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1 Beaverton Children's Middle Readers- General

Hound Dog True

by

Hound Dog True Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Evan lay on his back in the dark, throwing the baseball up in a straight line and catching it in his bare hands. Thwap. Thwap. The ball made a satisfying sound as it slapped his palm. His legs flopped in a V. His arms stretched up to the ceiling. And the thought that if he missed hed probably break his nose made the game just interesting enough to keep going.

   On the floor above he heard footsteps—his mothers—and then a long, loud scraping-groaning sound. He stopped throwing the ball to listen. His mother was dragging something heavy across the kitchen floor. Probably the broken air conditioner.

   A week ago, right at the beginning of the heat wave, the air conditioner in his mothers attic office had broken. The man from Sears had installed a brand- new one but left the old one sitting right in the middle of the kitchen floor. The Treskis had been walking around it all week.

   Scra-a-a-ape. Evan stood up. His mom was strong, but this was a two- person job. Hopefully she wouldnt ask him why he was hiding in the dark basement. And hopefully Jessie wouldnt be in the kitchen at all. Hed been avoiding her for two days now, and it was getting harder by the minute. The house just wasnt that big.

   Evan had his hand on the railing when the scraping noise stopped. He heard footsteps fading to silence. Shed given up. Probably the heat, he thought. It was that kind of weather: giving-up kind of weather.

   He went back to lying on the floor.

   Thwap. Thwap.

   Then he heard the basement door open. Psssshhh. Evan caught the ball and froze.

   “Evan?” Jessies voice sounded echo-y in the darkness. “Evan? You down there?”

   Evan held his breath. He lay completely still. The only thing that moved was the pins-and-needles prickling in his fingers.

   He heard the door start to close—long breath out—but then it stopped and opened again. Footsteps on the carpeted stairs. A black outline of Jessie standing on the bottom step with daylight squirting all around her. Evan didnt move a muscle.

   “Evan? Is that you?” Jessie took one short step into the basement. “Is that . . . ? She inched her way toward him, then kicked him with her bare foot.

   “Hey! Watch it, would ya?” said Evan, swatting her leg. He suddenly felt stupid lying there in the dark.

   “I thought you were a sleeping bag,” she said.

   “I couldnt see. What are you doing down here? How come the lights are off?”

   “Its too hot with the lights on,” he said. He talked in a flat voice, trying to sound like the most boring person on the whole planet. If he kept it up, Jessie might just leave him alone.

   “Moms back in her office,” said Jessie, lying down on the couch. “Working.” She groaned as she said the word.

   Evan didnt say anything. He went back to throwing the ball. Straight up. Straight down. Maybe silence would get Jessie to leave. He was starting to feel words piling up inside him, crowding his lungs, forcing out all the air. It was like having a chestful of bats, beating their wings, fighting to get out.

   “She tried to move the air conditioner, but its too heavy,” said Jessie.

   Evan tightened up his lips. Go away, he thought. Go away before I say something mean.

   “Its gonna be hot a-a-a-all week,” Jessie continued. “In the nineties. All the way up til Labor Day.”

   Thwap. Thwap.

   “So, whaddya wanna do?” Jessie asked.

   Scream, thought Evan. Jessie never got it when you were giving her the Big Freeze. She just went right on acting as if everything were great. It made it really hard to tell her to bug off without telling her to BUG OFF! Whenever Evan did that, he felt bad.

   “So, whaddya wanna do?” Jessie asked again, nudging him with her foot.

&nsbp;  It was a direct question. Evan had to answer it or explain why he wouldnt. And he couldnt get into that. It was too . . . too complicated. Too hurtful.

   “Huh? So, whaddya wanna do?” she asked for the third time.

   “Doin it,” said Evan.

   “Nah, come on. For real.”

   “For real,” he said.

   “We could ride our bikes to the 7-Eleven,” she said.

   “No money,” he said.

   “You just got ten dollars from Grandma for your birthday.”

   “Spent it,” said Evan.

   “On what?”

   “Stuff,” Evan said.

   “Well, Ive got . . . well . . . ” Jessies voice dribbled down to nothing.

   Evan stopped throwing the ball and looked at her. “What?”

   Jessie pulled her legs tight to her chest. “Nothin,” she said.

   “Right,” said Evan. He knew that Jessie had money. Jessie always had money squirreled away in her lock box. But that didnt mean she was going to share it. Evan went back to throwing the baseball. He felt a tiny flame of anger shoot up and lick his face.

   Thwap. Thwap.

   > “We could build a fort in the woods,” said Jessie.

   “Too hot.”

   “We could play Stratego.”

   “Too boring.”

   “We could build a track and race marbles.”

   “Too stupid!”

   A thin spider web of sweat draped itself over his foreheaddddd, spreading into his hair. With every throw, he told himself, Its not her fault. But he could feel his anger growing. He started popping his elbow to put a little more juice on the ball. It was flying a good four feet into the air every time. Straight up. Straight down.

   Pop. Thwap. Pop. Thwap.

   The bats in his chest were going nuts.

   “What is the matter with you?” asked Jessie. “Youve been so weird the last couple of days.”

   Aw, man, here they come.

   “I just dont wanna play a dumb game like Stratego,” he said.

