Project Description


First Grade Stinks

by Mary Ann Rodman
illustrated by Beth Spiegel

No share time! Only one recess! Writing is hard! The stories don’t end right! FIRST GRADE STINKS!

It is the first day of school and Hayley is excited. Things are different now. She is a first grader. Hayley quickly finds out that first grade is different from kindergarten, but in all the wrong ways! The classroom isn’t as bright and colorful. Ms. Gray doesn’t seem to smile as much as her kindergarten teacher did, and there isn’t enough time to play outside. Finally, Hayley has had enough. “First grade stinks!” she shouts. The classroom is suddenly very quiet. But to Hayley’s surprise Ms. Gray doesn’t look mad at all.

Young readers will immediately empathize with Hayley and her increasing apprehension, as she explores new expectations and challenges on the first day of a new school year.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-377-1
Publication Date: 6/29/2006
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/8″ x 10-3/4″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-462-4
Publication Date: 9/1/2008
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/8″ x 10-3/4″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-047-1
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 2.3
F&P: GRL K, Gr 2, Genre RF
Lexile: 360L
Themes: Rules, School, Transitions
BISAC 1: JUV039090 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues/New Experiences
BISAC 2: JUV035000 JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education
BISAC 3: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories


“Rodman handles the turmoil of school transitions with realism and humor. A good jumping-off book for discussions about differences and change.” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Perfect as a read-aloud…a spot-on depiction of teachers helping kids through rough patches.” ―School Library Journal

“Rodman’s witty take on the harsh realities of first grade, as perceived by those in the trenches, will tickle readers’ funny bones…. For young readers approaching this or any other significant transition with trepidation, Rodman’s humorous tale serves as a gentle reminder to search for the silver lining.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Ink sketches filled in with splashy watercolors depict a worried, increasingly frazzled Haley as she copes with new challenges in a busy, active classroom. An important book for kids making a pretty tough transition.” ―Booklist

Read More

“The story depicts with aptness, compassion, and humor a vivacious kid who’s gone sour on a much-anticipated experience. Haley’s narration is nicely authentic…and the details of her indignities…will elicit immediate audience understanding.” ―Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books

“The story has humor with an element of surprise. Kids will like the illustrations which depicts the story so well that little ones will be able to interpret the story just by turning the pages.” ―It’s About Time MaMaw

“This picture book addresses this problem with sensitivity and humor, and children will feel reassured as they follow Haley’s first day in first grade.” ―Through the Looking Glass

Read Less


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2007

Battle of the Books (Grades K-2) ―Alaska Association of School Librarians, 2010-2011

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2007

You May Also Like

Meet the Author

Mary Ann Rodman, a former school media specialist, is the author of A Tree for Emmy and First Grade Stinks!. She has received both the Ezra Jack Keats Award for Outstanding New Picture Book Writer and the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She lives in Georgia.

Meet the Illustrator

Beth Spiegel has edited award-winning documentary programs for television and directed animated films that have received several international awards. She lives in California.