Chocolate-Covered Baloney [NOOK Book]

Overview

The last thing April Grace wants is more change in her life—but that’s exactly what she gets! Plus, April has a new mystery to solve when Myra Sue starts sneaking around and acting very suspicious!

From snooty new neighbors to starting junior high to getting a new baby brother to having her grandmother get a boyfriend, April Grace has had enough change to last until she is at least 87 years old.

But when it rains, it pours, and April ...

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Chocolate-Covered Baloney

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Overview

The last thing April Grace wants is more change in her life—but that’s exactly what she gets! Plus, April has a new mystery to solve when Myra Sue starts sneaking around and acting very suspicious!

From snooty new neighbors to starting junior high to getting a new baby brother to having her grandmother get a boyfriend, April Grace has had enough change to last until she is at least 87 years old.

But when it rains, it pours, and April Grace is in for the ride of her life when her prissy, citified neighbor Isabel becomes her gym teacher and a long-lost relative suddenly reappears and throws everything into a tizzy. On top of that, April’s sister, Myra Sue, has been hiding something and sneaking around. April needs to find out what is going on before her silly sister gets herself into trouble again. More important, will April find the grace she needs to handle her topsy-turvy life and forgive past wrongs?

Girls will fall in love with April’s humor and completely relate to her as she deals with family, friends, drama, and both the humor and the heartache that are part of growing up.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400321506
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Series: Confessions of April Grace
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 367,465
  • Age range: 8 years
  • File size: 876 KB

Meet the Author

KD McCrite grew up on an Ozark Mountain farm along an old dirt road, just like April Grace Reilly in the Confessions of April Grace series. She loves writing stories that make people laugh and think. For a while, she worked as a librarian, but these days she sits at her desk and makes up stories.
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Read an Excerpt

Chocolate-Covered Baloney

Confessions of April Grace
By K.D. McCrite

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Kathaleen McCrite
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4003-2068-4


Chapter One

When the Preacher Says Things Are Gonna Change, He Knows What He's Talking About

January 1987

Our preacher scared me out of a year's growth.

He stood right up there in the pulpit on that first Sunday morning of 1987, looked at us all, and calmly announced, "Things are gonna change."

Well, let me tell you, I have had enough change for any sixth-grade girl, and when Pastor Ross said that, I opened up a hymnbook and started reading the words to all those familiar songs just so I wouldn't have to listen.

Melissa Kay Carlyle, my best friend, was sitting on my left in the pew where we always sat. As long as we were quiet during church, our folks allowed us to sit together away from them. She passed me her church bulletin.

"Why are you reading songs?" she had written in the margin of the back page.

"B-cuz," I wrote back.

"???" And she had underlined it three times.

"I do not want to listen to the sermon," I wrote.

She read that, and her hazel eyes got big. She twisted her mouth and gave me a measuring stare. I shrugged and went back to reading the words of "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."

You see, in the past few months, my home has been disrupted, my life has been interrupted, a place on my face has erupted, and I just want things to calm down and be the way they were this time last year. This time last year I was in elementary school, not junior high. My fourteen-year-old sister, Myra Sue, who is the biggest Blond-Haired, Blue-Eyed Drip you will ever meet, had not totally lost what tiny scrap of good sense she had. My grandma had still been a cookie-baking, old-fashioned lady with gray hair and ugly shoes who liked to sit in the rocking chair a lot, instead of getting her hair cut and dyed and going through a Total Makeover until she hardly looked like herself. Last winter at this time, we had never heard of the citified Ian and Isabel St. James, and there had only been two kids instead of three in our household.

Boy, oh boy, if there was gonna be more change in my life, I'd rather it were the kind I could spend on chocolate bars.

Chapter Two

Myra Sue Reilly, the Sneak of Rough Creek Road

* * *

That afternoon, after the family finished Sunday dinner, I washed the dishes and straightened the kitchen. This has become my Permanent Job, and let me tell you, it is not something I wish to make a career of.

When I finished rinsing out the sink, I looked out the kitchen window at Grandma's little red-roofed house across the hay field. Her white Corolla was still not there.

You want to know where she was? I'll tell you. She was at the Methodist church where she'd been invited by the minister, Reverend Trask Jordan, to come for the service and to stay for a New Year's potluck celebration afterward. We Reillys attend Cedar Ridge Community Church and have done so since time began.