   “You like Stratego. I only picked that because its your favorite game. I was being nice, in case you hadnt noticed.”

   “Look. There are only six days left of summer, and Im not going to waste them playing a dumb game.” Evan felt his heartbeat speed up. Part of him wanted to stuff a sock in his mouth, and part of him wanted to deck his sister. “Its a stupid game and its for babies and I dont want to play a stupid baby game.”

   Pop. Thwap. Pop. Thwap.

   “Why are you being so mean?”

   Evan knew he was being mean, and he hated being mean, especially to her. But he couldnt help it. He was so angry and so humiliated and so full of bats, there was nothing else he could be. Except alone. And shed taken even that away from him. “Youre the genius,” he said. “You figure it out.” Good. That would shut her up. For once! Evan watched the ball fly in the air.

   “Is this because of the letter?” Jessie asked.

   Crack.

   Evan had taken his eyes off the ball for one second, just for one second, and the ball came crashing down on his nose.

   “Crud! Oh, CRUD!” He curled over onto his side, grabbing his nose with both hands. There was a blinding, blooming pain right behind his eyes that was quickly spreading to the outer edges of his skull.

   “Do you want some ice?” he heard Jessie ask in a calm voice.

   “Whaddya think?” he shouted.

   “Yeah?” She stood up.

   “No, I dont want any stupid ice.” The pain was starting to go away, like a humungous wave that crashes with a lot of noise and spray but then slowly fizzles away into nothing. Evan rolled to a sitting position and took his hands away from his nose. With his thumb and index finger, he started to pinch the bridge. Was it still in a straight line?

   Jessie peered at his face in the dim light. “Youre not bleeding,” she said.

   “Yeah, well it, hurts!” he said. “A lot!”

   “Its not broken,” she said.

   “You dont know that,” he said. “You dont know everything, you know. You think you do, but you dont.”

   “Its not even swollen. Youre making a big deal out of nothing.”

   Evan held his nose with one hand and hit his sisters knee with the other. Then he picked up the baseball and struggled to his feet. “Leave me alone. I came down here to get away from you and you just had to follow. You ruin everything. You ruined my summer and now youre going to ruin school. I hate you.” When he got to the bottom of the steps, he threw the baseball down in disgust.

   Thud.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547558691
Author:
Urban, Linda
Publisher:
Harcourt Children's Books
Author:
Cole, Henry
Author:
Davies, Jacqueline
Subject:
Family - General
Subject:
Situations / Emotions & Feelings
Subject:
Readers - Chapter Books
Subject:
Girls & Women
Subject:
Children s-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
The Lemonade War Series
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 4 to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Full-color illustrations
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 10

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Bullying
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » General

Hound Dog True Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 160 pages Harcourt Children's Books - English 9780547558691 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Urban (A Crooked Kind of Perfect) traces a highly self-conscious child's cautious emergence from her shell in this tender novel about new beginnings and 'small brave' acts. Fifth grader Mattie Breen doesn't share her mother's eagerness to pick up stakes whenever 'the going gets tough.' Mattie hates starting over at unfamiliar schools, but when her mother announces they will be living with Uncle Potluck, Mattie feels hopeful, for once. Uncle Potluck tells funny, larger-than-life stories — the kind of stories Mattie likes to write, but is embarrassed to share with others. Mattie hopes that Uncle Potluck will make her his 'custodial apprentice' at the school where he works (and which she'll attend) and that this time she'll finally find a 'true, tell-your-secrets-to' friend. Urban's understated, borderline naïf narrative gives voice to Mattie's many uncertainties ('Always Mattie has been shy. Always school had made her feel skittish and small') while expressing the quiet yet significant moments in her day-to-day life. Mattie's growing trust of others and her attempts to be 'bold and friendly' lead to gratifying rewards for Mattie and poignant moments for readers. Ages 9 — 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
Acclaimed author Linda Urban captures the sweet humor and tenderness of finding one's voice and making a friend, even when that seems impossible.
"Synopsis" by ,
Who knows the best way to be mad? Bear stomps. Hare hops. Bobcat screams. Mouse? He just can't get it right. But when he finds the way that works for him--still and quiet--he discovers his own way might be the best of all.and#160; A light-hearted exploration of how to manage anger from the critically acclaimed author and illustrator duo of Urban and Cole.
"Synopsis" by , Linda Urban's irresistible debut novel, full of warmth and sass, about ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who has perfect piano dreams but a life that's a little off-kilter.
"Synopsis" by , Evan Treski is people-smart. He is good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart—but not especially good at understanding people. She knows that feelings are her weakest subject. So when their lemonade war begins, there really is no telling who will win—and even more important, if their fight will ever end.

Here is a clever blend of humor and math fun. As it captures the one-of-a-kind bond between brother and sister, this poignant novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyones intent.

"Synopsis" by , For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.

Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. Hes good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyones intent.

Awards: 2009 Rhode Island Children's Book Award, 2007 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, North Carolina Childrens Book Award 2011, 2011 Nutmeg Award (Connecticut)

Check out www.lemonadewar.com for more information on The Lemonade War Series, including sequels The Lemonade Crime, The Bell Bandit, and The Candy Smash.

"Synopsis" by , Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall.

But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life in Michigan that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day.

Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises--and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.

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