EllRay undo the wrong that he’s done. EllRay sets out to get each crystal back and in the process swallows his pride. It’s a real lesson in character development and an opportunity for young EllRay to hone his people skills as he navigates the murky waters of negotiation with his peers.

What will it take for EllRay to right the wrong and remedy the situation? Invite your students and families to find out together as they join EllRay on a quick, wild introductory ride of personal redemption in this fun tale!