Bobby-Ellis Chan has a really big secret. His best friend is a girl. Holly Harper has always liked to do the same fun things he does—like roll down Skeleton Hill in a hire, or hide frogs in her bushy hair—and she gave him his beloved goldfish, Rover, who can do amazing tricks.

But now that they are in fourth grade, things are changing. Holly made friends with the horrible Jillian Zarr and her wolf pack of other girls, and now she’s wearing new clothes, straightening her hair, and laughing at Bobby—even telling some of his secrets. He has to get revenge, doesn’t he? Then when Mrs. Carlson announces an election for fourth-grade student representative, all the boys support Bobby, but the girls line up behind Holly.

It’s Bobby vs. Holly, boys vs. girls, in the biggest battle to ever rock Rancho Rosetta!

1.   Adopt a goldfish

2.   Be embarrassed by a football player named “The Freezer”

3.   Wear pink curlers

4.   Admit “The Freezer” is his dad

5.   Train his goldfish to do tricks

6.   Spill paint all over his best friend (Shhh . . . she’s a girl!)

7.   Hug a tree

8.   Get stuck to a tree

9.   Run for office

10. Start a boys vs. girls war

One night when my son was in fourth grade, I was telling him about a Civil War novel that I was going to write. I was in the middle of a battle scene, when he said to me, “Mom, why don’t you write a book without a lot of commotion.”

Suddenly, BING, It hit me. Yes! Even though he’s a high-energy, skate-boarding, Harry Potter-loving kid, sometimes a book without space aliens, or wizards, or guns or wars can be just what’s needed.

And so, here’s BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY), the first of a new series featuring the fun and the stresses and the messes of school, and a boy named Bobby Ellis-Chan.

Lisa Yee, author

Lisa and I were both published by Arthur A. Levine Books in the exact same year in the exact same season and we both, literally, live only a couple of miles away from each other. We’ve been good friends ever since and would often have lunch together to discuss the events that have been going on in our careers and joking about one day working together on a project.

One day the stars fell into the proper alignment and Arthur and Co. then summoned me to participate in this new wonderful series that Lisa had written. To work on a series with my good friend? How could I refuse?

Dan Santat, illustrator