Clementine Friend of the Week


By Sara Pennypacker

Illustrated by Marla Frazee

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 3, 2011. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

This delightful chapter book series, from the award-winning author of Pax, is a modern classic that has been keeping readers engaged and laughing as they follow the hijinks of Clementine, a clever and quirky third grader who’s the most spectacular friend around. Perfect for fans of Amelia Bedelia and Ivy + Bean!

Clementine has been picked for Friend of the Week, which means she gets to be line leader, collect the milk money, and feed the fish. Even better, she'll get a Friend of the Week booklet, in which all the other third-grade kids will write why they like her.

Clementine's best friend Margaret has all sorts of crazy ideas for how Clementine can prove to the class she is a good friend. Clementine has to get a great booklet, so she does everything Margaret says she should do. But what begins as one of the best weeks ever starts turning into the worst, and being a good friend might turn out harder than Clementine thinks.

The Talented Clementine
Clementine’s Letter
Clementine and the Family Meeting
Clementine and the Spring Trip
Completely Clementine


I couldn’t wait for Margaret to get on the bus Monday afternoon. “It was the best day!” I told her. “I got picked for Friend of the Week! I get to tell my autobiography, be line leader, collect the milk money, feed the fish—”

“Oh yeah, Clementine,” Margaret interrupted, flapping her hands at me. “We did that when I was in third grade.”

Margaret is only one year older than I am. But whenever she says “When I was in third grade,” she makes it sound like “Way back when I was a little kid, which I’m not anymore, so that makes me the boss of you.” I want to learn how to do that trick in case anyone ever lets my little brother into third grade.

“Your class did Friend of the Week, too? I didn’t know that,” I said. “How come you never told me?”

Margaret crossed her ankles and looked down to see that her sock cuffs were matched up. When she looked back at me, her mouth was pinched like a raisin and she had turned a little pink. She shrugged. “I guess I forgot,” she said. “I guess it was just too boring to remember.”

“Friend of the Week isn’t boring! Especially the booklet. Did you save your booklet? Can I see it?”

Margaret shrugged again. “My mother keeps it in the living room. It’s very important to her because it’s all about my valuableness. I think she likes to have it around whenever Mitchell drives her crazy. I think she likes to read it and go, ‘Whew! Thank goodness I have one good kid.’ You probably shouldn’t touch it.”

“I won’t hurt it,” I said. “I’ll be careful. Let’s read it when we get home.”

Margaret looked worried—like she was trying to think up something and couldn’t—but then she shrugged a third time and said, “Sure, okay, sure, I suppose.”

So when we got home, we rode the elevator down to my apartment to say, “Hi-Mom-bye-Mom-I’m-going-to-Margaret’s-okay?-okay,” to my mother. Then we rode the elevator up to the fifth floor, where Margaret’s apartment is.

Margaret went straight over to the shelves next to the fireplace. She clasped her hands in front of her, admiring the rows of trophies and awards she had won. Because we do this every time we’re in her living room, I knew she wanted me to admire them, too. So I clasped my hands and we stood there having a moment of silence, staring at all the proof of how great Margaret was at everything.

There sure was a lot of it. Three whole shelves of “Best at This” and “Blue Ribbon for That” lined up all neat and tight like groceries in the supermarket.

I am really good at math and drawing. But nobody gives out trophies for those things, which is unfair. So all my parents have is a stack of math tests with stars on them, and some drawings taped up on the wall. They never put up a shelf in the living room for all my awards. Which is good, I guess, because it would be empty.

After I figured we were done with the admiring, I went over to the shelves on the other side of the fireplace. There were lots of pictures of Margaret’s older brother, Mitchell, there, playing baseball with his friends. And six identical baseball trophies. M.V.P. each one read, but with a different year. Nothing else.

“What does that stand for, M.V.P.?” I asked.

Margaret scratched her head like she was fake-remembering. “Oh, right! Moron-Villain-Pest,” she said. “He wins it every year. No competition.”

I knew Margaret was making that up because Mitchell isn’t even one of those things. Which does N-O-T, not, mean he is my boyfriend.

I took a purple marker from my pocket and wrote M.V.P. on my arm with a lot of question marks after it so I would remember to find out what it meant. Margaret didn’t notice because she had picked up a golden ballerina statue. “I should have won silver and bronze statues for my other dances, too,” she was saying. “But the judges didn’t want the rest of the kids to feel too bad.”

Now, Margaret can be kind of a braggy girl. But today she was being even braggier than normal. This could take a while. “How about the booklet?” I reminded her.

Margaret blew some invisible dust off the statue and put it back carefully. She pushed aside a big spelling bee plaque on her bottom shelf and pulled out a blue booklet.

I reached for it, but she yanked it away. “Germs,” she said, glaring at my hands. Then she sat on the couch and began to read.

“‘It’s good to have Margaret in our class because she is very organized.’ ‘I like having Margaret in class because she is neat.’ ‘Margaret is an extra-clean girl.’”

I sat down beside her and looked over, to see if she was fake-reading all those compliments. Nope, I saw with my own eyes—the page was full of stuff like that.

It’s good to have Margaret in class because her hair is so shiny I can almost see myself in it! wrote Alexis. I like sitting next to Margaret because she never lets her stuff spill onto my desk, wrote Jamaal. And under that, Kyle had written, Margaret is helpfull. Every day she tells me what I do wrong.

