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Bobby Vs. Girls (Accidentally)

written by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

Chapter 11


“We will be voting for our student council representative next week,” Mrs. Carlson told the class as she collected their election essays. Bobby had worked very hard on his and had even drawn an American flag on the front page — only he had added too many stars and had to cross some out. “And that means that today we will have nominations.”

Bobby glanced up from his notebook. He had been doodling a picture of Rover playing with his ball. No one knew about Rover’s supersecret soccer-playing abilities—yet. Bobby planned to put on a big show for his family and debut Rover’s amazing talents. Maybe he’d even make posters and serve popcorn, Bobby mused. Rover was doing so well, he’d be ready in about a week or so. He didn’t even need Wandee that much anymore.

Mrs. Carlson brought Bobby out of his daydream. “Right, Bobby?”


“The student council is very important,” she repeated.

“Um, yes. Right,” he said, nodding vigorously to make up for not paying attention.

“Good,” his teacher said. “After recess we’ll have nominations. So be thinking of who you’d like to represent Room 15 at student council meetings.”

As the boys waited their turns on the handball court, Chess said, “I would run, but chess club takes up all of my time.”

Chess had recently started the club and appointed himself president. So far the only members were him and an intense fifth-grade girl who didn’t like to lose. Chess had been trying to recruit Bobby, first by begging, then with threats. “If you don’t join and it’s just me and that girl, I may throw up every day, and it would be all your fault.”

Still, Bobby refused. He didn’t want Chess to know that he always got the bishop and the rook mixed up. Or was it the castle and the knight? The only thing he knew for sure was that the short ones were the prawns.

“What about you?” St. James asked as he tossed the handball to Bobby.

“What about me?” Bobby hit the ball as hard as he could. Handball didn’t make him nearly as nervous as other sports like soccer or baseball, where, if you messed up, people got mad at you.        

“You should run for student council,” St. James said as he returned the serve with a slam so hard that Bobby ducked.

Bobby scrambled to hit it back. “Why me?”

Whomp! St. James returned the ball. “’Cause everyone likes you.”

The handball hit Bobby in the shoulder and bounced away, but he hardly noticed. He was too busy thinking about what St. James just said.

Bobby went to the end of the line.

“Yeah, Bobby,” Jackson jumped in. “You should definitely run for student council rep. You’re not the best at anything, but not the worst. So no one’s threatened by you. You’re just there.”

“Uh, thanks, I guess,” Bobby said. He imagined his campaign slogan: Bobby. He’s just there.

“You’ve gotta run,” St. James insisted as he waited his turn to play again. “Otherwise some girl might be our class rep, and we can’t have that!”

“NO GIRLS!” the boys yelled.

“Girls stink!” St. James shouted and kicked his foot into the air.

“Bobby stinks!” Jillian Zarr yelled back from near the tetherball poles. She held her nose.

As St. James and Jillian Zarr continued to fling insults at each other, Bobby considered running for rep. It would be cool to be elected. Plus everyone knew that there were unlimited free donuts at student council meetings. He wondered if they had the glazed buttermilk kind. Glazed was good, but glazed buttermilks were the best.

After recess, his heart beat a little faster when Mrs. Carlson wrote N-o-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n-s on the board. “Okay, class, who would like to go first?”

Everyone looked around expectantly. Finally, St. James stood and placed his hand over his heart. “I, St. James Odysseus Plunkett, would hereby and so forth and lawfully and herewith upon my constitution pledge on my honor —”

“St. James,” Mrs. Carlson cut in, “is there someone you would like to nominate?”

“Him!” St. James pointed. “Bobby Ellis-Chan!”

Bobby felt the heat of everyone staring at him.

“Bobby,” said Mrs. Carlson, “do you accept St. James’s nomination?”    

He nodded. 

Mrs. Carlson wrote B-O-B-B-Y on the board. It looked good up there. Bobby imagined himself winning. Maybe he’d have business cards like his mom.

“Who else would like to nominate someone?” Mrs. Carlson asked. When no one spoke up, she said, “All right, then. If there are no other nominees, Bobby will run unopposed and automatically become Room 15’s student council representative!”

Bobby squeezed his eyes shut and imagined himself holding a plate piled high with glazed buttermilk donuts. Just as he was about to take a bite, someone shouted, “I nominate Holly Harper!”

Instantly, the donuts disappeared. Bobby opened his eyes to see Mrs. Carlson reaching for her marker. “Holly, do you accept Jillian’s nomination?”          

“I accept,” Holly announced loudly and clearly.

The girls cheered.

“Any other nominations? This is the last call.” Mrs. Carlson looked around the room. “Okay! It’s official. Bobby and Holly are our candidates. You each have one week to campaign. The elections will take place next Tuesday.”

“I’m voting for Holly,” a girl said.

“Bobby has my vote,” a boy promised.

Everyone in the class was talking all at once. Everyone but Bobby and Holly. They just glanced at each other, then turned away.

Excerpted from BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY) © Copyright 2012 written by Lisa Yee. Reprinted with permission by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Paperbacks. All rights reserved.

Bobby Vs. Girls (Accidentally)
by written by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

  • paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0545055938
  • ISBN-13: 9780545055932