author, books, Cereal Authors, Children's story, childrens stories, JD Holiday, YA

An Excerpt from a Middle-grade novel by JD Holiday

 Bookworks Featured author.pngAn Excerpt from a Middle-grade novel by JD Holiday.

It’s my latest book.  A 35000-word middle-grade novel.  I’m not sure what to title it yet. My ideas for below.

The book is about the Cameron children worried that they will not get the toys they asked for for Christmas. The uncle that Trisha Frankel has lived with most of her life with has died. The only option she has is to find the father she does not know, even though her uncle said, “He was no good.” Trisha takes her dog, Mitch to search out her father and find out what he is like for herself. Along the way, her dog is stolen. The most likely suspect in the dog’s disappearance is a man connected to the Cameron children Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby. Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby are busy trying to figure out if their Christmas gifts will arrive. But helping Trisha makes them realize that sometimes the lives of others are more important their own interests.


                                                                         CHAPTER 1

              The Speed Delivery truck stopped in front of the Cameron house by the shoveled driveway. Kirby heard it pull up. Christmas was in two days and his mother was still waiting for ‘deliveries’ for some of the family’s Christmas gifts. In fact, all the big gifts like his racing car set, the MagMax Drone his older brother, Tucker wanted and for Phoebe, the oldest child in their house, the china doll she wanted for her doll collection.

              Kirby left the TV and rushed through the open French doors from the living room leading to the front windows of the sunroom to see if he could see what was being delivered. He loved guesting games and solving problems. He maneuvered between the computer table with the computer it, the tropical fish in the screen saver still swimming around, and passed the wicker loveseat to get to the window with the better view of the truck.

  Kirby rubbed the frost off the window and leaned his elbows on the sill and pressing his turned-up nose to the glass. All the Cameron children had inherited from their mother’s side of the family that same turned up nose, green-grayish eyes capped by dark lashes and eyebrows in a round faces and framed nicely with straight black hair. Their father always said every chance that came up that the children had his long legs that he, himself could always count on to carry him quickly down any basketball court he played on in high school and college.

              The driver hopped out onto the snow-covered road and headed to the rear of the truck. Kirby watched the truck’s roll-up door fly up and the man pulled out a hand truck, grabbed four boxes and stacked them on it. He then pushed it along to the driveway and up onto the sidewalk lifted the boxes and climbing up the narrowly shoveled stairs to their door. Kirby knew he would not be able to tell what was inside all the boxes, but he thought he might see the box with the Sotrux Racecar logo on it if he were lucky and it wasn’t inside a larger box. But none of these boxes were big enough Kirby judged to hold his racing set.

              He looked back at the truck with its door still open and then he saw it. Still in the truck was the racing car label. Kirby jumped up and down. “YES!” he shouted to the empty room and then he yelled loud enough for his grandmother to hear him while keeping an eye on the man quickly coming down the stairs and heading back to the truck for more boxes. “Gram, a delivery is here.”

              When his grandmother didn’t come, Kirby ran to the kitchen. Gram was just entering the apartment from the back stairway that connected all three apartments in the house to a common outside door and to the entrance to the basement. She was cooking in the old kitchen area in the basement, which she said was the ideal place for her to prepare meals for a city mission where she volunteered. Her kitchen on the third floor was much too


              “Gram! Gram!” he shouted running to her.

              “What’s the yelling for, Kirby?” she asked. She went straight for the sink and opened the cabinet underneath it. Rattled some pans and pulled out a large pot. “I have a dinner to start. Your parents will be home from work and Phoebe and Tucker will be flying in from the after-school Christmas party they went to, and dinner is going to be late.”

              “It’s a delivery. The Christmas gifts are here,” he said, and raced back through both the dining and living rooms to get back to the porch.              

              “They’ll leave the package, Kirby,” his grandmother remarked as he ran back to the living room.

