It's that time of year! Back to school, but it's different. Life long best friends, Alicia Alcott, Nikki Merrick, Sierra Jennings, and Kristy Castelli are about to start 6th grade at Silver Hills Middle School. It's much different than their old school (Silver Hills Elementary), no monkey bars, no little kids, and best of all no old teachers from Kindergarten. But Alicia and Kristy want to reinvent themselves. Alicia wants to change her wardrobe so that she'll fit in the new place for big kids. Kristy is tired of being called by her last name and wants to be called by her first name. Sierra comes back from summer vacation looking less nerdy and more cuter. Nikki is crushing on her first middle school boy, 7th grader Cory Watson. How will the girls adapted to their new school?
All the All About Middle School books have photos and biographies of the our main characters.
“What outfit have you picked up from the mall, today?” 11-year-old Alicia Alcott asked her best friend, Nikki Merrick over the phone. They were talking about Nikki’s Labor Day Shopping Spree, which they have done every year before a new semester of school starts.
“Oh, I picked up a few trendy tops, stylish jeans, hot shoes, whatever,” Nikki replied. Being the wealthiest preteen on the planet, she can afford every hot outfit at the Silver Hills Mall. “I wish I could go shopping with you, Nik,” Alicia sighed, disappointedly. She had plans to go Labor Day Shopping with her mother, Alice, but Lily, Alicia baby sister came down with a cold and her father, Edward—wasn’t a fan of going Labor Day shopping with his 11-year-old. “Why aren’t you?” Nikki asked. Alicia explained to Nikki that Lily was sick and her mother had to take care of her.
“This sucks. Every year, I go Labor Day shopping with my mom and now Lily takes up her free time!” Alicia was so desperate to go Labor Day shopping with her mother because she didn’t want to go to school wearing clothes from elementary school. Alicia was about to start sixth grade at a different school without the monkey bars.
“Alicia, why are you making such a big deal about Labor Day shopping?” Nikki asked again, taking out every item in nine shopping bags. “Nik, we’re starting middle school tomorrow, it’s like a place where the big kids go to. If I show up at that show wearing my old clothes from 4th grade and 5th grade, I could be scarred for life. And it will follow you to high school, college, marriage, and to the grave.”
“No wonder you’re a desperate Debbie,” Nikki laughed. Alicia didn’t find what her best friend said very funny. Ding-Dong! The doorbell chimed. “Someone’s at the door, I better go.” Alicia walked out of her bedroom and headed to the living room to answer the front door of the Alcott household. She peeked through the peephole of the front door and caught a glimpse of a girl with dark brown hair in a high ponytail. Alicia recognized the top of the girl’s head and opened the door.
“Hey, Alicia.” It was Kristy Castelli, another best friend of Alicia’s and Nikki’s. She was wearing a black tracksuit, a white t-shirt, white Nikes, and her dark brown hair was in a braided ponytail. “Hey, Castelli.” For years since she had know her, Alicia always calls Kristy by her last name from Kindergarten to the 5th grade.
“Come on, Alicia. We’re starting middle school tomorrow and I don’t want to be known as Castelli forever,” Kristy explained to Alicia that she didn’t want to be called by her last name anymore while they headed back to Alicia’s bedroom. Alicia’s room looked like IT needed an upgrade as much as Alicia’s wardrobe.
“Alicia?” Nikki hollered on the phone.
“Darn, I forgot about Nikki.”
“Nikki’s on the phone?” Kristy asked.
“Yeah, before your arrived, Nikki and were talking about her Labor Day Shopping Spree while I was in Hell.”
Alicia placed the phone on her ear.
“Nik, Sorry, Cast—Kristy’s here.”
“Who’s Kristy?” Nikki asked, she also called Kristy by her last name. Maybe it was because she never knew Kristy’s first name.
“Castelli.” Alicia answered.
Kristy groaned that she was still being called by her last name and was getting pretty damned sick of it.
“Castelli’s first name is Kristy?”
Alicia turned to Kristy.
“Apparently, Nikki never knew your first name.”
“I can hear that,” Kristy said sarcastically.
