Bluebell Skinks had a plan. She was going to secretly enroll herself at Mortimer Potts Elementary School, and in only three weeks, she would become the most popular kid in the history of the school, maybe even famous! All she was waiting for was for her father to leave town so he wouldn’t find out what she was up to. Bluebell practiced wheeling herself around the bedroom in a purple wheelchair. It was the latest model with a padded seat and a super-smooth turning radius. She executed a triple spin before crashing into the wall. Pausing, she cocked her head to one side and listened to make sure that Doris, the maid, wasn’t coming up the stairs to investigate the noise. She didn’t detect any footsteps so she resumed whipping the chair around in circles. “Perfect!” Bluebell declared, “I’m getting really good at this.”
Her sister Bonnie rolled her eyes in response. Even though the girls were sisters, they didn’t look alike. Bonnie wore glasses, and her Her blonde hair was neatly tied back with a bow, which contrasted with Bluebell’s freckles and wild frizzy red hair. Their father often said that his daughters’ hairstyles matched their personalities. Bluebell was bold and impulsive, while Bonnie was calm and organized. Bonnie was perched on the window seat, overlooking the circular driveway to Skinksberry Mansion. She kept a sharp lookout because at any moment, a pair of massive wrought iron gates would slide open and the family limo would roll through. Dad was due home from work and definitely wouldn’t approve of what the girls were about to do.
“The coast is clear. Dad’s not home yet,” Bonnie announced. A movement to the left of the gates suddenly caught her attention. She spied a boy climbing over a brick wall. He dropped to the ground and walked briskly up the driveway toward[edit4] the front door two floors below her window. “Oh look! That kid we met yesterday, Frederick Frye, is here.” “Doris will let him in. Let’s do this fast,” said Bluebell coming to a sudden stop, “We don’t have much time to get me enrolled in school.” Bonnie nodded and quickly entered the phone number for Mortimer Potts Elementary School on her cell phone.
Frederick poked his head into the doorway just as Bonnie’s call connected. “Hi, guys ,” he called out cheerily. “Can you believe it? The first day of school and I have homework piling up already.” He ran his hand through his tousled brown hair. “Wow. You guys live in a really fancy house. It reminds me of a castle.” Bluebell wheeled herself over to Bonnie and grabbed the phone.
“Quiet!” she commanded. “We’re calling the school. It’s ringing. Come in and shut the door!” Shifting her weight more comfortably in the wheelchair, she cleared her voice. In the highest-pitched snooty voice she could manage, Bluebell spoke into the receiver. “Hellooooo . . . This is Mrs. Melvin Skinks II. I must speak to the principal at once on a matter of utmost importance!” “Bluebell,” Frederick sputtered, “This is not a good —” “Helloooo!” Bluebell shrilled, “Yesss . . . to whom am I speaking? Principal Grimble! You lucky, lucky man! My lovely and talented granddaughter Bluebell Skinks has decided to attend your little school.”
Bonnie waved at Bluebell to get her attention. “Don’t overdo it,” she whispered. “Get off the phone as fast as you can before he can think up a lot of questions.” Bluebell coughed a few times and spoke faster. “She will be arriving tomorrow, sharply at one o’clock p.m . . . . I trust that you will meet her personally at the front door of the school . . . fourth grade . . . Yesss . . . My son is that Skinks, the rich one, the head of Skinks Industries . . . Yesss . . . I said one o’clock p.m. . . . My son expects you to extend every courtesy . . . Oh! One more tiny detail, my granddaughter is in a wheelchair. Goodbye!”
Bluebell ended the call with satisfaction. She tossed her long frizzy hair and turned to face Frederick. “There! All set. Now all we have to do is wait for Dad and Bonnie to leave town tomorrow morning and the coast will be clear so I can go to your school. This is perfect. French, don’t you think that this is a great plan?” Frederick dropped to the plush purple carpet in Bonnie’s bedroom, groaning and burying his head under a pile of pillows Bluebell had tossed on the floor. His voice was muffled. “I can’t believe that you two are actually going through with it. You are going to get into so much trouble.