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One winter day, Jessie and Henry met in the hall.
I think Grandfather is up to something Violet thinks so, too.
Maybe you're right. I'll keep my eyes open, too.
Then one day in January, a strange man came to call.
My grandchildren love to see new places.
Best of all, they like to make something of nothing.
I am like that, too!
Soon, Mr. Alden called the children into the room.
Jessie, Violet, Henry, and Benny, this is Lars Larson. He is your friend from now on.
I told you Grandfather was up to something.
We're going on a trip! Three years ago, Lars was shipwrecked on a beautiful island in the South Seas.
Lars was rescued but would like to go there again. The island is very safe.
And we're going to this island?
Yes, and who else do you think is going? Mike!
Mike! Oh, boy! My old friend, Mike Wood.
Grandfather explained that they would fly in an airplane to Chicago and pick up Mike.
Then they'd fly to San Francisco, where they would all get on a boat. The boat was headed for Tahiti, but they would be dropped off at the deserted island.
Your teachers gave me all your lessons until you come back. Every day on the boat you will study these books.
A ship's school! That will be fun!
I have to go.
Aren't we lucky to have a grandfather who takes us on a trip, and helps us with school just the same?
I was thinking the same thing!
The next week, Mr. Alden surprised them with new suitcases.
You won't go to school today, since we leave tomorrow. Today, you can pack your bags.
The next day, the Aldens flew in an airplane for the first time.
"I'll bet old Mike will be scared!" said Benny.
"We'll see," said Mr. Alden.
When the plane landed in Chicago, they spotted Mike. Mike was thrilled to see Benny again.
After the plane landed, a car took them to the ship. The ship's name was the Sea Star.
I'm First Mate on this ship until we get to the island. This is Captain Brown.
This is not a passenger ship, so you are the only people on board, except the crew.
Here we go!
"How long will this trip be, Captain?" asked Henry.
"About two weeks," said Captain Brown. "Then we'll drop you off at the island."
After breakfast the next morning, it was time for school
Lesson One is about gulls and stars and fish!
A whale! And porpoises. There are about 200 of them!
You'll find a picture of them in your book. I think that is in Lesson Two.
Whenever the children saw something new at sea, they always found a picture of it in their books.
I told you they were great books.
Every day there was another lesson.
See that net? It catches plankton.
It's made up of tiny, tiny animals and fish eggs and seaweed. Whales live on it.
Grandfather brought a microscope so they could look at the plankton.
So tiny! And to think this is what whales eat! They grow big enough!
The next day, Violet told them what she'd learned in her book.
Captain Cook discovered hundreds of islands. He also discovered Vitamin C.
Day after day, the Sea Star went along through the purple sea. It had been going for almost two weeks.
Be sure to wear good shoes. You'll be walking over sharp stones and shells.
In the gallery, Benny and Mike helped Lars pack food for the island.
Here is some sea biscuit.
I don't call those sea biscuit. I call them crackers!
Good! We'll need a fire.
They went to the deck, knowing they would soon see the island. Lars spotted the island first, but waited to see who would be the nest to see it.
Is that land, Lars, or is it nothing?
It's land, Henry. Soon we will see the green palm trees and the big round bay.
When the island was very near, the crew let the lifeboats down into the water.
One was for the Aldens and Mike, and the other lifeboat was for the sailors' return to the ship.
I never saw such a lovely blue!
You never will again. They say this is the bluest bay in the world. That's why we call it Blue Bay.
When they got into the shallow water, they all had to get out of the boat and pull it up on the sand. They were all soaking wet.
We'll be dry in no time. The sun is so hot.
The sailors rowed back to the ship. The Aldens, Lars, and Mike stood on the beautiful white sand and looked around.
We must make a place to sleep tonight.
Two houses! Look! Two houses!
Mike got to the huts first. He saw holes in the roofs and sides.
All broken down. No good after all.
Yes, they are broken down, Mike. But I wouldn't say they're no good.
We'll just fix the floors for tonight. Do you see those tall ferns? Get all you can and bring them here.
Lay them on the floor. They must be two deep.
They all worked hard but it was fun. Soon the huts had floors.
After the work was done, Lars cut a huge bunch of bananas from the tree. Then, Violet helped him gather stones for a fire pit. Soon the fire blazed high.
Excerpted from Blue Bay Mystery & Snowbound Mystery by Rob M. Worley, Stephanie Hedlund, Mark Bloodworth, Mike Dubisch. Copyright © 2009 Abdo Consulting Group, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted January 12, 2013
Posted March 9, 2012