Everyone remembers feeling excited and nervous each fall on the first day of school. It’s no different for Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O’Toole. But this year, there’s not only a new teacher to meet, but a brand new kid as well. Lazlo S. Gasky doesn’t look or speak quite liked the other kids, and no one is sure what to make of him. In fact, they respond to his arrival at Brookhaven School by taunting and teasing him. But when Ellie realizes how tough it is for Lazlo, she reaches out, and after school one day they share an afternoon of soccer, strudel, and chess. Besides making a new friend, she and Lazlo teach their classmates an important lesson that isn’t in their school books. They teach their class about accepting people who are different. After getting to know Lazlo, the kids learn that people aren’t that different from each other after all.