Read an Excerpt
New Girl in Town
Dolores Starbuckle leaned over Andy Shane’s desk. She pointed to the picture Andy was drawing. "Make a turret here," she said.
"What’s a turret?" asked Yumi.
"It’s the pointy part of a castle," said Dolores.
"Who said we’re making a castle?" asked Andy. He and Dolores were busy planning the snow fort they would make when the snow was warm enough and wet enough to stick.
"Good morning, class," said Ms. Janice.
"Good morning, Ms. Janice," said the students, looking up from their books and games and papers.
Ms. Janice was not alone. She had her arm around a girl who was wearing pink overalls and lime-green sneakers tied with ribbons instead of shoelaces. The girl’s eyes seemed to dance.
"This is Lark Alice Bell," said Ms. Janice. "She’s just moved to town and will be in our class this year."
"Hello, Lark," said Dolores, shooting her hand into the air. "I’ll be your helper if you want. I know all the class rules and procedures, such as, 'Be a responsible and respectful class member.'"
"Thank you, Dolores," said Ms. Janice. "Perhaps you can be Lark’s guide on the playground. I thought Andy Shane might like to help Lark in class this morning, since his desk will be right next to hers."
"Lucky duck," whispered Dolores.
"Andy, please come forward and meet Lark," said Ms. Janice.
Andy’s face turned the color of his favorite crayon: Razzle Dazzle Rose.
"Oooh," said the other kids.
Andy showed Lark where to sit during morning meeting, where to find the math materials, and where to sharpen her pencil.
At recess, Dolores made it clear that it was her turn to be the helper.
So Andy ran off to climb the big snowbank left by the plow.
He dug a hole and sat in the bottom. It was a peaceful place to be.
"Hi, Andy Shane," said a voice from the top of his hole. "What are you doing in there?"
"Just sitting," said Andy. "Come on down."
Lark slipped in next to Andy. "This is like a cave," she said.
Andy smiled. He was proud of his hole.
"The closet in my old house felt like a cave," said Lark. "That’s where my dog had her puppies."
"You have puppies?" asked Andy.
"Four," said Lark. "They’re black Lab puppies. They’re so cute. They have these little bodies with giant paws and big noses."
"I have wanted a dog my whole life," said Andy. "My Granny Webb said
MAYBE I was old enough to get one."
"Does ‘maybe’ mean yes, or does ‘maybe’ mean no?"
"With Granny Webb, ‘maybe’ means ‘maybe,’" said Andy.
"Maybe," said Lark, "you can have one of mine."
ANDY SHANE IS NOT IN LOVE by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA.