376 Slices
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Medium 9780819807960

Chapter Thirty-Three Lucky Girl

Carol A. Grund Pauline Books and Media ePub

On the day of the Science Quest state level competition, Anna Mei woke up early. Now that it was April, sunlight filtered into her bedroom in the mornings, growing stronger every day. All the spotty patches of snow had finally melted, and the air smelled like new grass and the first flowers of spring.

It was going to be a busy morning. The high school hosting the competition was two hours away, and they would need to leave by seven-thirty in order be there on time. Still, she decided to take a moment to snuggle with Cleo and think about the day ahead before she jumped into it.

She would be nervous competing against all the other teams—there was no question about that. But ever since helping Westside take second place at regionals last month, she felt confident that she and Kai could hold their own when it came time to answer the judges’ questions. It turned out that they made a pretty good team after all.

That would make a victory today a little bittersweet, she realized. If the team moved on to the final competition, held next month in Washington, D.C., Kai wouldn’t be there. The project at the university was in its final stages, and Dr. Chen had accepted a three-month position in Toronto, Canada. In just two weeks the Chens would be moving on.

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Medium 9780819851673

Am I Skinny Yet?

Diane M. Lynch Pauline Books and Media ePub

By Diana R. Jenkins

I pushed my tray down the lunch line, moving past the cheeseburgers and fries. Sadly, I stopped at the salad bar, where I plopped a few leaves of lettuce and a slice of tomato on a plate.

“Come on, Bob! Don’t tell me you’re on a diet again!”

I looked at Wade and his full lunch tray. “I have to lose weight.”

Wade rolled his eyes. He’s a good friend, but he doesn’t understand what it’s like to be overweight.

We paid for our lunches and found seats in the cafeteria. My lunch was gone in a few bites! My stomach still felt as empty leaving the cafeteria as it had going in.

During social studies, my poor, hollow stomach growled so loudly that Mr. Diaz stopped talking about the War of 1812. “What was that?” he asked.

Seth shouted, “That’s Bob’s stomach!” It was so embarrassing when everyone laughed!

After class, Seth came up to me in the hall. “Some of us are trying to hear what the teacher’s saying, so how about keeping the noise down?” His friends hee-hawed behind him, and Seth added, “See you later, Bob the Blob!”

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Medium 9780819871329

Chapter 4: Tryouts!

Maryann MacDonald Pauline Books and Media ePub

It was tryout time. Nicky was first. He made his eyes look big. Then came Tamika. She made her voice high and squeaky. Annabelle Carter was next. She shook with pretend fear.

But when Stella’s turn came, she did everything at once. She looked and sounded really scared.

“All right!” yelled Nicky. Stella blushed.

One by one, all the second graders took their turns.

“Francie?” asked Miss Walker.

Francie stood up. She walked to the front. She looked out at the faces. She opened her mouth. But nothing came out. Francie’s head felt like it was stuffed with straw, just like the Scarecrow’s in the story.

“Look out . . . ,” Miss Walker whispered.

Then Francie remembered. She raised her arm. She pointed at the door.

“Look out!” she yelled. “Here come the Winged Monkeys!”

Just then, the door opened. Sister Grizzly came in with another sister. Everyone laughed.

“Thank you, Francie,” said Miss Walker. “Thank you, everyone. Come to the lunchroom after school. We’ll announce the parts then.”

At three o’clock, Stella and Francie went to the lunchroom together. Miss Walker began reading the names.

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Medium 9780819807885

Chapter Fifteen: The Fall Follies

Carol A. Grund Pauline Books and Media ePub

“I can’t believe how great it all looks!” Amber said. She had to raise her voice to be heard above the noise.

The girls were standing near the refreshment stand, sipping apple cider and snacking on orange-frosted cupcakes dotted with candy corn.

Zoey sighed. “You’ve said that, like, a hundred times already.”

Anna Mei kept quiet, but secretly she agreed with Amber—the transformation of the gym was amazing. Multicolored leaves and black spiders twirled above their heads, suspended on invisible fishing line. Cafeteria tables arranged to form game booths were draped with black tablecloths and strung with twinkling orange lights. The raggedy scarecrows they’d worked so hard to make were scattered around the room, surrounded by fat pumpkins and potted mums. Even the basketball hoops had been draped with twists of black and orange crepe paper.

Judging from the size of the crowd—and the noise level—everyone in the whole school must have turned out. Martians mixed with mummies while pirates stood shoulder to shoulder with princesses, all handing over their tickets for a chance to pop balloons with darts, toss rings at soda bottles, and fish for prizes in a big plastic wading pool.

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Medium 9780819849007


Lizette M. Lantigua Pauline Books and Media ePub

This story is a work of fiction, but the experiences of Luisito and his family are based on real historical events. Their story is full of true anecdotes from other Cubans interviewed who arrived in this country by sea during the 1980s, when the author was a newspaper reporter in South Florida.

The statue of our Lady of Charity was commissioned by Monsignor Armando Jiménez Rebollar in 1947 in Cuba. It is a copy of the original found floating at sea. The statue was smuggled out of Cuba by the Archdiocese of Havana through the Italian embassy, which then passed it to Panama’s embassy in Cuba. It finally arrived in the United States not in 1979, when the story takes place, but in 1961.

