Vansanna was a little girl with a big brain. When she started kindergarten, she already knew her whole alphabet.
Although she was smart, Vansanna thought learning wasn't always fun. And sometimes to learn, you have to practice, and practicing definitely wasn't fun. Vansanna would say, "You know what's fun? Fun. Fun is always fun." When something wasn't fun, Vansanna didn't want to do it.
School used to be fun, but now there was too much work. Teacher was always telling Vansanna to focus. "You have to learn your numbers," said Miss Ponia. "I don't care about numbers," thought Vansanna. What she did care about was reading. She really wanted to read. But it was so hard sounding out all the words. It was a lot easier when Mommy or Daddy read them to you.
Tumbling used to be fun too. Vansanna loved her tumbling class last year! So when her parents asked her if she wanted to take another, she screamed, "Yes! Yes!"
In the old tumbling class, Vansanna got to try everything. In the new class, the teachers made you practice each tumbling thing until you became good at it. You couldn't do the balance beam unless you were good enough at somersaults. Boring! When the teachers said to keep practicing, Vansanna pretended not to hear.
Vansanna could usually find other kids who didn't like working or practicing. At school, her friend Plooey didn't care about numbers either. When the teacher talked about adding and subtracting, Vansanna and Plooey whispered to each other. Sometimes Barley, who used to be Vansanna's best friend, would tell them "Shh!"
Vansanna was very excited about the Gymnastics show her new tumbling class was putting on. All the families were invited. Vansanna couldn't wait. She told Grandma, "You can come too!"
Grandma was watching Vansanna because Mommy and Daddy were at school meeting with Miss Ponia.
When her parents got home, they said, "We have to have a talk." Vansanna groaned. Talks were boring.
Mommy said, "Miss Ponia says you don't pay very good attention."
Vansanna said, "Yes, I do."
Daddy said, "She says you're not learning adding and subtracting."
"Well, I don't like it," said Vansanna. Because really, she didn't.
Then Daddy said that Miss Ponia said the other kids were already learning to read.
"They are???" said Vansanna. "That's no fair!"
"It is fair," said Mommy. "They're working harder at it than you are."
"Your mother and I have decided we need to make some changes," said Daddy. "At bedtime, instead of us reading two books to you, you're going to try to read a book to us."
"No fair," pouted Vansanna.
"And something else," said Mommy. "If teacher doesn't tell us in two weeks that you're trying more, we aren't going to let you participate in the tumbling show."
That made Vansanna so mad she started yelling. And that got her a time-out. And the time-out made her so sad that she started crying, right there, all alone in her time-out chair.
This is the first half of the unillustrated version of the Poor Effort book.
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