Alicia’s mother, Alice knocked on her daughter’s door. “Hi, girls,” She said cheerfully. “Hi, Mom.” “Hi, Mrs. Alcott,” Kristy waved. “What’s going on?” Mrs. Alcott asked.
“I’m going through a fashion crisis, Mom.” Alicia opened both her closet doors and revealed her old cute, adorable outfits from her elementary school days.
“I don’t know why you called this a fashion crisis, honey. These clothes are cute,” Mrs. Alcott said, expressing her opinion.
“She’s worried that kids will give her a hard time for wearing fashions from the 5th grade to a junior high,” Kristy told Mrs. Alcott. “Thanks, Kristy. You’re a good help,” Alicia grimaced.
“Y’know, Mom. This is why I want to go Labor Day shopping today before the day ends,” She whined.
Alicia felt like if she can continue to whine, her mother will take pity on her and take her shopping with Kristy as her shopping buddy. “Sweetie, I’m sorry.” Those were the words Alicia tried to avoid. “But, Lily isn’t feeling well. We have no choice but to cancel,” Mrs. Alcott finished the sentence. She left Alicia’s room to check on Lily.
“This is all Lily’s fault. If she hadn’t got sick, I’d be shopping for new outfits right now!” Alicia groaned and threw herself on her unmade bed.
“Sorry, babe.” Kristy picked up the cordless phone, which still had Nikki on the line. “Hello?” She asked wondering if Alicia was still there.
“Nik? It’s Kristy. Alicia’s going through a crisis and she’s gonna have to call you back later. Bye!” Kristy presses the OFF button on the cordless phone and throws it on Alicia’s bed.
She tries to comfort her best friend by turning on the TV and changing the channel to Full House, her longtime favorite TV show. Family sitcoms from the 1990’s always cheered Alicia up, along with reading The Babysitters Club and Junie B. Jones from her bookshelf.
“I swear, if Nikki wasn’t my best friend, I’d hate her guts,” Alicia sighed rising up from her bed and paced around the room. “Alicia!” Kristy hollered in shock.
“How could you say that? Nikki’s your best friend. Our best friend?”
Apparently, Kristy didn’t like what came out of Alicia’s mouth. Her question was: Why was Alicia bad-mouthing Nikki? She thought that friends are supposed to be there for each other, not insulting each other?
“Because, I wished I could go shopping for back to school at the mall. But, Nooooo! My own mother has to take care of Lily!” Now, Kristy began to realize why Alicia was so jealous of Nikki.
Earlier, Nikki went on a shopping spree with Kohl’s at the Silver Hills Mall for new outfits for the first day of 6th grade. Alicia wanted to go shopping too, to get rid of her old clothes from her elementary school days and buy new clothes for the new world she was entering.
“Alicia, I know you’re bummed. But, why can’t you wear your old clothes? I mean, they still fix you?” Kristy asked.
“Kristy, are you blind or deaf? These clothes are from my elementary school past! I need new clothes for my middle school future!”
Alicia picked out every clothing item from her closet to show Kristy that she needs new clothes for 6th grade.
“I remember that outfit!” Kristy called out. Alicia wore the pink long-sleeve blouse with the cute dark blue jeans to a talent show when she sang I Believe I Can Fly in the 4th grade in 2000. Although she didn’t win the talent show, she was remembered as the girl with a cute outfit who took center stage.
15 minutes and a closet of clothes later, Alicia had cleared out her closet full of elementary school memories. Now she needed to go shopping to fill up her closet with middle school memories.
“This is crazy, I’m going to the kitchen to get a drink!” she groaned. Alicia went into the kitchen of the Alcott house to get a can of orange soda from the refrigerator. Kristy followed her because she didn’t want to stay in Alicia’s room cluttered by elementary school clothes.
“Hey, you wanted a drink don’t ya?” She asked Kristy.
“No, you room looked like you needed a maid in there… and you looked like you need a mini-fashion stylist.” Kristy laughed at her joke, which Alicia didn’t get it. Alicia pulled out a can of orange soda from the refrigerator, closed it, and popped the can open. She handed Kristy a can of grape soda. Kristy didn’t want grape soda; she wanted a can of lemon-lime soda from the fridge. But Alicia didn’t have any lemon-lime soda in the fridge.