Cover image for The brand new kid
The brand new kid
Couric, Katie, 1957-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 2000.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Lazlo, who has just moved to the United States from Hungary, is ostracized at school until two girls have the courage to befriend him.
Reading Level:
AD 570 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 44050.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 23011 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole were running and laughing-their first day of school was today! And they wondered just what was in store.
Would this be a good year?
Would school be a bore?

Everyone remembers feeling excited and nervous each fall on the first day of school. It's no different for Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole. But this year, there's not only a new teacher to meet, but a brand new kid as well. Lazlo S. Gasky doesn't look or speak quite like the other kids, and no one is sure what to make of him. In fact, they respond to his arrival at Brookhaven School by taunting and teasing him. But when Ellie realizes how tough it is for Lazlo, she reaches out, and after school one day they share an afternoon of soccer, strudel, and chess. Besides making a new friend, she and Lazlo teach their classmates an important lesson-one that isn't in their schoolbooks-about accepting people who are different...and in getting to know Lazlo, the kids learn that people aren't that different from each other after all.

From one of America's most respected journalists, The Brand New Kid is a heartwarming story about tolerance and the need to give others a chance that will entertain and inspire children and adults alike.

Author Notes

Katie Couric has been a co-anchor of NBC News' Today since 1991, and in that position she has covered and debuted many important stories about life in America. She is also a contributing anchor for the newsmagazine Dateline NBC . She has been awarded two Emmys, named one of Glamour 's Women of the Year, and won wide recognition for her excellent journalism. Raised in Arlington, Virginia, she lives in New York with her two daughters and is at work on her next book.

Marjorie Priceman was awarded a Caldecott Honor for Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss, one of the New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of 1995. Since her first book, the award-winning Friend or Frog , she has illustrated sixteen books and authored five more, including Emeline at the Circus (1999), also a Times Ten Best Illustrated book. Raised in New York, she studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Couric, co-host of NBC's Today show, pens an energetic though uneven picture book about tolerance. When second grader Lazlo S. Gasky, who speaks and looks different from everyone else, arrives at Brookhaven School, the other kids are quick to both tease and alienate him. Some weeks later, when Ellie McSnelly sees Lazlo's tearful mother, the girl makes kind overtures to him that Lazlo happily returns many times over. Ellie soon inspires others to extend a hand in friendship. Couric's laudable message of inclusion comes through. Unfortunately, however, the narrative's rhyming-couplets format results in forced, sometimes ungrammatical, phrasing (e.g., "They arrived at his door greeted by his French poodle/ and Mrs. Gasky was there with a plate of warm strudel!" and "He's terrific at chess, and his Mom's really sweet./ Playing soccer the guy doesn't have two left feet"). In what appears to be a hole in the plot, Ellie's best friend, Carrie, from whom she is initially inseparable, all but disappears for much of the proceedings. Priceman (Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin) compensates by picturing Carrie even when she's absent from the text. Using softer lines and more muted hues than usual, the artist captures a full gamut of emotion, particularly in the crabby faces of taunting classmates and a beaming portrait of Lazlo at the moment he makes his first real friend. Ages 3-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Billed as juvenile fiction but advertised in the adult catalog, this is one of those crossover stories that might mean more to adults than children. Lazlo S. Gazky is the new kid in class, and the NBC coanchor shows us how he learns to cope. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-When Lazlo S. Gasky, the new kid in town, goes to school, he is teased, left out of games, and even tripped while carrying his lunch tray. It's not until one of his classmates sees his mother crying that she considers being nice to Lazlo. After a day of playing chess and eating strudel together, Ellie sticks up for him at school. The rhyming text, although at times awkward as well as faulty in cadence, helps keep the tone light. However, it also raises some major concerns, mainly the lack of adult intervention. Where are the adults when Lazlo is being maligned? Why does "the best teacher by far in the whole second grade" single out the new student by drawing attention to his "different" name? Where's the gym teacher or the lunch monitor when Lazlo is being mistreated? And how is it that a student is privy to Mrs. Gasky's concerns? "Her son's having trouble, she might pull him out,/this school may be wrong for him, she's full of doubt." Pen-and-ink and watercolor art helps to create distinct and sympathetic characters. Readers have only to see the transformation of Lazlo's face as he smiles to know how much it means to him to have a friend. The looseness of the drawings, the accomplished use of texture, and the white of the page enhance but don't entirely compensate for this flawed yet sincere title.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.