  At the window, Kirby frowned. Vic Silian, another of Gram’s grandsons, the oldest son of their mother’s sister, Aunt Junnie, was standing at the back of the truck. Kirby didn’t like Vic. Vic has a sweet and friendly dog that Kirby loves and Vic mistreats. Vic was thin and tall and dressed in dark clothes with a wool cap pulled down to his eyes and hiding his huge forehead which reminded Kirby of Frankenstein’s, wrinkled lines and all. Vic’s eyes bulged out from under the cap like those of a villain cartoon character.

              Vic was closing the back of the delivery truck and began to wade over the mounded up snow bank alongside the truck, looking behind him a couple of time before reaching the door to the front seat which he opened and got inside. There was something wrong with this, Kirby thought, staring at his cousin. “What’s he do there?” he mumbled.

              Vic had been in the basement earlier talking to Gram telling her he knew how she could get rich if she gives him some of her retirement money. And what would Gram do if Vic took her money? The thought made Kirby cross. But then, Vic did something else. His nose up against the window, Kirby said out loud fogging up the window with each word, “What was he doing getting into the driver side on the delivery truck?”

               He rubbed the window with his sweater sleeve in disbelief. Vic had never worked any job for too long and he never worked for a delivery service. So why was he driving the truck away? “I know what he’s doing!” Kirby shouted.

              The answer to this one had to be the contents in the truck Kirby guessed. Vic was stealing so he could sell the things in the boxes. Vic had been in trouble before and this was just going to be another time. Kirby glanced behind him looking for grandmother. If I was only bigger, Kirby thought, I go out there and stop Vic myself. Gram would come out and find that he had tossed Vic to the ground to stop him from getting into trouble this time. She would praise Kirby, “I’m so proud of you, Kirby.”

              Kirby craned his neck as the truck drove down the street. That’s when the Speedy Delivery driver raced down their front stairs shouting, “Hey! Hey!”

              Shaking his head, Kirby went to the front door wondering what to say to Gram. She was not going to believe this.

              The doorbell started ringing as Gram came into the living room, her cherry color hair bobbing and her bony arms outstretched while wiping her hands on a dish towel.

              The bell rang again as Gram reached it. At the door, Kirby stood to one side as she opened it. The Speed Service deliveryman stood there. “Someone stole my truck,” he said.

               Kirby winced thinking this was not going to go well.


              The tied-up Christmas tree leaned against the doorjamb on the back porch Uncle John, Trisha mother’s brother had bought and they were going to put up last night. But things have changed. Uncle John died yesterday.

              With Mitch, her black lab, on his leash and sit behind Trisha as she closed and locked the door of the apartment she had shared with her uncle for the past nine years in their predominantly African-American street. Mitch was all there was left and people she did not know would soon be looking for her if they were not already. Before Trisha talked to anybody else she had something she had to do.

              Wearing her backpack stuffed with food and snacks for them both and carrying a duffle bag with all her belongings in it just in case she didn’t return, Trisha and Mitch kept a steady pace as they walked along the snowy streets. Over the Seven Street bridge and pass many Riverside factories then up the long stretch of River Street where here and there someone had shoveled a path on their trek heading for the city. Once on Main Street where all the busy stores lined the street, they jostled with holiday shoppers and workers on break all avoiding mounds of dirting snow piles to get to their destinations. At a red light, Trisha and Mitch waited to cross through the narrowly shoveled path at the corner.


There are my ideas for titles. Let me know if you have an idea.



Simple things

‘ A Little Bit More’ 

 ‘With This Christmas Came A little Bit More’

 ‘Christmas Means A Little Bit More

 ‘Its Christmas Time In The City’

 ‘Sharing at Christmas’

author, books, childrens stories, JD Holiday

Winter is Coming! Read The Great Snowball Escapade, a chapter book for 6 to 9 year olds!

