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    1. Self-Portrait. My new novel, Death and Mr. Pickwick, tells the story of the origins of Charles Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Its... Continue »
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      Death and Mr. Pickwick

      Stephen Jarvis 9780374139667

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1 Beaverton Children's Young Adult- General

This title in other editions

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Excerpt

Chapter One Cease handling the equipment immediately if it emits smoke, sparks, or noxious fumes. —Mitsu ProShot I.S. 5.3 camera guide, 2007   When I go down to breakfast, Im greeted by photos of bullet wounds scattered all across the kitchen table. You would think my dad would at least have the courtesy not to put stuff from work on the table where we eat. Right on cue, I hear a snore from the family room. Dad must have gotten home late and decided to sleep on the couch last night. He does that sometimes so he wont wake Mom. I shove the photos to one side, trying not to look at them, and pour a bowl of cereal. Mom comes into the room yelling, "I mean it, Garrett. If I have to tell you to get up again, Im going to tell you with a bucket of cold water. Its almost seven fifteen!" Her hair is still wet from her shower, and shes running around in her underwear and a blouse. Usually shes a Zen master of calm. She has to be, shes a hospital chaplain, but every morning she turns into a spaz. Shes always setting down half-finished cups of coffee and throwing things into her briefcase and searching for her shoes. "Morning, sweetie," she says, leaning over to hug me. "Morning." She glances at the photos and turns away to pour herself a cup of coffee without so much as a raised eyebrow. Just another cheery morning in the Hewson household. "Did you feed The Dog Formerly Known as Prince yet?" "No." "Dont forget." She drinks some coffee, studying the front page of the newspaper. "As if." "Its too early for snide and snappy, Blake. I can listen to it later, but not right now, okay?" She peels off her blouse, her face red and sweaty. "Aarghh, hot flash!" "Jeez, Mom! People are eating here!" She fans herself with the newspaper. "I swear, its starting to happen every morning! Could it be the coffee?" She shakes her head. "I dont care. I am never giving up coffee." I keep my eyes on my cereal. It never used to bother me when my mom ran around half dressed. But now that I have an actual girlfriend whose actual bra I have seen in person, it makes me feel kind of squicky to see my own mother in her bra. Dad shuffles in from the other room. "Morning." He perks up when he sees Mom standing there half naked. "Hi," says Mom, putting up her hands. "No, dont hug me, Im having a hot flash. What time did you get home?" "Around one." Dad holds his arms out in a pretend hug and pats the air around Mom. "I couldnt sleep, so I worked on my presentation for a while." "Yeah, Dad, thanks," I say, flicking the photos farther away from me. "Cant you remember to put stuff like this away? Ive already vomited at the sight of it." Dad chuckles. Ahhh, the first laugh of the day. Im going to be a comedian when I grow up, so I keep a log of how many times a day I make people laugh. Garrett says its ass to keep a log, but it is not ass. It is analytical. "Im going to dry my hair," says Mom, exiting the room. "And if Garrett is not up—" I can hear her muttering, "He will rue the day" as she disappears down the hall. I finish my cereal and stuff my books into my backpack, whistling a line from the new Gingerfred song, "Im angry at my backpack, I hate how much it weighs." As I slide my photo homework into my portfolio I think, These are good. No more listening to Mr. Malloy say, "Technically fine, Blake. But wheres the heart?" Phhft. He gave me a C last year. Who the hell gets a C in photo? Dad sits with a cup of coffee, studying the bullet wounds. "How come you were late last night?" I ask. "Shooting. Downtown. The cops shot a homeless guy. They say he charged them." "Oh." "Bystanders heard the guy raving to himself, though, so he was probably mentally ill." Dad rubs his face. Even though hes a medical examiner and his job depends on there being a supply of dead people, he would prefer that people not kill each other so randomly. "I wish the police could figure out a better way of dealing with the mentally ill than shooting them." He takes another sip of coffee. "Especially eleven times. Thats not for public knowledge, Blake, by the way." I nod. Garrett comes into the room, The Dog Formerly Known as Prince at his heels. Garrett is The Dogs favorite; he sleeps in Garretts room. I dont know how The Dog can stand it—the room reeks of sweat and stale farts. Maybe thats perfume to a dog. I pour two big scoops of kibble into The Dogs food dish, and he tears himself away from Garretts side long enough to notice that yes, I am the one feeding him. Without so much as a mercy wag, he buries his snout in his dish. I check the clock—just enough time to text Shannon: Hi GF, cant wait to see u. What r u wearing? heh. BF "Haul ass, Studly," says Garrett. "Were out in five." Garrett started calling my Studly after I acquired an official GirlFriend. I guess its better than Ass-wipe, my previous nickname. "Youre the one whos late," I say. Garretts big jock hands clench into fists, but he just looks at me. I brush my teeth and head out to the driveway. Garretts not there yet. I lean against the hood of the car, checking my cell for a text from Shannon. No reply. When Garrett finally shows up, I say, "What happened to hauling our asses?" "If you dont get yours off my car, youre going to have it handed to you," he says. "What?" "Your ass. Get it off. My car." I step away from Monty, a 1964 Mercury Montclair Marauder that Garrett and Dad fixed up. My dad is a grease monkey at heart. When hes not cutting up dead people, hes usually in the garage dinking with pistons and valves and crankshafts and whatever-other-shafts make engines run. Garrett leans over the windshield and studies it like a judge at a car show. Then he whips out a bandanna. No, Im not kidding, he carries a bandanna around in his back pocket, not because hes a gang member, but because he likes to cover up his shaved jock head when hes in the sun. He polishes a speck on the windshield, then unlocks the door. We get in, and he backs out of the driveway without saying a word. I flip on the radio and tune it to our schools radio station. The last yell ("Hehh!") of a James Brown song fades out, and a girls voice comes out of the speakers: "Good God, yall! Im Chick Trickster, flicking you some slick discs live from the Wild West studio at West Park High. And what a flippy, trippy, overly hip school this is! Just right for this chick. Pleased to meet you and greet you, dont make me cheat you. Speaking of which, Franz Ferdinand is ‘Cheating On You, right here on 88.1 FM—KWST." "Hey, its a girl," I say. "What?" "Its a girl on KWST." "So?" "So Ive never heard a girl DJ on there before." Garrett grunts. "Shes probably a dog." "What? Why would you think that?" "Why else would she be on the radio? Hot chicks dont go sit in a little studio and hide their hotness behind a microphone. They do cheerleading or the drama club or the dance team." "Right, Gare. Every single hot chick in the world wants to be a cheerleader." I shake my head. "Maybe she likes music." "Yeah. Well see." We dont talk the rest of the way, which is a relief. Shannon is standing with Kaylee and Jasmine on the quad when I get there. Shes sooo luscious in her little white top—it barely reaches the waistband of her baggy shorts. There are "no bare midriffs" allowed at West Park High, but I can see a few millimeters of silky skin between her top and her shorts. I want to touch her like a junkie wants his drug. "Hey," I call. She doesnt wave and smile when she sees me, which is my first clue that somethings up. Kaylee and Jasmine kind of slip away without speaking to me as I approach, which is my second clue. Uh-oh. Maybe I can joke my way out of it, whatever it is. "Houston, we have a problem," I say. "Shannon is not smiling. Repeat: not smiling." Shannon continues to not-smile. Hmm. "Baby?" I say, tilting my head at her. "You know what?" she says. "What." "I am so done with the word ‘baby." "Ohh-kay." Who are you and what have you done with Shannon? "Not just you. Everyone! Guys calling each other baby. Its enough already." She crosses her arms, as if disgusted by all slang. Houston, a little help here? I think. Crashing and burning is imminent. Over? The Houston in my head yells, Abort, abort! "Whats going on?" I ask. She doesnt answer right away, just stares off into the distance with her cool blue eyes. Then she says, "You really dont know?" Oh. Mygod. I just wanted to get a little sugar before class! Its waaay too early for this drama. "Im, uh, wrong somehow? Ive done something wrong. And Im really, really sorry." I pause. The Houston in my head whispers that maybe I could risk a joke now. "Baby," I add. Her lips twitch into a smile, and for a second I think Ive made a spectacular landing. Houston and I start to congratulate each other. Then she makes this bitter-beer face, like shes mad at herself for smiling. "I cant believe you!" she says, and storms off. Wow. From bullet wounds at breakfast to girlfriends gone wrong. And its not even eight oclock.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547519739
Author:
Landalf, Helen
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Author:
Madigan, L. K.
Subject:
Family - Parents
Subject:
Situations / Adolescence
Subject:
Children s-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20111220
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7 x 5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 14

