Meet Ira Crumb. He's the new kid in town. He knows what that means: when the new school year starts, he'll play alone at recess, eat alone at lunch, and walk home alone at the end of the day. So Ira launches a whole-hearted campaign to befriend neighborhood kids before the first day. But his best-laid plans -- A sandwich stand! A dance-off! -- fall flat, and playing it cool doesn't seem to work either. Just as Ira decides school will be HORRIBLE, a comical misunderstanding connects him with Malcolm, who was the new kid last year and totally gets it -- and who, it turns out, will make a pretty good friend.