9780981861425Can Wil stay out of trouble and get along with her cousin, Bud  and treat him like she wants to be treated?

on The Great Snowball Escapade, Wilhemena Brooks’ has a problem when her cousin comes to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds things begin to disappear and that includes her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows her cousin Bud has it! Who else would have taken it and she also finds out that Bud doesn’t like girls In fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody.
SB6-12-10-09013Finished-1_edited-1Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friend’s hair, takes over games, and when Bud is in trouble he making his “you’re going to get it” face at her which causes others to laugh. After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. But Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which ends with Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting. When her pencil sharpener is found, right where she left it, her mother tells Wil she must try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. 9780981861425_txt_img_8Her mother wants Wil to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. But if Wil treats Bud nicely does that change anything for her?


books, childrens stories, JD Holiday, YA

About My Picture book, The Spy Game

This story is based on a puppy my brother, Ike’s dog Sheeba had. He ask me to take this puppy he named, Sidney Reilly after a spy series Ike and I watched together and loved.  At the time I had a dog and didn’t think my older dog, Snoopy, would be happy with a new addition.

Sid page2FOR BLOG 6-21-11
Page 2.

My bother said okay, but he felt sure this dog was for me and he kept it with that in mind.

When the puppy was 11 months old, my brother, Ike died of a heart attack. AND Sidney came to me.

I was wrong. Snoopy and Sidney got along, in their own way


This is a painting to the book of my brother, Ike and Sidney. In the story I made his name, Reese, my brother’s middle name. Page 5.


This is Page 9.

You can buy the book at Barnes And Noble using Paypal





~ JD Holiday


Article, author, books, Cereal Authors, childrens stories, Fiction, JD Holiday

MY Work in Progress for my children’s chapter book: The Great Snowball Escapade!

The Great Snowball Escapade, by me, JD Holiday  is a chapter book for children 6 to 9 years of age. I first completed the drawings and then inked them with waterproof Indian ink artist pen. There are 3 of the 25 drawings from the process.

This is the first page.

Page 5

Page 6

In the story, Wilhemena Brooks,’ cousin, Bud Dumphy come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it?

Bud doesn’t like girls! In fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody. Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friends hair, taken over games, and when Bud is in trouble he making his “you’re going to got it” face at her.

After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting.

When her pencil sharpener is found, Right where she left it, Wil decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. But where will that get Wil?

This is the image for the cover.

                                                       Finished cover. 9780981861425-The Great SB COVER PIC

Find At:

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Cereal Authors, Character Quotes, childrens stories, Fiction, JD Holiday

Character Quotes: Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair

Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair

The Fox Is Back! What Does He Want Now?


Margie whispered to Janoose and Mallard. “You know the painter who has been painting the factory? He is by the truck now. Is his going to paint the delivery truck, too?”

        3bcdd-janoose2b22b2bpage2b32bsigned2bfor2bonline      Janoose looked toward the truck. The painter quickly looked away, pulling his cap down over his eyes.

              Mallard said with a laugh, “No, he’s not,” before Mallard hurried over to the painter calling, “Oh, Mr. Painter!”

#storytelling #parents #kidliterature

books, Character Quotes, childrens stories, JD Holiday

Character Quote: Geordie And The Beam Of Light by J.D. Holiday

Cover Geordie And The Beam Of Light 7-27-16“Well, I have an idea!Geordie said. He hurried back into his studio. Loud noises came from inside before Geordie shouted, I have it!

He came out carrying a sign that read:




“Maybe this will help,” Georgie said. “I have to get back to work. I’m close to a breakthrough. Let me know what happens.”

Cordelia peeked inside the door of the dark studio. She could not see anything. “What are you working on?” she asked Geordie. AAAAAB Geordie Page 5 beam of light racing from the field SMALLER-CLOSER 7x10 SIGN for Online

“The greatest invention ever,” Geordie said. “It will be a treat for all of us.”

