Table of Contents
For Mandy and Ian—N.K.
Text copyright © 2003 by Nancy Krulik. Illustrations copyright © 2003 by John and Wendy. All rights reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street,
New York, NY, 10014. GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Published simultaneously in Canada. S.A.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Krulik, Nancy E.
Drat! You copycat! / by Nancy Krulik ; illustrated by John & Wendy. p. cm.—(Katie Kazoo, switcheroo ; 7)
Summary: Katie agrees to be a buddy for the new girl in class even though her best friend Suzanne does not approve. [1. First day of school—Fiction. 2. Moving, Household—Fiction. 3. Schools—Fiction. 4. Magic-Fiction.] I. John & Wendy, ill. II. Title.
eISBN : 978-1-101-14196-0
“Boys and girls, say hello to Becky Stern,” Mrs. Derkman told class 3A .
It was early Monday morning. The teacher was standing in the front of the classroom. Beside her was a small girl with a long, blond ponytail.
“Hi, Becky,” the kids all said at once.
“Becky and her family have just moved here from Atlanta. I know you will all try to make her feel welcome,” Mrs. Derkman said.
The class stared at Becky. Becky stared back at the class. Her blue eyes were wide open. Her face was pale. She looked really scared.
Katie Carew raised her hand.
“Yes Katie?” Mrs. Derkman replied.
“Who is going to be Becky’s buddy?”
Jeremy Fox, one of Katie’s best friends, smiled proudly when Katie said that. It had been his idea to give new students a buddy when they started at school. That way they’d have a friend right away.
“Well, Katie,” Mrs. Derkman said, “would you like to be Becky’s buddy?”
Katie grinned. “Sure.”
“Becky, stick with Katie this week. She’ll show you around. Now take a seat at the empty desk in the second row.” Mrs. Derkman said.
All eyes were on Becky as she sat down.
“Okay, everyone,” Mrs. Derkman announced. “Please pull out your vocabulary notebooks and copy down this week’s word list.”
As Katie opened her notebook, a tightly folded piece of paper landed on her desk. She hoped Mrs. Derkman hadn’t seen that.
Mrs. Derkman hated it when kids passed notes. Sometimes she even read the notes out loud. That could be very embarrassing.
But right now, Mrs. Derkman had her back turned to the class. She hadn’t seen a thing. Phew. Katie quickly unfolded the paper.
The note was from Suzanne. “Why did you say you would be her buddy? We were supposed to play double dutch with Miriam and Zoe today. The new girl is wearing a dress. She can’t jump rope in a dress. All the boys will see her underpants.”
Katie wasn’t sure what to write back. Suzanne’s note was kind of mean. It wasn’t like Katie had been trying to ruin Suzanne’s recess. She was just trying to help the new girl.
But Suzanne was one of Katie’s best friends. Katie didn’t want her to be mad. She quickly scribbled back an answer. “Becky’s new. I was just trying to be nice. Maybe we can all do something else instead.”
Just then, Mrs. Derkman turned to face the class. Katie quickly shoved the paper into her desk.
“Okay, class, our first vocabulary word is
Mrs. Derkman said. “Can anyone use it in a sentence?”
“I got one,” George Brennan shouted out from his seat in the front row. “When I really stink, I take a bauble bath!”
Everyone started laughing—everyone except Mrs. Derkman, anyway.
Mrs. Derkman shook her head. “George, that’s not how we behave in class. I don’t want to have to talk to you again,” she warned sternly. The teacher turned to the rest of the class. “A bauble is a small trinket. Now, does anyone else have a sentence?”
Suzanne raised her hand high.
“Yes, Suzanne,” Mrs. Derkman said.
Suzanne sat up straight and smiled as everyone looked at her. “To a princess, an emerald necklace is just a bauble,” she said.
Katie choked back a laugh. Somehow, Suzanne always found a way to talk about jewelry, makeup, or fashion.
“Very nice, Suzanne,” Mrs. Derkman said. “Anyone else have a sentence?”
Becky shyly raised her hand.
“Okay, Becky,” Mrs. Derkman said.
“To Queen Elizabeth, a diamond ring is just a bauble,” Becky said in her slow, Southern accent.
“That’s just like what you said,” Kevin whispered to Suzanne.
Suzanne didn’t answer him. She just stared at her own bauble—a plastic diamond ring she wore on her finger.
Katie didn’t like vocabulary very much. She liked reading and history a lot more. Before she knew it, her notebook page was filled with all sorts of doodles. Katie always drew when she got bored.
It seemed like forever until Mrs. Derkman looked at the clock that hung over the classroom doorway. “It’s time for lunch,” she said finally. “Let’s line up.”
“All right!” shouted Kevin. “Tomato time!”
“What’s he talking about?” Becky asked softly, as she walked over to where Katie and Suzanne were standing.
Katie grinned. “You’ll see,” she said. “Lunchtime is always tomato time for Kevin.”
Becky forced a nervous smile to her lips. “Thanks for saying you’d be my buddy this week,” she said in her thick Southern accent. “I hope I’m not getting in the way of anything y’all wanted to do.”
Suzanne glanced over at the two double-Dutch jump ropes Miriam was carrying down to the lunchroom for recess. “Well, as a matter of fact ...” she began.
But Katie didn’t let Suzanne finish. She knew whatever Suzanne said would hurt Becky’s feelings. Suzanne sometimes said mean things. It wasn’t that Suzanne wasn’t nice. She just didn’t always think before she spoke.
Becky hadn’t had a chance to see Suzanne’s good side—the side of her that was fun and exciting, and made you feel important just because you were her friend. Katie wanted Becky to know that Suzanne was really a good person.
“She’s just kidding,” Katie assured Becky. “We can all play together. Suzanne’s great at coming up with fun stuff to do.”
Suzanne glared at Katie.
Katie ignored her.
“Come on,” Katie urged Becky. “Let’s go to the cafeteria. I want to get there before all the chocolate pudding is gone.”
Katie showed Becky where the lunch line was in the cafeteria. She helped her get a tray and pick out her food.
Once the girls paid for their lunches, they carried their trays over to a table near the windows. Suzanne was already sitting there with Miriam Chan, Mandy Banks, and some of the other kids in class 3A .
Becky took a seat beside Katie. She smiled at Suzanne. Suzanne barely even glanced in Becky’s direction. Instead she opened her pink and purple lunch bag. Inside was a small plastic container. Suzanne tore off the lid and showed everyone a strange-looking mix of rice, lentil beans, and tomato sauce.