The Grape Sisters Book One

The Grape Sisters:  First Day of School

The first day of Kindergarten had arrived.  At school orientation a few weeks ago, Alexandra had seen her classroom, and met her teacher, Mrs. Russ.  Mrs. Russ explained to Alexandra that there would be two additional Alex’s in her classroom.  One was a boy named Alexander and the other was another girl named Alexandra. 

Mrs. Russ had simply said, “We’ll just make sure you each has a different nickname!”   But ever since, Alexandra had been worrying about which nickname to pick.  Her mom called her Ali.  Her Aunt and Uncle called her Alex. Her grandparents just called her Alexandra. Ever since she was born, her family and friends had called her a variety of different nicknames, but now she would have the option to choose one herself.  This felt like a very BIG decision.

Now the weeks had passed by and the first day of school had finally arrived.   Alexandra was in her room dressing herself.  After rummaging through her drawers and closet, she decided on wearing her favorite purple tunic shirt, white leggings, and fabulous sparkly, silver shoes.    While getting ready, she was still thinking about which nickname she would choose.   Alex? Alexi? Lexi? Ali? Alexandra? Alex B.?     

As the bus drove up, she hugged her mom and boarded the school bus for the first time. With her backpack and lunchbox, she timidly sat next to another girl.  As the bus headed off to her new school, she was nervous but excited, too. 

The girl next to her introduced herself, “Hi, my name is Lela.  What’s yours?” 

Pausing for a moment, Alexandra replied, “I’m Ali.  Are you in Mrs. Russ’s class, too?

“No,” Lela said, “I’m in Mrs. Jones’s class.”

“Oh,” Alexandra replied, “my friend Mateo is in your class! He’s got crazy curly hair.  Well, even though we’re not in class together, maybe we can still meet during recess! Do you like to play with hoola hoops? My brother is in third grade and told me there is a basket full of hoola hoops.” 

Before Lela could answer, a head turned in the seat in front of them, “I like to play with hoola hoops. I can spin it ten times! My name is Tasha and I’m in Mrs. Jones’s class.”

“Hi,” Lela and Alexandra replied in unison.   

From the seat behind, a girl’s voice nervously piped in, “I’m in Mrs. Russ’s class.” 

Alexandra, Lela, and Tasha turned in their seats to see who was talking.  “My name is Rania.”

Just then the girl sitting in the seat next to Rania piped in, “I’m Penelope and I’m in Mrs. Russ’s class, too.” 

After introducing themselves to each other, they started discussing what the first day might be like.      

When the girls climbed off the bus at school, they were each feeling a bit more comfortable knowing they had already made a few friends.  They entered their classrooms and, in Mrs. Russ’s classroom, Alexandra, Penelope, and Rania took seats next to each other. 

Mrs. Russ began to go through the class roster.  She asked each student what name he or she would like to be called and wrote it in her notebook.

Isabella answered, “You can call me Penelope or Penny.  My family calls me both.”

Rania said, “I’m Rania!”

“Hi Rania, nice to meet you,” smiled Mrs. Russ.   

When it was Alexandra’s turn to answer the teacher, Alexandra took a deep breath and announced, “You can call me Ali.”  On the bus she had already automatically introduced herself to the other girls as Ali, and so it was she’d decided to be called Ali.  She realized the big decision she’d been worrying about for weeks was a lot easier after all!

The morning at school went by a much more quickly than they thought it would and pretty soon, Ali, Rania and Penny met Lela and Tasha outside in the playground for recess.  Each grabbed a hoola hoop and started spinning it with her hips.  Or at least trying to!  

“Let’s count how many times we can each do it before it falls to the ground,” suggested Rania. 

“One, two, three, four, five, six,” counted Lela before the hoop fell past her knees and landed on the ground.  The girls continued to try for more and more spins.  They laughed and giggled as hoola hoops swirled around their hips and fell to the ground.   

 As recess came to an end, Mrs. Jones walked over smiling at these five girls all laughing and having fun. 

She called to the girls, “Come on grape sisters.  Time to go back to class.”  

Confused, they paused their hoops.

“Why did you call us grape sisters?” Rania asked.

Mrs. Jones smiled and replied, “You’re all wearing purple shirts! You look like a bunch of grapes!” 

The girls looked at each other's purple shirts and giggled.  “Yah, we are grape sisters!” announced Penelope.   

“Maybe we can be like a club,” continued Tasha. 

“That’s a great idea,” agreed Lela.   

They all put their hoola hoops back in the big basket and headed back to class discussing ideas for the new grape sisters club.

At the end of the day, the girls boarded the bus once again and continued talking about what The Grape Sisters Club would do.  Maybe they could build a fort or a tree house, suggested one.  Maybe they could meet after school and play.  And maybe they could even have sleep overs!  There were so many fun possibilities.  As they each got off the bus at their stops, they said good bye and promised to sit near each other on the bus the next day. 

At dinner that night, Alexandra’s dad asked her how her first day went. 

“It was good,” she said.  “Better than I thought it would be.  I made new friends on the bus and we played with hoola hoops at recess.  Then Mrs. Jones called us the grape sisters because we were all wearing purple shirts so we decided to form a club.” 

“Wow, that’s a great first day!” her dad said, “I’m glad you made new friends.” 

Then her mom asked, “How did choosing a nickname go?  I know you were worried about it.”

 Alexandra replied, “I told Mrs. Russ that I’d like to be called Ali!” 

“And you’re comfortable with that choice?” asked her mother.

“Yes! I don’t know why I was so worried,” she sighed.  “It wasn’t such a big deal after all.”      



Back of the Book Questions:

Why did your parents pick your name?  If you don’t know, ask your parents where your name came from and if they know what it means.

Do you have a middle name?

Do you have a nickname?

Were you nervous on your first day of school?

What is your favorite color?  Draw something that is naturally your favorite color.