Geordie And The Beam Of Light,  Future picture book by J.D. Holiday

Amanda Thrasher

Meet Amanda Thrasher, One of Our Cereal Authors

linkedamanda-1024x812Amanda Thrasher is an author whom I have come to greatly admire – not just for her talent, but because she is a lovely, genuine person. Pick up any one of her books and you will feel that quality. I dearly love her Mushroom Patch series and have decided that when I grow up, I want to move to the Mushroom Patch! I hope they will kindly save me a spot. These questions are from an interview a few years ago.

When did you start writing?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. What sticks in my head, was recognition for a poem that I wrote when I was nine years old and a creative story when I was ten. That poem was saved for years via my mom; it now is hung above my desk. Writing for me, truly is about the love of words. I love words. I love to watch them leap off of a page and come to life. I love to see a story ‘work.’ As a child, poetry and short creative stories were what I wrote for fun. I loved pencils and paper, journals or pads. Being an author is not what I set out to be.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

My very first book was likely build on childhood memories, though the characters are fictional. My first published book was written for a woman I loved dearly, my mother. She was ill, she loved fairies and I wrote her a fairy story, ‘Mischief in the Mushroom Patch.’ She never saw it in print; but she read the first eight chapters and I told her the rest.

My published pieces are children’s fantasy; I often refer them to them as fresh new fairy tales. Purposely written with polite characters that are sweet and kind, there’s a lot to be said for kind. There are no scary characters in the Mischief series, purposely written that way, of course. My intent was and is, to take my little readers, into a fantasy mushroom patch that is so real it seems unbelievably, believable. My adult novel I believe would be considered mystery/drama.

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

I think this is a great question! It seems as if I am only truly focused when I am working. I am ninety to nothing on a normal basis. But my writing time is so important to me I schedule it, often daily. When I write I require complete silence. (I know often writers like music etc), but not me. I have to be able to hear myself think. To do that requires a quiet stillness that can only be obtained through scheduled time. If I can’t give 100% of what I feel my work deserves, my art, my words, I will not write that day. On the other hand, if I have scheduled writing time nothing will detract me from it, phone, other to do’s, nothing. It’s too hard to come by, for me. I schedule my time at my desk and will not allow anything to detract me from it. I read the chapter I wrote prior to my new day’s work, to find my rhythm in my flow of thought. For me, it works and makes sense. It has to make sense or for me, it’s a waste of time. I value my time.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects

I have an adult novel that I love, but I cannot work on that piece at this time. My children’s pieces take precedence over it. A particular children’s novel I am working right now, of course to me, is phenomenal. But it has to be. Because the truth is, if I don’t love it that much first, how on earth will my little readers love it second? I enjoy the piece I am writing, it still find it exciting. That can only be good, since I am creator of this piece. I have flat pieces, they are finished, but they are flat. The one I am working is not….I like it!

What is your writing process?

My process has always been the same and is the same regardless of the highresscramble-copypiece(s) I write. (Adult or children’s), and I have absolutely no idea why. It has always been this way and so I wouldn’t have known to question it anyway. Having no intentions of being an author and just writing, why would I? It doesn’t matter what I write, I can visualize the whole thing in my head before I pen it. I haven’t written a word of Mischief 3, and yet I can tell you the whole thing. Right down to the newest character. What the opening scene will be, what the highlight will be, what the disaster will be, who will save the day, how I will close it etc. I even know most of the dialog exchanges. Every piece I write is like this, though the details often are perfected along the way, the bulk of what I’m doing is laid out prior too, in my head. I carry a common book with my, (much like other writers), twenty four seven and have for years. I have jotted down things such as a name, and by the next day known exactly who the character will be. I’ve jotted down possible scenarios for chapters I’m writing etc. I think most writers do this. My common book is invaluable to anyone else and yet priceless to me.

What is the theme of your novel?