The man who actually brought the statue was not named Humberto Gutierrez but Luis Gutiérrez Areces.

The Mass by Bishop Coleman Carroll took place as mentioned in the book, but not in 1979. The Mass was celebrated in Miami Stadium on September 8, 1961.

In reality, there were no spies—that we know of— trying to capture the statue.

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Medium 9780819849229

Chapter Eleven: Sounds in the Night

Maria Grace Dateno FSP Pauline Books and Media ePub

I don’t know how long I had been asleep before I suddenly woke up. I lay still, trying to think of what had made me wake up. I listened but didn’t hear anything. It was very quiet. Even where my family lives out in the country, it wasn’t this quiet at night.

Just when I had started to fall asleep again, I heard something that made me fully awake. There was something or someone moving around in the courtyard.

My first thought was wolves, because on our first time-travel adventure, the wolves came out and surrounded us at night. But of course, that was outside the village of Bethlehem. I told myself that it couldn’t be wolves in the courtyard in the middle of a town.

I listened for a while and heard more movements—like feet shuffling on the ground.

It was completely dark in the room. There were no streetlights outside to shine in the windows. Actually, there were no windows in the room we were in. I slowly crawled over to the door that led out to the courtyard. I didn’t want to wake anyone up.

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Medium 9780819874917

I Thou shalt ignore the pimple on my lip.

Britt Leigh Pauline Books and Media ePub


It is 6:47 p.m., and I, Gloria Jean Wisnewski, am late for my first-ever date. And I have a pimple on my lip. A pimple! On. My. Lip!

I gaze out the window of Mom’s sedan so I don’t have to look at her. It’s all her fault. The being late part, not the pimple part. All her fault because she could not get the bread and shampoo before 6:00 tonight or on any one of the other three weekly trips she makes to All-Mart. It just had to be the very night I am going to the movies when Connor Riley will be there. Connor Riley, who’s the cutest, nicest boy in the whole school.

In the side-view mirror, I catch a glimpse of the white bump. It looks like it’s wearing a red inner tube. “Warning: objects in mirror may appear bigger than they are.” This little reminder from the car is not comforting. While my lips aren’t exactly full and juicy, I’ve been told they do curve into a sweet smile. And now that’s wrecked. I groan and slump into my seat. Actually, the pimple is Mom’s fault. She forgot to get my zit cream.

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Medium 9780819851673

Mealtime Prayers

Diane M. Lynch Pauline Books and Media ePub
Medium 9780819807946

Chapter Twelve What About Me?

Carol A. Grund Pauline Books and Media ePub

A few days later, Anna Mei sat at the table, pushing food around her plate but not really eating it.

Mom and Dad were both home for dinner, which didn’t happen every day. When they lived in Boston, her mother had worked at a doctor’s office with daytime hours. Now that she worked at a hospital, her shifts were noon to midnight three times a week. So sometimes it was just Anna Mei and her father sitting at the table, or Anna Mei, her father, and Danny—although that hadn’t happened for a few weeks now.

Tonight she couldn’t stop thinking about the bowling party, and how happy she’d been when everything had seemed okay. Now she almost felt worse than before. Did Danny think she wouldn’t notice how secretive he was being about his family? Did he think she wouldn’t care?

“Are you all right, Anna Mei?” Mom asked, looking at the uneaten spaghetti piled on Anna Mei’s plate.

“I’m fine,” she said. “Still full from lunch, I guess.”

“Well, at least eat your salad,” Mom said, passing her a bottle of ranch dressing. “Dad and I have something we want to talk to you about.”

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Medium 9780819831101

Nothing to Learn

Diane M. Lynch Pauline Books and Media ePub

I couldn’t stand out in the hall forever. Mrs. Stefano would wonder where I was. She might even call my real teacher, Mr. Lewis, and ask about me. Then I’d be in trouble. With a sigh, I trudged into the second-grade classroom.

“Hello,” said Mrs. Stefano. “Are you Brett?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I muttered, my face burning red. All the little kids were staring!

“We’re so glad to have you join us,” she said. Then she told me to take the desk by the door, where anybody passing by could see me.

There was a booklet about first Communion on the desk. I opened it and used it to hide my face. I had never been so embarrassed in all my life.

First Communion! At my age! When we lived overseas, my parents wanted to delay my first Communion until we returned to America. That way all our family could attend. I never dreamed it would work out like this: a fourth-grader preparing for first Communion with a bunch of second-graders!

Mrs. Stefano talked about the Last Supper, but I didn’t listen. Maybe the second-graders needed to learn that stuff, but I already knew it.

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Medium 9780819808301


Marilee Haynes Pauline Books and Media ePub


My mom drops us off in front of the Central Carolina College science building. There’s a big sign that says “Welcome Olympians” on the lawn. Being called an Olympian makes me feel like I should have a javelin in my hand or be lacing up my speed skates, but I guess the sign means we’re in the right place.

