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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

A Is for Elizabeth

A Is for Elizabeth (Volume 1)

Written by Rachel Vail; illustrated by Paige Keiser

Square Fish



Good news!

Ms. Patel told us today we have homework.

We are in second grade now.

So we get homework!

This is the day I’ve been waiting for!

The homework is: Make name posters.

Posters of our names!

I raised my hand.

“Elizabeth?” Ms. Patel said, smiling at me.

“Can we make anybody’s name we want?” I asked. “In the whole 2B class?”

“No,” said Ms. Patel. “You each make your own name.”

That news was the opposite of good.


“Some people have much longer names than other people,” I explained to Ms. Patel.

“True,” Ms. Patel said.

“Hey! That means some people will have to do more work,” Bucky said.

Bucky’s name is Bucky.

It has only five letters in it.

My name is Elizabeth.

It has a bajillion letters.

Bucky is my best friend.

“Be creative!” Ms. Patel said. “Have fun making your names!”

“That is not fair,” I said.

“Not everything is fair,” said Anna, without even raising her hand.

Anna is not my best friend.


“And Friday, when you bring in your posters, we will hang them all up!” Ms. Patel said.

We all cheered. Class 2B will look so much better covered in posters!

“We will hang them around Class 2B in alphabetical order,” Ms. Patel said.

Only some of us cheered at that news.

“Who can remind Class 2B what alphabetical order is?” Ms. Patel asked us. “Hands, please.”

Anna’s hand was the first one up.

Anna LOVES being first.

“In the order of the alphabet!” Anna yelled.

Ms. Patel hadn’t even finished saying the whole name of Anna.

She was still on the An.

“Like, first A…” Anna said.

And she smiled that T. rex smile of hers.

“That’s right,” Ms. Patel said. “So we—”

“Then B,” said Anna.

“Yes,” said Ms. Patel. “So, we will hang—”

“Then C,” Anna said.

“Thank you, Anna,” said Ms. Patel.

“You’re welcome,” Anna said.


After that, it was time for recess.

Anna was first in line. Of course.

Because of alphabetical order.

When we got to the swings, I explained to her quietly, “Nobody likes a show-off, Anna Banana.”

Anna shrugged and said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”


I don’t know why sticks and stones may break Anna’s bones.

Maybe Anna is allergic to sticks and stones.

Bucky is allergic to peanuts.


Anna always gets to be first.

Her name poster will be first.

Also, Anna always gets to sit next to my best friend, Bucky.

All because of the alphabet.

And its order.

And that A up at the front of her name.

Text copyright © 2019 by Rachel Vail

Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Paige Keiser