Reverend Jordan likes my grandma. Likes, as in he'd like to be her boyfriend. He's been inviting her over and over again to visit his church. (Just visit, mind you. Not become a member or anything because he "doesn't want to take folks away from their own churches.") The other day, he drove his bright-red Mustang to her house while Daddy and I were there, and he invited her right in front of us.

Grandma's face got all red, and her mouth opened and shut a couple of times.

Daddy said, "I think you should go, Mom. You'll enjoy it."

She gave him a funny look and blurted out, "Yes, okay, thank you," like she was afraid she'd forget the words if she didn't say 'em loud and fast. Then Daddy laughed, and Reverend Jordan chuckled. I just sat there thinking about the whole thing.

I wish that preacher had invited me to go, too. If I'd gone to the Methodist church that day, I wouldn't have had to hear all that mess Pastor Ross said about changes. I like Pastor Ross, but I'll tell you something: he'd have done a lot better job if he'd just preached about the Sermon on the Mount or Jonah and the Big Fish.

Of course, if I'd gone with Grandma, I would've had to ride with her, and Grandma's driving is so scary it will make your toenails curl. Likely as not, she'd drive just as well if she sat upside down and drove with her feet.

I sighed, wiped my hands on a towel, and went into the living room. Mama was there, rocking my brand-new baby brother, Eli, and singing softly to him. Let me tell you something about that kid. He was born too early and had to stay in the hospital for a while. He's only been home with us a few days, but here's the thing: just because he's a newcomer doesn't mean he hasn't got things figured out around here. Every single time we sit down to eat, he starts crying to be fed at the same time, even when he was sound asleep two seconds earlier. I suppose he wants bacon and eggs or meat loaf or whatever we're having. Poor Mama hasn't had an entire hot meal with the family for a while.

Not that any of us are complaining. We're happy Eli is healthy and doing well. He's so cute and soft and sweet, it seems someone is smooching his little cheeks all the time. Poor kid. He'll probably grow up with permanent lip prints all over his face.

"I'm finished in the kitchen, Mama," I said softly, so as not to startle Eli, who was cuddled in her arms.

Mama looked up and smiled. Her red hair was all fluffy and soft around her face, and her green eyes shone bright and pretty. She has freckles on her face, and I reckon I inherited my freckles from her. For that matter, I got my red hair from her, too. I hope that when I'm a grown-up lady, I'm as pretty as my mom.

She'd been mighty sick for several months before Eli was born, and I was sure glad to see her feeling healthy again. And I admit I was kinda upset last year when I found out she was going to have a baby. It seemed like one more unnecessary event that turned our lives upside down. But once I got hold of Eli with his soft skin, tiny little hands, blue eyes, and bit of fuzzy red hair on his head, I knew I wouldn't exchange him, not for a million-gazillion dollars, so don't even offer.

"Thanks for cleaning up, honey," Mama said, holding the baby on her shoulder to burp him. "Did you remember to wipe off the stove and rinse out the sink?"

"Yes'm."

"Then you may go play or read or whatever you want to do," she said, getting up. She laid Eli down in his little white bassinet in the living room.

"Okay, Mama. Thank you."

* * *

I went upstairs to read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The school librarian—who looks and smells like a rotten lemon and does not like kids—said it would be over my head, but she does not know April Grace Reilly. I bet I have read more books than she has.

After I got to my room, I heard something out in the hallway and opened the door a crack to peer out. There stood ole Myra Sue. She was so close to my door that if I'd opened it all of a sudden, she'd have fallen inside like a big load of dirty laundry.

"What're you doing?" I asked, surprised as all get-out.

She glared at me. "Just mind your own business!" she snapped.

"Excuse me, but you were the one snooping around my door."

"Don't be dumb! I was just walking past."

"Yeah, I'm so sure! You were standing there, listening to see if I was doing anything."

"Leave me alone, you brat. I don't know why everyone in this family thinks they have to know all my private business when some things are nobody's business but mine!"

"Things like what?" I asked.

"None of your beeswax," she said. Then she gave me a little shove and closed my door, hard. By the time I opened it again, she was heading downstairs.

I stood there and thought about it for a minute. Why would that girl have any private business? She sure was acting funny, even for goofy Myra Sue. I wondered for a minute what could be up. Maybe she was thinking about dyeing her hair again, but the last time she did that, she got in Big Trouble. Did she start smoking? Some of her friends had been caught recently ... Boy, oh boy. Not only would she barbeque her own personal lungs, but Mama and Daddy would hit the ceiling.

