TITLE: ELENA AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
GENRE: MG FICTION
Only two months into sixth grade, Elena Estela Eugenia De la Cruz Gonzalez could see her hopes for the best year ever going down the drain.
Or, more accurately, the toilet.
It was Sunday night. Elena and her best friend, Rosalie, were in the bathroom, changing the dirty water in Hecke and Jeckle - the class turtles' - bowl.
Heckle and Jeckle were the official turtles of Sister Leo's sixth grade class at St. Simon's School. Every Friday afternoon, Sister Leo held a class election (secret ballot) to see who could take the turtles home and babysit them for the weekend.
To Elena, it seemed that the winner was usually the person who had done the most to help around the classroom that week, like pass mission boxes to collect for needy kids in Africa, or help Sister Leo clean up after art projects. To Elena, it also seemed like the winner was never her, despite the contract that she and Rosalie had, to vote for Elena every week, no matter what.
You see, Elena wanted to bring those turtles home more than anything in the world. It wasn't because she was an admirer of turtles. It was only because she liked nothing more than winning.
And so, when Sister Leo announced, "Ellie Gonzalez, it's your turn to take good care of the turtls until Monday!" for once in her life, Elena was speechless.
Ellie was Elena's "school" name. Her whole Spanish name, Elena Estela Eugenia de la Cruz Gonzalez, was way too long, In Elena's opinion.