Margaret tapped the page. “I had to tell him he’d spelled ‘helpful’ wrong.”

“Wow,” I said. “That’s a great booklet.”

I started to get nervous. Even though I am friends with everybody in my class, nobody was going to write anything like that about me, that was for sure. “What else did kids write?” I asked. “Anything about being a good draw-er, or good at math?”

“Just more nice compliments,” Margaret said, jumping up suddenly. “Page after page. We should put it back now.”

Margaret walked over to her shelves and closed the booklet. But instead of putting it back, she stared down at it and gasped. She turned red. If her eyes weren’t squidged down to slits, I bet I could have seen them boil. She looked like a cartoon person about to explode.

“That…that…that…that…OH!!!” she sputtered. Then she stomped out of the living room and down the hall and kicked open Mitchell’s door. I followed her.

“Don’t touch anything in here!” she warned me. “This place is crawling with germs!”

Mitchell was on his bed. He said hi to us from behind the sports section. Margaret went over to him and stuck the booklet out, her whole body shaking.

Finally I saw what was making her so mad. On the cover of the booklet, someone had covered up the r in “Friend” with white tape.

MARGARET! the title read, above Margaret’s smiling school picture. FIEND OF THE WEEK!

Mitchell made an innocent face and clapped his hands to his chest, like he was heart-crushed that she could accuse him of doing something like that. But I could see him telling his mouth not to laugh, and I could see his mouth fighting back.

“What makes you think it was me?” he asked, when he had won the fight with his mouth.

Margaret pointed to the baseball bat sticking out from under Mitchell’s pillow. The handle was wrapped in tape that used to be white.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I should have used Mom’s nail polish or something.”

Margaret stormed out of the room without saying a word and stomped back to her own bedroom. Her cat, Mascara, shot off the pillow and scrambled under the bed, because cats know when someone’s mood is B-A-D, bad. Mascara and I waited while Margaret sat in the exact center of her rug and smoothed out all of the fringe, which is how she calms herself down.

“He is such a baby-head!” she hissed after a while.

“The cover’s not important, Margaret,” I tried. “Here, give it to me. I’ll take the tape off.”

Margaret clutched the booklet to her chest.

I almost pointed out that if Mitchell had touched it, it was crawling with germs now, but I didn’t because I figured Margaret had been historical enough for one day. It didn’t matter, though, because just then she figured it out for herself.

“Aaauuurrggghhh!” Margaret screamed. She dropped the booklet and ran into her bathroom, waving her hands like they were on fire. I heard her turn the water on and start scrubbing.

Normally, Margaret and I never leave the other person alone in our rooms. This is because if Margaret is ever alone in my bedroom, her fingers get itchy to organize something. And if I’m ever alone in her room, my fingers get itchy to mess something up. As soon as Margaret went into her bathroom, I started looking around for what I could mess up. But this day, I saw something even better to do with my itchy fingers!


  • Praise for the Clementine series:
    New York Times Bestseller
    Winner of 2008 Rhode Island Children's Book Award
    Winner of 2008 William Allen White Children's Book Award
    Winner of the 2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor
    Winner of 2008 Great Lakes Great Books Award
    Winner of the 2007 Josette Frank Book Award
    Winner of the 2007 Sid Fleishman Award
    A 2006 School Library Journal Best Book of Year
    A 2006 Child Magazine Best Book of Year
    A 2006 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
    A 2006 National Parenting Publication Gold Award Winner
    A 2006 Nick Jr. Family Magazine's Best Book of the Year
    A 2006 Miami Herald Best Book of the Year

    *"A delightful addition to any beginning chapter-book collection."
    —School Library Journal, starred review

    *"Along with humorous bits, Pennypacker seamlessly weaves into the narrative common third-grade themes...Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader."
    —Publishers Weekly, starred review

    *"Middle-grade readers will sympathize with Clementine's conflicted feelings about her friend and her family, and laugh out loud at her impulsive antics, narrated in a fresh first-person voice and illustrated with plenty of humor. Give this to readers of Cleary and Blume and cross your fingers for more."
    —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

On Sale
May 3, 2011
Page Count
176 pages

Sara Pennypacker

About the Author

Sara Pennypacker splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts, were she feels lucky to be able to write every day. She is the author of many children’s books, including Waylon! One Awesome Thing and Waylon! Even More Awesome, the New York Times #1 bestseller Pax; seven in the New York Times bestselling Clementine series; two in the Stuart series; Meet the Dullards; Summer of the Gypsy Moths; and Sparrow Girl. Her books have won numerous accolades, including a Golden Kite Award, a Christopher Award, and several children’s choice state awards, and they have appeared on many Best Books of the Year lists. For more information, visit

Marla Frazee illustrated Waylon! One Awesome Thing and Waylon! Even More Awesome and all of the books in the Clementine series. She was awarded a Caldecott Honor on two occasions: for All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, and her own A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. She is also the author-illustrator of Roller Coaster, Walk On!, Santa Claus the World’s Number One Toy Expert, and The Boss Baby, which inspired a major motion picture. Marla has three grown sons, and works in a small backyard cabin under an avocado tree. Visit her at

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