Chapter 1

Siblings – How opposite in character are they? Bruno and Sara  are siblings. They live in a big house with a big garden. Bruno  likes to spend his time in the garden. Bruno is shy, but he will  always defend people who are being bullied, irrespective of  who is bullying them. Sara is a little proud, but she is kind at  heart. She is very ambitious and wants to become an actress.  Bruno wants to become a writer, and he has won a few awards  in writing.

Bruno likes his class a lot. He is 9 years old, while Sara is 12.  Bruno is often overshadowed by his sister, but he does not  mind because he does not like to be the centre of attention. 

Bruno is an introvert while Sara is an extrovert. They are  completely opposite in character, as is the case with most  siblings. 

Today is the first day of school. They are in their house, getting  ready. Their house is nice and big. It had four rooms and four  bathrooms. Sara and Bruno sleep together in one room. Their  parents sleep in another room. One room is for guests. Sara  and Bruno play in the last room. Their house has white walls  and a tiled floor. 

Sara and Bruno eat breakfast and start walking to school.  They live about 5 minutes away from school. The walk to  school is very nice, and you can hear the birds chirping. You  can feel the wind blowing, and if it was winter, the air would  be cool. As they neared the school, they heard a low babble  of chatter. People were conversing with their friends. It was a  pleasant noise, like the rustling of leaves in the wind. 

Bruno liked school, but he never liked the first day of school.  This was because on the first day of school you would be asked  to introduce yourself, and that would mean that everybody’s  eyes were on him. Sara also liked school because she had a  lot of friends. 

Chapter 2 

Bruno and Sara waved goodbye to each other and went  to their respective classes. Bruno went to his class, 4B. He  knocked on the door and entered. He stood in the doorway for a moment, taking in the classroom. His teacher had  decorated the walls with colourful paper. There was a big  poster on the door welcoming everybody to the class and  informing everybody about who all were in the class. 

His class was introducing themselves. Bruno was asked to  introduce himself. 

“Hello. My name is Bruno and I like to study. I also like to read  books,” said Bruno. 

“Thank you, Bruno. That was very nice. Now we are going to  do our first activity. Everybody, please take a sheet of paper  and write your name on it,” said their teacher, Ms Kate.  

Everybody took a sheet of paper and wrote their name on it. 

“Now, draw a self–portrait for the classroom wall and write  two of your hobbies,” said Ms. Kate. The class did what Ms.  Kate asked them to do, and by the end of the class, the wall  was full of self–portraits. 

Sara went to her class, 7D, and knocked on the  classroom door. She went inside her class, where  she was greeted enthusiastically by her friends. 

“Hello, Sara! Did you have a good summer?” asked her best  friend, Amanda. 

“Yes! I had a nice summer. How about you?” asked Sara,  happy that Amanda was the first person to ask her about her  holidays. 

“Same,” replied Amanda. 

“Okay class. It’s nice to see you all greeting each other  enthusiastically. But, for now, can we introduce ourselves?”  asked their teacher, Ms Roane, a little firmly, but still smiling. 

“I’ll go first,” said Sara confidently. “My name is Sara and I like  to act. I also like to paint.”  

“Thank you, Sara. That was very nice,” said Ms Roane, clapping.  “Anybody else?” 

“Yes. Hi, my name is Alan and I like to swim and do horse– riding,” said Alan. 

“Okay, thank you. Now I need to give you all an important  announcement. As you all probably know, we have a school  play every year. If you would like to participate in the auditions,  please tell me right now.”

Sara’s hand shot into the air. Her hand was not the only one.  In the back rows, people were whispering excitedly among  each other. 

Ms Roane smiled to see such enthusiasm, nevertheless, she  raised her hand up to stop the chatter. 

“It’s nice to see you all so enthusiastic, but would you all please  keep quiet for a moment or two? I need to note down all of  your names.” 

“Ok ma’am,” chorused the class. 

After a few minutes, Ms Roane said, “Ok class. Thank you. You  can all go for break now.”  