My mom has some cookie deliveries to make, but she’ll be back later. I don’t know if my dad is coming. I didn’t ask, and my mom didn’t say. I know Maya’s parents definitely will be here later, and Linc’s probably won’t be. He said he thought they both had to work.

The competition starts in an hour. I’m nervous. The kind of nervous that if I was a girl I might say I have butterflies. But guys don’t say they have butterflies, so I won’t say that. Ever. It’s also the kind of nervous that usually makes my stomach churn and clench. But that’s not happening. Not today. I touch my grandpa’s medal through my shirt to remind myself. I’ve got this.

“Wow. Look at all these people. I guess this is a big deal, huh?” Linc stands just inside the door of the enormous auditorium with his mouth open.

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Medium 9780819849007


Lizette M. Lantigua Pauline Books and Media ePub

Hours passed, or maybe they were minutes. Luisito had lost all sense of time. It was so hot. He felt dizzy and light-headed. He reached for the water container, forgetting it was empty. His heart was beating rapidly, his muscles ached from rowing, and all he could think about was cold water running down his dry throat. Suddenly, he couldn’t take it any longer. He cupped his hands and reached out to drink the salty ocean water.

“No, Luisito!” Elena said.

“It will make you sick, son,” Miguel said as he reached out to stop him.

“Leave me alone. I need water!” Luisito said wildly. His parents exchanged worried looks. Luisito was beginning to demonstrate the symptoms of heatstroke.

Miguel held his son back to prevent him from drinking more ocean water. He knew that his son was suffering from dehydration. He had to keep him cool without letting him drink the salty ocean water. He turned around to get his t-shirt wet and put it on Luisito’s head when he heard a splash and Elena’s loud gasp.

Ay, Luisito!” Elena yelled, covering her face with her hands. Luisito had fallen overboard.

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Medium 9780819807960

Chapter One Werewolf at the Door

Carol A. Grund Pauline Books and Media ePub

When the werewolf appeared at her bedroom door, Anna Mei Anderson was sitting in her green-striped chair, just starting some math homework. In a horror movie, the situation would have called for some terrified screaming, maybe even a daring escape out the second-story window.

In real life, Anna Mei just shook her head, smiling.

“Hi Dad,” she said. “Been going through the Halloween box again?”

Snapping and snarling, he came in and looked at himself in her mirror. “I’ve already worn all of those,” he said, his voice muffled behind all the fake fur and latex. “I wanted something new this year, so I stopped at the costume shop on my way home. What do you think?”

“I think I agree with Mom—when it comes to Halloween, some people never grow up.”

Her father peeled off the mask, making his hair stand practically straight up. Lately Anna Mei had started to notice strands of silver mixed in with the blond. Even though she knew he turned forty-six on his last birthday, it seemed weird to think of her father as getting older. To her he always looked the same—tall and thin, with a dent on his nose where his dark-rimmed glasses sat, and a crooked smile that reached all the way up to his blue eyes.

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Medium 9780819807946

Chapter Four Missing

Carol A. Grund Pauline Books and Media ePub

Snaking slowly through the gym, a double line of sixth graders processed past rows of seats filled with parents, siblings, and teachers. A recording blared out the dum, dah-dah-dah-daaah-dum music that Ms. Wagner had called “Pomp and Circumstance” at rehearsal this morning, but which they all just thought of as the “Graduation Song.”

Anna Mei had to smile, and not only because of the millions of cameras and camcorders going off all around her. She just thought it was funny that the teachers had decided to line them up for the procession by height instead of alphabetically. Which had put Anna Mei . . . right in front anyway.

They joked about it at dinner. “Doomed to always be first,” Danny teased her. “You might as well get used to it.”

“You’re laughing now,” she shot back, “but just wait until I’m the first person to land on Mars.”

Aunt Karen reached over to high-five her. “You go for it, Anna Mei,” she said. “I’d bet all my money on you!”

“I would, too,” Uncle Jeff agreed. “If we had any, that is.”

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Medium 9780819826855

Using Your Head

Diane M. Lynch Pauline Books and Media ePub

By Donna R. Gamache

“Glen got home today, Shawn,” said Mom when I came in after school.

“How did he look?”

“Hard to tell. But he was carrying his suitcase. It was a couple of hours ago. Why don’t you go see him?”

“I’ve got hockey practice,” I reminded her. “Brent’s mom is driving us to the rink, okay?”

I hurried downstairs for my equipment and left almost right away. It was the first practice of the season for our team—the Eagles—and I was eager to get on the ice, a lot more eager than I was to go visiting.

“Does anyone know if Glen Boyd will be able to play?” Coach MacLean asked as we were dressing.

Everyone looked at me. Not only did Glen live next door to me, but he’d been my best buddy for a long time. Until the last three months, we’d been almost inseparable.

“I dunno,” I said. “He got home today. But I don’t know if he can play hockey.”

The reason for that was that a few months ago Glen had been diagnosed with leukemia. Since then he’d spent nearly all his time in the city, two hundred miles away, getting chemotherapy treatments. He was doing well—my mom said the disease was “in remission”—but as for hockey, I didn’t know.

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