August explains that he'll be going to school to start fifth grade next week. He's terrified as he's never been to school before. This is just because he's had 27 surgeries since he was born, not because of the way he looks. Up to this point, Mom has homeschooled him. He explains that he's always kind of wanted to go to school, but only if he could be just like every other kid there. August says he has a few good friends now. His best friend is Christopher, and he has two others, Zachary and Alex. They've all known each other since they were babies, which means that Christopher, Zachary, and Alex are used to the way that August looks. Now, however, they’ve all moved away, and none of August's other friends invite him to birthday parties.
Despite August's insistence that being homeschooled has nothing to do with the way he looks, it's worth considering that this actually is the reason he’s kept at home, given how protective August’s parents are of him. With this reading, it shows how young children like August aren't always privy to their parents' decision-making processes, and it also reinforces that August's parents want to do what's best for him and protect him however they can.