The theme of my newest one, ‘A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch,’ I believe is so neat for lots of reasons. First it gently teaches how a colony of ‘fairies’ can work together to overcome a pending disaster and how to have fun in a game one of them is not a fan of. Building unity in the ranks of elders, scientists and fairlings, (my word, fairlings,…I love it ). It also has a very special theme, building confidence and feeling comfortable in your skin. This is based on a lovely character I created named 08142015-CV2-sm-120x181rle. She has her own story, a true story and it’s beautiful. I had written Mischief and a lady I did not know purchased the book at a Barnes & Noble signing. We must have conversed, because weeks later she emailed me. She said, “I loved your book and my daughter would have loved your book.” She went on to say, “Could you consider creating a character with a disability, because my daughter was bound to a chair and she always asked, where are the fairy tales for me.” You can only imagine how I felt when I read that email, it touched me so. I emailed the lady back and said, “If you give me a minute to think, I might be able to do that.”

I had two concerns (a) First and foremost I wanted to be respectful of her request and (b) respectful of my art, my work, which I had already created. (the second book was underway). But I created a beautiful, little fairy named Pearle. Though she can’t walk, she can fly effortlessly. She is in a chariot, her chair, though always referred to as her chariot. The other fairies love her and she loves them. She has no limitations and is accepted by all; but more importantly, she accepts herself. I sent the lady, (Beverly Hutton), sample chapters. I said, “If you approve, I will continue.” Needless to say she loved her too, and Pearle will forever be in the Mushroom Patch, in honor of Jeni. We have done some good things together, with the help of my Mentor, Anne Dunigan, in honor of Jeni.

Do you consciously use symbolism in your book?

I don’t. I would have to say Pearle is the first character or thing, based on something or someone that I know of and she was a unique and special request. If I do, it truly is on a subconscious level. Meaning I do not purposely try to incorporate such.

How did your cover design come about?

I was assigned an artist, though I knew exactly what I wanted on my cover. The artist drew what I asked, detail, per detail as best she could.

books, Cereal Authors, Character Quotes, childrens stories, Fiction, JD Holiday, Uncategorized

Character Quotes: Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair

9e076-janoose-fff2bcover2bimage2bjpegCharacter Quotes: Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair

Character Quotes: Janoose watched  Mallard  talking  to  the painter in the factory yard. “He reminds me of someone. Humm. Does he look like the fox, Margie?”
“I didn’t get a good look at him. I do know that the fox is out of jail for stealing feathers from the farm and is in a reform program,” Margie said. “If he steals  feathers  again  there  are  other  feather factories who won’t think twice about taking those stolen feathers no matter how they were gathered. Such a shame.”
~ Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair by JD Holiday & Luke Brandon Winski


books, Cereal Authors, childrens stories, JD Holiday

Excerpt from chapter book for 6 to 9 year olds, The Great Snowball Escapade!

9780981861425Excerpt from chapter book for 6 to 9 year olds,
The Great Snowball Escapade by J.D. Holiday


SUMMARY: In the story, Wilhemena Brooks’ cousin, Bud Dunphry come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it? Bud doesn’t like girls! In fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody. Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friends hair, taken over games, and when Bud is in trouble he making his “you’re going to got it” face at her.
After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting.
When her pencil sharpener is found, right where she left it, Wil decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. If Wil treats Bud nicely does that change anything for her?



