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    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

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The Book of One Hundred Truths (Yearling Books)

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The Book of One Hundred Truths (Yearling Books) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

Probably because they didnt trust me, my parents were grilling me at the airport in Minneapolis, asking all the usual travel questions. Did I have my backpack? Yes. Did I have the claim check for my suitcase? Yes. Did I need to use the bathroom?

“Guess what? They have bathrooms on planes now,” I said.

My father patted his pockets. “Do you need any chewing gum?”

“I already have some.”

“A bottle of water?”

“Dad,” I said. “This is kind of insulting.”

“Okay, Ill stop. A magazine?”

Every summer since I was six years old, my parents had been sending me to visit my fathers relatives at the beach in New Jersey. They were always more anxious about it than I was. I liked eating lunch on the plane at thirty thousand feet, and I liked staying at my grand- parents house, which was full of lumpy, mismatched furniture and old-fashioned wallpaper that would have been seriously ugly anywhere else.

Yes, I said. I had a magazine. I had absolutely everything that a person going on a plane could possibly want.

But then my mother cleared her throat, opened a shopping bag I hadnt noticed, and offered me a notebook. It was light blue, with thick, heavy unlined paper—a much nicer notebook than the kind I used at school.

“Whats that for?” I felt uneasy. I was already bringing a lot of things with me: a gift for my grandparents, a lunch and some junk food, my CD player and a dozen CDs, and several books that my father insisted I would want to read.

“Its a notebook of truths,” my mother said. She flipped the pages of the notebook and held it toward me. “You can write anything you want in here, as long as every single thing you write is true.”

“What do you mean, every single thing?” I looked at the notebook but didnt touch it. On its cover was a white star about the size of my fingertip. All around us, people were pushing strollers and dragging suitcases toward their gates.

“Well, Im not talking about essays, or even paragraphs,” my mother said. She was standing very close to me; I could smell peppermint on her breath. “Im only talking about observations. Write a few sentences at first. You can make a list.”

“Gee. A list.” I shifted my backpack to my other shoulder. “That sounds exciting.”

My mother didnt appreciate sarcasm. “Notebooks are private,” she went on. I was almost exactly her height, and she was looking at me forehead to forehead, eye to eye. “Thats the best thing about them. You can write down any truths at all. Anything youre thinking.”

“The world is round,” I said. “Hows that for a truth?”

My mother tucked her hair behind her ears and said that the world is round was a fact instead of a truth, and that there was a difference. She said she suspected I knew what it was.

“Time to get on that plane,” my father said. He clapped his hands.

Here was a truth: my father didnt like goodbyes. He didnt like train stations or bus depots or airports. I could tell he was nervous by the way he had been jingling the change in his pockets.

A tall blond woman ran over my foot with her rolling suitcase.

“We have one more minute,” my mother said. She straightened the sleeve of my T-shirt and pulled me aside. “Youll be gone for three weeks. Twenty-two days. If you write down four or five true things every day”—she tapped the cover of the notebook—“youll have a hundred. A hundred true things.”

“A hundred,” I repeated. I had to admit that one hundred truths had a certain ring to it.

“Youll feel better if you use this,” my mother said. “You never know what you might discover. You might learn something new.” Her green eyes were like matching traffic lights. “You might find out something new about who you are.”

I didnt want to get into that kind of discussion. I took the notebook. It felt good in my hands; the blue cover was soft.

“Off you go, then,” my father said. He gave my ticket to the flight attendant, who wrapped a paper bracelet around my wrist as if I were two years old instead of almost thirteen.

I started down the carpeted hallway and waved. My parents, their arms around each others shoulders, waved back.

“Well see you soon,” my father said. “Call us when you get there. And have a good time. Behave yourself.”

I told him I would.

But I should probably mention something right now, before this story goes any further: my name is Theodora Grumman, and I am a liar.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780440420859
Author:
Schumacher, Julie
Publisher:
Yearling Books
Subject:
Family - Multigenerational
Subject:
Honesty
Subject:
Cousins
Subject:
New jersey
Subject:
Children s-Reference Family and Genealogy
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Yearling Books
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.62x5.26x.51 in. .30 lbs.
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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