I walked over to the shelf by the window where I keep my library books, and what do you think I saw outside? I saw my sister sneaking down the driveway. When she got as far as the mailbox, she stopped and looked around like she was a bank robber casing the joint. I squinted so hard to see what she was doing that my eyelids hurt, and of course, my breath fogged up that cold glass at the very worst time. I cleared a circle with my sleeve just in time to see her pull something out of her coat pocket and shove whatever it was in the mailbox. Then she jumped away like the mailbox was gonna grab her or burst into flames.

"What's that girl up to? What'd she put in there, anyway?" I asked out loud. I leaned closer to the window and watched ole Myra come slinking back up the driveway. Then, just as if she'd felt my eyes on her, she looked up and saw me.

You shoulda seen her. She stopped hard, like she had run into a brick wall. She just stood there, staring at me. It was cold outside, but believe me, it wasn't cold enough to freeze her in place like that. That girl had to have been up to no good, otherwise she wouldn't be out there in that cold.

"What are you doing out there like a big dummy?" I hollered through the window glass at her.

All of a sudden, like my voice had spooked her—or maybe her brain had finally unfroze—she turned around and galloped back to the mailbox. She yanked out whatever she'd stuck in there and stuffed it into her coat pocket. She looked at me, then at the mailbox, then around the woods and up and down the road like the whole entire FBI was watching her, and then she tore off down Rough Creek Road like someone was chasing her. Myra Sue runs like a chicken chasing a June bug, her head leading the way and her arms out, bent in at the elbows like wings. I could see the world pretty good from my window upstairs, and I didn't see a blessed thing—not a grizzly bear or an ax murderer or even a three-legged wood rat on a crutch. What was that silly girl running from?

I watched her run off in the direction of Ian and Isabel St. James's house. My sister loves and adores Ian and Isabel, especially Isabel. That woman thinks my sister is a golden child, a pure angel, and a gift from heaven. Let me assure you, Myra Sue Reilly is no gift. In fact, she's more like the coal that Santa delivers to rotten kids at Christmas. I figured whatever secret that girl had been trying to hide was now gonna find its way into the hands of Isabel. In which case, the Big Secret she was hiding probably involved makeup or nail polish, and I didn't care what it was. But if you know me at all, you know my curiosity itches me worse than poison ivy and mosquito bites put together.

Now, here's the thing: it was cold outside. I mean, January in the Ozarks is not the balmy, sunny weather you might think. As Grandma would say, it was colder than a wedge outside. The sky hung above us like an ugly, gray curtain that needed to be washed, and the wind blew hard enough to force your teeth down your gullet.

What I wanted to do was stay in our nice, warm house, crawl up on my bed, wrap myself in the raggedy old blanket I'd had since I was little, and read that book that was supposed to be over my head. That's what I wanted to do, but something inside me said, "April Grace Reilly, something is Going On, and you need to find out what."

Chapter Three

The April Grace Detective Agency Is Now in Business

* * *

I could've gone straight to my folks like a big, fat tattletale, but that's more Myra Sue's style than mine. I'd rather get the goods, sort out the facts, and then inform those who need to know—if there is anything they need to know. So instead of snuggling down and reading, I yanked on my heavy tan coat and thick, green-and-tan wool hat, ran downstairs, and called out to Mama as I headed to the front door, "I'm gonna go outside for a little while."

"Button up your coat," she said from the kitchen, "and come back in before you get too cold."

Boy, oh boy, some moms really do have eyes and ears in the backs of their heads. I buttoned my coat even though I hate being bundled up that way. It makes me feel like a burrito.

I would've taken along good ole Daisy, our huge, white Great Pyrenees dog, but she's old and the cold weather isn't good for her bones. She was sound asleep on her very own dog blanket on the service porch. Daisy likes to sleep back there near the little wall heater.

Outside, that cold wind sucked the breath right out of my mouth, and I wondered how in the world my wimpy big sister was able to buck up long enough to step off the porch, let alone walk to the mailbox and take off down Rough Creek Road.

I had almost reached the end of the driveway when Daddy pulled in, driving his nice, almost brand-new, bronze-colored pickup. He stopped next to me and rolled down his window. Mama says my daddy is the best-looking man in all of Arkansas, and I agree with her. He has dark hair and real blue eyes, and when he smiles, you feel warm and cozy right down to your very toes.