J.D. Holiday

Chapter 1

Wilhemena Brooks watched her cousin, Bud Dunphry race down the street to the schoolyard gate.
Bud stopped and scooped up some snow. “I don’t want to play with you. Who wants to play with a someone named Wilhemena. It‘s a funny name,” he yelled.
Then Bud threw the snowball at Wil. It hit her in the arm, but it did not hurt.
Bud ran into the schoolyard.
Wil shouted after him, “I don’t want anybody to see me with you anyway. Who wants to be seen with a bully. And what’s wrong with Wilhemena? Wait till I tell Grandma you don’t like her name.”
‘Wil’ was what her father and mother called her. She liked to be called Wil. Bud knew that and was just being mean.
Wil wiped the snow from her arm. Too bad there was not more
snow on the ground, she thought. Sledding on Slide Hill after school would be just the thing to help her forget about her cousin. She could try out the blue sled she got for Christmas.
Wil walked slowly to the schoolyard. She was not in a hurry to see what trouble Bud would get into.
This was the first day back to the Ten Street School after Christmas vacation. Bud was now in her second grade class.
Over the holiday, he and his mother came to live with Wil’s family.
Aunt Karen lost her job and was looking for a new one. Wil’s parents did not know how long Aunt Karen and Bud would be staying with them.
Bud was a pain. Wil hoped they would not stay with them long. She wondered why Bud could not live with his father and why was this happening to her? She did not like changes.
Wil closed her hand. She could feel her new pink eraser inside her mitten. Her initials were on it. W.B. She did not want to lose it, or the pink pencil case that came with it. They were part of a set but the pink pencil sharpener that came with them was missing. Wil thought Bud took it, though he said he did not have it.
Wil had not seen her sharpener since the day after Christmas when Bud was drawing space monster pictures for his bedroom walls. Rather, her brother, Jason’s, bedroom walls.
Jason was twelve. He went to a military school and liked being a cadet. He liked wearing a uniform like their father.
If Jason did not have to go back to school there would be no bedroom for Bud to stay in and Wil would not have to put up with him.
Wil sighed. She knew she should be nice to Bud. Her parents say you should be nice to everybody. She liked her Aunt Karen. They were good friends. Bud did not want to be her friend. She wished Jason did not like to march so much. She wished Bud were the one going to a military school.
Wil hurried through the schoolyard gate. It was too early for the bell to ring. All the kids were in the playground. No one was in line yet. Then she saw Bud running toward the boys throwing a ball against the school building.
Wil wished her friend Joey Van Stand was not there. Joey was smaller than Bud. Bud said Joey was a baby. There was going to be trouble.
Suzie Kemp and Robert Anders hurried over to Wil. Suzie had on the rose perfume she liked. She pointed to Bud and rubbed her head. “That boy pulled my hair,” she wailed. “Who is he?”
Robert was staring at Bud. “Just what we need. Another mean Drew McFarley,” he said. “Drew shoots rubber bands. I think he can shoot ten rubber bands a minute, and they hurt.”
SB6-12-10-09013Finished-1_edited-1“It’s not that many,” Suzie told Robert. “It’s about five rubber bands. He shoots rubber bands at everybody. Have you seen he’s big dog? It has huge teeth.”
Wil was not listening. She was trying to forget about her cousin across the playground.
Robert shook his head. “I think I’ve seen him before,” he said.
Then somebody began to shout. Wil knew that voice. It was Bud’s. Looking around she saw him.
Bud grabbed the ball and stopped the game. The other boys gathered around him.
Robert and Suzie were watching Bud, too. Robert said, “I heard about reform schools in the old days. He’s the type of kid that would go there.”
“Yeah. I heard that in reform schools kids eat bread and water and break rocks for exercise,” Suzie said.
Bud was shouting at Joey. Wil looked at the ground. She wished the bell would ring soon.
Then Bud pushed Joey.
Suzie cried out, “Oh, no!”
Wil looked up. Now everybody was staring at Bud and Joey. Joey’s face was red. He looked scared.
“You cannot play, Shrimp,” Bud told Joey. “Go join the babies on the monkey bars.”
His arms at his side Joey kept opening and closing his hands. “I can so play,” he wailed. His eyes were watery.
Wil rushed across the playground. She had to reach Joey. She did not know what Bud might do next. Suzie and Robert followed Wil.
Wil stood next to Joey. “Everybody can play,” she said.
Bud made his mean face. “I’m not talking to you, Wilhemena,” he said.
Joey edged closer to Wil. He whispered, “Yeah, everybody can play.”
“Who said, little BABY,” Bud said to Joey.
Joey’s lips trembled. “The principal, Mrs. Johnson said. She makes the rules,” he said.
“The principal isn’t here, is she?” Bud shouted.
Wil stepped in front of Joey. I have to be nice, she kept telling herself. She grinned and said, “Those are the rules. Why don’t we start up another game?”
SB5 11-30-09019finishedSome of the kids started to play again.
“What do you know, Wilhemena?” Bud yelled.
Suzie said, “She doesn’t like to be called Wilhemena.”
“She likes ‘Wil’,” Joey said.
“What’s going on?” a voice said.
It was Mrs. Campbell, the playground monitor. She was coming closer.
“Oh, nothing,” Bud said. He kneeled and pretended to tie his boots.
No one else said a word.
“You’re new here, aren’t you?” Mrs. Campbell asked. “What’s your name?”
Bud looked up. “Bud Dunphry,” he said. His voice was squeaky.
Wil had an idea. “It’s his first day. Bud has to see the principal before school starts,” she told the playground monitor.
Then the bell rang. Mrs. Campbell blew her whistle.
Putting a hand on Bud’s shoulder, she said, “You can come with me. Bud. I’m heading for the office. Everyone else line up! Line up!”
“Okay,” Bud mumbled. He fell into step beside Mrs. Campbell then turned
and make a face at Wil. It was his, you’re-going-to-get-it face.
Robert stared at Bud. Then he looked at Wil. “Hey,” he said. “Isn’t he the kid who was with you and your mother at the store yesterday, Wil?”
Wil frowned. “He’s my cousin.”
Suzie cried, “Oh, no! You’ve got problems.”