The class left the classroom, and a babble of chatter broke  out. There was a lot of chair scraping, and Ms Roane winced,  saying, “Class! Quietly please!” 

Sara moved out of the class gracefully, and was soon lost in  her own thoughts. How nice it would be if she got the lead  role in the play! Her black hair was so thick and nice, and she  maintained it beautifully. All the neighbours admired her hair.  Surely she would get the lead role! 

Bruno and Sara went home together after the school day  ended. Sara said bye to her friends, and they set off together.  “How was your first day of school?” asked Sara, smirking. 

“It’s none of your business,” snapped Bruno. 

In truth, it had gone quite well, thought Bruno. He only had to  introduce himself; then he had listened to everybody else. 

Chapter 3 

A few days later, in school, Bruno had a test. He prepared  well for it, and he wanted to do well. 

When Ms Kate gave the papers, Bruno could literally hear his  heart beating, and he was sure the rest of the class could, too.

The whole room went quiet when Ms Kate said that it was  time to start. After the test, Bruno felt that he had not done  very well. Everybody in the class were discussing answers, but  Bruno did not go over to them and discuss the answers. 

Bruno was extremely worried about how he would do in the  test, but he did not want to ask Ms Kate about how he had  fared. One day, a boy in his class asked Ms Kate what the  class average was. Ms Kate said, “A lot of you could have done  much better.” Bruno wondered whether that list included him.  He really hoped not. 

A few days later, Bruno got to know his marks. He looked at it,  and just kept staring at it, unable to believe his eyes. He got 10  out of 20, and was 15th in the class! Bruno just sat in silence,  wondering what he could have done wrong. 

When he went home that day, Bruno told his parents his marks.  He did not know what they would say, but he hoped that they  wouldn’t scold him. He really had studied hard for the test. 

“It’s okay, Bruno. You can do better next time. Maybe you just  have to work a little harder every day,” his parents told him. 

“Yes, I will,” said Bruno, vowing to himself that he would never ever score this much in a test.

Bruno took his parent’s advice and started studying harder.  He worked on all his homework, and then revised what he  learnt in school that day. 

A few months later, Bruno saw that a new boy named Jim  joined his class. Bruno wanted to ask the boy to be his friend,  but he was too shy to ask him. He then learnt from Sara, who  has lots of friends. Sara is not afraid of asking anybody to be  her friend. 

The next day, Bruno went up to the new boy and asked him to  be his friend. The new boy said – “yes”, which was awesome,  thought Bruno. Bruno realised that only if he spoke up  somebody would know what he wanted. 

Bruno made friends with Jim, and he was much happier in  school, because it was so nice to have somebody to talk to.  Bruno and Jim had many similar qualities, so they became  friends very quickly. 

One day, Bruno asked Jim, “How do you keep track of all your  work?” Jim was good at studies. He generally came within the  top five in the class. 

“Oh, that’s easy.” said Jim. “I have a planner where I keep track of all my work.”

“Do you want to study at my house after school?” asked Bruno.  “Sure,” said Jim.

Bruno learnt a lot about how to improve his grades when Jim  came over. Jim helped him create a structured timetable for  him to follow for his studies. “Do you want to do a paper  together? They usually help me a lot,” said Jim. 

“Okay,” said Bruno, grateful that Jim was helping him prepare  better for the tests. 

“Thanks, Jim,” said Bruno gratefully, after they had finished  the paper. “No problem,” said Jim. 

Chapter 4 

Meanwhile, a notice was put up on the school noticeboard  saying, “Auditions for the school play are going to be held  tomorrow.” The next day, Sara went into the audition hall  feeling nervous. It was a most unusual feeling for her. When  her name was called, she looked around. Her best friend,  Amanda, was sitting in the audience. When Sara went onto  the stage, she stood stock still. 

“Umm. . . Sara,” called the judge. 

Sara was lost in her thoughts. She didn’t reply.

“Sara,” called the judge again. 

Sara gave a start and said, “Oh right! I was supposed to be  acting as a villain!” 