"What are you doing out here in this cold, little girl of mine?" he said. His breath came out in a mist.

"I'm getting some air," I said, making my own misty cloud.

He frowned a little.

"Mighty cold air, punkin'. Don't stay out too long. The temperature's dropping fast."

"Okay, Daddy. I'll go back in soon."

I watched him drive around to the back of the house. Then I nipped over to the mailbox and opened it. Of course there was not a single, solitary clue inside because that rotten Myra Sue had taken out her secret. I don't know why I even looked.

Arms akimbo, I stared at that dumb mailbox, wishing it could talk. Had Myra been writing love letters to Johnny Brittain, who lives up the road? Maybe she wrote a story and was sending it off to a magazine, but that idea was so all-fired crazy, I laughed right out loud and nearly froze my tongue.

Then I heard galloping footsteps pounding against the frozen brown dirt of our old road, and before I could say,

"What's going on here?" I was yanked around hard. Myra Sue stood there, panting like an army mule, glaring at me like she wanted to knock me upside my head. "What are you doing, you little brat?" she barked.

"I could ask you the same thing, Miss Smarty-Sneaky Pants. First you skulk around my bedroom door, and then I see you hide something in the mailbox. What was it?" I peered down the road, looking for anything strange, but it looked like the same old dirt road to me.

"I didn't hide anything in the mailbox! And besides, it's none of your business!"

"Aha!" I hollered.

"Aha, what?"

"If you weren't hiding anything, then how could it be none of my business?"

I watched her try to figure out what I just said. Boy, watching that girl go through a thought process was like watching a snail run away with a turtle. I like to have grown a long, gray beard before she caught on.

"Oh!" she finally snarled, and she stomped her foot, which had to have hurt pretty good, seeing as how the ground was frozen hard as a rock. "I was not hiding anything. I was looking to see if we got any mail."

I crimped my mouth. "That's so dumb I shouldn't even reply, but I will: The mail does not run on Sunday."

She blinked a few times, taking in this late-breaking news flash. Then she said, "So what?"

"Myra Sue Reilly, I saw you sneak something into that mailbox, and when you saw me see you, you went and got it out and took off with it. So it must be something sneaky and rotten that you don't want anyone to know about."

She waggled her mouth open and shut about 674 times and then said, with all the intelligence you can imagine, "Nuh-uh!"

"Nuh-uh, what?"

She stomped her foot again and grabbed my arm. She shook me hard and said, with her eyes all squinted, "You just keep your big, fat mouth shut and don't go blabbing to anyone, or I will tell about that box of chocolates you aren't supposed to have that you hid under your bed, and that math test you nearly failed right before the end of last semester, and how you tore your brand-new good church coat under the arm and stapled it back together so Mama wouldn't know."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Chocolate-Covered Baloney by K.D. McCrite Copyright © 2012 by Kathaleen McCrite. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I did not get to read the first two books in this series, and yo

    I did not get to read the first two books in this series, and you really do not have to, to get the drift of what is going on although I am going to order them because I really enjoyed this book, April Grace being my favorite character of course.

    I love how she snoops around trying to be the little detective to find out everything that is going on in her household to no avail. April Grace is very blunt, with her witty and straightforward humorous perspective on life. This is set in the 70’s and April Grace goes through many changes and struggles that young girl’s today face, she reminded me so much of myself at that age. You will fall in love with April Grace, and many of all ages will find themselves relating to her I am sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Hey person who posted on January 30, 2013! Listen to this

    It is a fantastic book and yes you should read it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2013

    If you're a fan of books for tweens and teens, then you'll be a

    If you're a fan of books for tweens and teens, then you'll be a fan of K.D. McCrite and her lively young heroine, April Grace. This series takes place in the 1980's, before the age of cell phones and social media...which proves that tweens are pretty much the same regardless of the decade, and deal with the same kinds of issues.

    In Chocolate Covered Baloney, April Grace has a lot to deal with. A grandmother she's never met before shows up on the family doorstep, acting like she's family and ready to move right in. April's older sister, Myra Sue, is keeping secrets and acting mysterious, and April Grace still isn't quite sure how she feels about neighbors Isabel and Ian.