End Of Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Everybody stood inside the classroom staring at their desks. The room was hot. It had this funny paper odor. The long neat rows of desks were gone. All the desks were in a large circle. Wil could not tell which desk was hers. The teacher’s desk was at the front of the room near the black board.
Mrs. Ronald, their teacher, came into the room. She was smiling. “Everyone look for his or her seat. I thought we needed a change for this half of the year,” she told the class.
The room became noisy. Looking around, Wil saw Joey. He used to sit in front of her. Now his desk was clear across the room.
Wil closed her eyes a minute. Why did things have to change?
Mark Morse ran by. He stepped on Wil’s foot. “Watch it,” Wil shouted.
Mrs. Ronald clapped her hands. “Quiet down, children.”
Soon all the kids found their desks.
Wil finally found hers. She looked inside her desk. Nothing was missing.
Robert slipped into his seat beside her. “Sitting in a circle,” he said. “This is cool.”
Wil did not say anything. She wondered what happened to Bud.
No one was sitting at the desk on the other side of her. She looked inside the desk. It was empty. Maybe the principal would not let Bud come to school here.
“Reading groups will meet this morning,” Mrs. Ronald said.
Wil put her reading on the corner of the. Maybe Bud would have to go to reform school.
Mrs. Ronald stood in the circle. “But first thing this morning I want to hear about your Christmas vacation. So think about what you will say.”
Wil wondered what there was to think about.
“I got a bike,” someone said.
Jimmy Hopkins held up a hand held electronic game. “See what I got,” he said to Mrs. Ronald. “I won a higher score than anybody else so far!”
“How nice,” Mrs. Ronald said.
Wil moaned. What was she going to say? She knew she should say nothing if she could not say anything nice.
That Bud tied the hair of her new doll up in knots.
That he broke her favorite CD.
That he fed her goldfish pretzels.
That he put gum in her hair.
Wil slumped into her seat. These were not nice things. Bud was not nice unless being nice would keep him out of trouble.
Christmas vacation? For Wil, it was a Christmas nightmare.
It had been the worst vacation she ever had.
Robert probably has a good story. He always does. Joey went ice skating every day. Franny got three DVD movies. She has watched them fifteen times already.
Just then, Bud came into the classroom. He was not smiling.
Mrs. Johnson, the principal, was behind him. Maybe Mrs. Johnson would not let Bud stay, Wil thought. Mrs.Johnson might say, “You are too mean for our school, Bud Dunphry. The reform school will take you.”
Instead, Mrs. Johnson said, “Mrs. Ronald. Boys and girls, I’d like you to meet your new classmate. Bud Dunphry. Let’s show him he is welcome.”
Everybody said, “Hello, Bud.”
“Bud is Wilhemena’s cousin,” Mrs. Johnson added.
Mrs. Ronald smiled at Bud. “Then Wilhemena can help you settle into the class,” she said. “There is an empty seat right next to Wilhemena you can have.”
Wil looked at the desk next to her. Then she looked at Bud. He stuck his tongue out at her. Mrs. Ronald and Mrs. Johnson were talking. They did not notice. The kids laughed.
