Elizabeth and Jessica cannot wait for school to start because there's a new boy joining their class. Kisho turns out to be super cool. He was born in Japan and moved to New York as a kid. His parents are college professors and moved a lot, but they most recently moved from Oklahoma.
All the kids in school think he's super cool. When he tells them that his birthday is coming up and that his parents want to throw a party at the park, Lila convinces him to do it at Secca Lake instead because it's bigger and has more room. He makes friends with both the boys and girls, and both the twins like him.
That all changes when they do some math problems in school. He's so good at math that the teacher gives him advanced problems to do. Kisho says that he learned this before. Jessica asks if he learned it in first grade or if he studied it earlier in the year, but he finally confesses that he was held back and that this is his second time in second grade. Cue the bullying.
First up is Lila. She calls him a dummy and turns everyone else against him. When Liz remains friends with Kisho, Lila tells Jessica that her twin must be a dummy too. All the kids gang up on him, make fun of him, and call him stupid all the time. The only kids still on his side is future shoulder patter Liz and Charlie. Liz – and me – think it's weird that Charlie, who makes fun of anything that moves, still wants to be friends with the new kid.
Kisho invites them both over to his house the next day. Jess is less than happy to see her twin hanging out with the dummy and doing things without her. They hear him speaking Japanese to his grandmother on the phone and learns that he speaks the language fluently. He actually has problems with English because he learned Japanese first and because his parents still speak it at home. Kisho shows them some of the Japanese books he has. Charlie then admits that his grandfather is Italian and still speaks with an accent. People make fun of him, which is why he wanted to be friends with Kisho.
At school the next day, Jessica calls Kisho a dumbo in front of a bunch of kids. Caroline then picks up on it and makes fun of him, not knowing the teacher is behind her. Liz and Charlie come up with an idea and lord it over the other kids, especially Jessica, that they'll find out what it is later. The teacher gives a speech about not picking on each other and how all people are different, which seems to affect no one but Jess.
The plan the kids had is a special presentation. Kisho brings in his grandfather, and Charlie brings in his too. The two men talk to the class about their first impressions of America and how much they loved the country right off the bat. They also talk about some of the problems they faced, which makes the kids realize that they're all a bunch of stupid heads.
Jessica feels so bad that she suggests buying Kisho a 64-count box of crayons for his birthday because he really loves drawing. All the kids go to the lake for his birthday and have a good time. He also manages to get Jessica to eat one of those dumplings with red bean paste inside and laughs at her expression when she finds out what it is. I think he'll fit in just fine.
*Am I the only one who totally pictures Kisho as Stephanie's friend from Full House?
*There's a horrible scene where Lila, Ellen, and some other girls are on the swings. When Kisho comes over, Lila loudly says that she doesn't play with dummies and convinces the other girls to leave. Kisho gets sad and goes off by himself, which causes her to say they can stay and play after all. Second grade Lila needs a smack upside the head!
*Kisho draws a card for his grandfather with a picture of himself on the front. When he can't find the black crayon, he gives himself blue hair. Winston then confesses that his grandmother really does have blue hair.
*Jessica really isn't the sharpest crayon in the box and neither is Lila, so I don't know where they get off making fun of someone else.