Sara started acting, but her heart was not in it. She kept  forgetting her lines and doing actions that a villain would  normally not do. After she finished acting, the judges said,  “Well done Sara,” but not in a very enthusiastic way. 

Sara was upset. She thought that her performance would  affect her chances of getting the lead role. She had not  acted her part properly, and she knew that, but she didn’t  understand why. She was normally so confident and had  never struggled like this. 

Then the judges announced, “There will be another round of  auditions tomorrow, so everybody can have a second chance.  The results will be out two weeks from now.” 

Sara heaved a sigh of relief. At least she would get a second  chance. So her first attempt was not going to ruin her chances. 

Sara took help from her best friend, Amanda, who told her  to just become the character whom she is acting as, and not  worry about what anyone else is saying or doing.

“Does it really work?” asked Sara. 

“Of course,” said Amanda. “Why would I give you something  that doesn’t work?” 

Sara thought for a moment. Amanda had been her best friend  since second grade. She probably wouldn’t give her advice  that wouldn’t work. 

“Thank you, Amanda,” said Sara, gratefully. 

On the next day of auditions, Sara took Amanda’s advice.  When she went onto the stage, she imagined herself as the  character whom she was supposed to act as. She gave it her  best shot. 

For the next two weeks, Sara was nervous – so nervous that  whenever anybody mentioned the school play, she wanted to  escape from that place. 

Two weeks later, the results for the auditions came out. There  was a crowd around the notice board, and people were  peering over other people’s shoulders to check whether they  passed. Sara went over to the list with Amanda, her heart in  her mouth.

“Please, please can you check and tell me whether I got the  lead role?” begged Sara to Amanda. 

Amanda looked and told her happily, “It’s okay! You can look.  You got the lead role!” 

Chapter 5 

Bruno finished the last test of the year. He took his parent’s  advice and prepared very well. He felt he had done well. After  the test, he started cheering with his classmates because  it was the last day of school. In the evening, there was the school play, and tomorrow was the graduation ceremony. 

The actors and actresses worked hard for the school play to be a success. On the day of the play, Sara was extremely nervous, and kept asking the theatre teacher whether it was time for the play. The teacher said, “Calm down, Sara. Just do  your best.” 

When the play started, Sara was so nervous that her hands  were shaking. She peeked out from behind the curtains, and  saw her parents sitting in the front row. She remembered her  friend Amanda’s advice. “Just become the character whom  you are acting as, and don’t worry about what anyone else is  saying or doing.”

Sara suddenly felt more confident. When she went onto the  stage, the audience became very quiet. When the play was  over, the audience started clapping for her. The play was a  huge success!  

After the play was over, Sara’s parents came backstage and  congratulated Sara. “You were amazing!” Sara’s parents told  her happily. “The play was amazing!” 

The next day, at the graduation ceremony, the head of the  school announced, “Welcome to the graduation ceremony of  grades three to seven!” Everybody started clapping, and the  noise was very loud. The head of the school started giving  a long speech, about how the year was and how everybody  should be one year smarter. 

At the end of the ceremony, Bruno got a surprise that he  had not expected. The head of the school announced, “In  the English exam, we got many stories, but the best one was  from. . . Bruno!” 

Bruno was so happy that he had tears of joy glistening in  his eyes. He saw all his teachers sitting in the front row, and  they all waved at him as he passed. “Good for you, Bruno,”  said Jim. When he went onto the stage to collect his award,  everybody in the audience stood up and started clapping.

It was a standing ovation. 

Just for him. 

Once the graduation ceremony got over, Bruno went to  find Jim in the audience. He spotted him sitting in the front  row, beaming all over his face. “Congratulations, Bruno!”  said Jim happily. “Thank you. And thank you for helping me  so much. I’ve never had a friend like you.” said Bruno. And  then they both walked out of the auditorium together. 




Vibha lives in Chennai and goes to  APL Global school. She is 13 years old and is in 8th grade. She has a twin brother. She likes to swim, draw and read. She doesn’t  like paneer.