Mrs. Ronald looked around. Everyone became quiet.
“I don’t know what’s so funny, but I want you to show good manners to Mrs. Johnson,” she said.
Then Mrs. Johnson said good-bye and left the room.
“Take your seat, Bud,” Mrs. Ronald said.
Bud sat down beside Wil. Carol Lu sat on the other side of him. Bud stuck his arm inside his desk. Thumping sounds came from the desk as he fished around inside it. He was going to get into trouble.SB7 12-15-09020_FINISH edited-2
Wil quickly looked at the teacher.
Mrs. Ronald was saying, “Let’s hear about your vacation.”
Mostly everybody raised their hands. Marsha Goldberg waved her hand around and around. “Oo-oo-oo,” she said.
Mrs. Ronald called on Marsha.
Wil looked back at Bud. He pulled something from the desk. It flew out of his hand and landed by Carol Lu’s desk. It’s was a crayon. He mumbled something to Carol.
“No,” Carol whined.
Bud said louder, “Get it for me.”
Wil bit her lip.
Marsha was telling the class she gave a talking bird to her grandmother. Marsha laughed and said the bird only made peeping noises. Everyone started laughing, too.
Bud grabbed Carol’s arm. He mumbled, “Get it.”
But Carol pulled away. She hissed, “No. Get it yourself.”
Mrs. Ronald looked their way. Bud sat still.
Suppose Bud could only make peeping noises. “Shhh,” Wil hissed at him.
“Be quite,” Bud told her.
Robert leaned toward Wil. He said, “Bud the spud.”
Bud heard him. His eyes narrowed to slits as he looke9780981861425_txt_img_8d at Robert. Robert swallowed and turned away.
Clark Stanley stood up next. He helped make the Christmas dinner. He showed the class a picture of a pumpkin pie. Mrs. Ronald was smiling at him.
It was Suzie Kemp’s turn. Suzie held up her ice skates and told about going skating with her three older sisters.
A hand shot out in front of Wil. Bud tried to punch Robert. He missed. Wil’s reading book crashed to the floor.
Mrs. Ronald jumped. She was frowning as she looked from Bud to Wil. “Is there a problem?” she asked.
Nobody answered. The whole class became quiet.
Wil’s face felt hot. She looked at the teacher. Mrs. Ronald ‘s eyebrow went up. “Wilhemena, you and Bud should save your talk for after school.”
“Yes. Sorry,” Wil said.
“Yes, Mrs. Ronald,” Bud said.
Wil groaned. Bud was pretending to be an angel! He was good at that. She got up and raced around the desk to scoop up her reading book.
Mrs. Ronald said, “While you’re up, Wilhemena, tell the class about your vacation.”
Wil stared at the teacher. She felt like crying. Bud had spoiled her vacation. Wil could not think of anything to say. Mrs. Ronald was waiting.
Wil gulped and her eyes began to water. She closed them and the tears ran down her cheeks.
Mrs. Ronald patted Wil’s shoulder. “Did you do anything special?” she said softly.
Wil shrugged her shoulders. “Bud came to stay,” she said.
“And we sang songs at the piano,” Bud said. He was smiling.
“See,” Mrs. Ronald said. “That’s something special.” She then called on Franny Larson. Franny told the story of the princess in one of the DVD movies she got.
Wil wiped her eyes with her hands. She did not care about the princess story. She slumped down into her seat.
Bud whispered, “Cry baby.”

End Of Chapter 2

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