Related Subjects

Children's » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Young Adult » General

Flyaway Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Harcourt Children's Books - English 9780547519739 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "First-time novelist Landalf debuts with a sadly believable account of the destructive power of drug addiction. Fifteen-year-old Stevie's mother has always been her own person, a free spirit who works as a dancer at a nightclub and has a very hands-off approach to parenting. But when she goes missing for days, Stevie's aunt Mindy takes her niece in, pushing Stevie to help get her mother into rehab. Angry and in denial, Stevie resists admitting that her mother is a crystal meth addict, hoping things will go back to 'normal.' Meanwhile, Stevie's social life starts to mirror her home life, with her only friend, Tonya, starting to get into meth as well. Stevie's journey to find her own path and accept the truth about her mother doesn't hold any major surprises, but feels authentic. A none-too-subtle subplot in which Stevie spends time working at a bird rehabilitation center with school bad boy Alan, who's a lot kinder to birds than he is to people, underscores the message that not everyone can be saved. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A frank story about the daughter of a meth addict who finds a stable home with her loving aunt and begins to figure out her own healthy path in life. This novel is beautiful, moving, and full of hope.
"Synopsis" by ,

Winner of the 2010 William C. Morris Award!

Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him.

When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa. He spends the next few months trying to reconcile the conflicting roles of Boyfriend and Friend. His experiences range from the comic (surviving his dad’s birth control talk) to the tragic (a harrowing after-hours visit to the morgue).

In a tangle of life and death, love and loyalty, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of himself.

"Synopsis" by , “So good I read it in one sitting.” -Han Nolan, National Book Award finalist

Girl loves Mom. Mom loves meth. Stevie Calhoun is fifteen, and she can take care of herself. Her mom has disappeared before, but this time Aunt Mindy is making Stevie stay with her. Whatever. Stevie will pack up her camouflage pants and red high heels and go live with Aunt Mindy . . . for now. But shell also make sure her mom comes back and promises never to see Drake and his white powder again. A powerful mix of humor and heartbreak!

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