    In the third novel of a series (Confessions of April Grace), the title character lives up to her name...her middle name, at least. She learns a lot about showing grace, forgiving in love...and finally gets to the bottom of Myra Sue's secrecy...in the nick of time.

    April Grace is spunky and confident, and speaks her mind. She reminds me a little of the 80's sitcom character Punky Brewster...if Punky knew Jesus! Her family adventures are always fun and full of faith and love...with lots of humor thrown in for good measure. I've enjoyed the entire series, and Chocolate Covered Baloney lives up to its title.

    I highly recommend the first two titles in this series as well.

    (The Wordsmith Journal strives to guide readers to books of personal interest, with the understanding and respect that what appeals to some may not appeal to others. Therefore we attempt to keep our reviews focused on content, genre and style. The rating is necessary to make use of Goodreads and Amazon. It reflects the reviewer’s own level of enjoyment, but the review is intended to be informative for the benefit of all readers.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    I loved the title and then the story. Chocolate-covered Baloney

    I loved the title and then the story. Chocolate-covered Baloney is marvelous! Bravo! I want book four now! JeanieL

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    This is a great book for a tween girl. April Grace is such an a

    This is a great book for a tween girl. April Grace is such an adorable character. I loved her to pieces. She was interesting, funny, and witty. The entire book is full of good, believable characters. The writing is clean and entertaining, while conveying the story and message clearly. Honestly, I just loved this book and would recommend it to any girl ages 8 and up.

    While this is the third book in a series, it also can be read as a stand alone novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2013

    April Grace Reilly is a sixth-grade girl who definitely knows he

    April Grace Reilly is a sixth-grade girl who definitely knows her own mind.  And in her topsy-turvy world, that's a very good thing.  She's got a grandmother who's dating a pastor from a neighboring church, an annoying sister who thinks she's God's gift to the soap opera world, and a Big Mystery on her hands.  To top it all off, April Grace's non-existent other grandmother drops in out of nowhere and becomes all too existent.  How's a girl supposed to stay on top of all of this?

    This was a delightful book to read.  April Grace has got the spunk and personality to match wits with Ramona Quimby any day of the week.  The first person point of view is very effective in this book.  We really get a great sense of April Grace's wit and frustrations with the people in her world.  She does read younger than sixth grade - but that's a very good thing, in this reader's mind.  A book like this would appeal to readers in fourth grade and up.  It's a very good example of middle grades fiction - and probably the best middle grades fiction book I have read in the Christian genre.

    The best part about this book was the writing.  McCrite is a very talented writer.  Chocolate-Covered Baloney has such amazing voice, and such skillful show-not-tell writing.  This is a book that any girl in the middle grades can enjoy reading.  I highly recommend this book .

    Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    I have a question

    Now I didnt rate it because I didnt read it, is it a good book? I need to know because I want to read it!

    JUST WONDERING

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    There is no message to be taken from the novel. It simply is a d

    There is no message to be taken from the novel. It simply is a description of events that have taken place. In choosing Chocolate-Covered Baloney, I felt like reading something lighter and fun. I wanted that feeling of being a tween when I anticipated and dreamed of what life would be like in the coming years as I grew up. With the date of January 1987 on page 2, I was taken aback. I don’t think I even remember 1987!

    The novel has great chapter names, such as, ‘Oh to be Abducted by Aliens!’, ‘The Ways Spies Spy When Wind Blows in Their Eyes’, and, ‘A Real, Live Screaming Mimi,’ keep it entertaining. Along with the grandmother, April Grace’s paternal grandmother, who has the best sayings – ‘Good gravy, it is some kind of cold out there!’, ‘I sure do hope the deer stay off the highway. I can’t see a blessed thing after dark.’, ‘April Grace Reilly, what on earth are you doing, lolly-gagging in the old-lady aisle?’

    Although I do not know where the Chocolate-Covered Baloney title came from - I don’t think it was even used in the novel – it is an easy read with short chapters. As an adult, though, the book drags.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    April Grace is back! This is the third installment of April Gra

    April Grace is back! This is the third installment of April Grace, and the third one I have read and reviewed. As a fully-grown woman, I can't believe what passes for "reading material" for young women today. I have a hard time believing that young women can connect with the vapid characters, sorry plot line, and crass language. (Does that make me a prude? Maybe.) The fact that this series of books doesn't fall into those traps is what brings me back.

    April Grace always seems to find a mystery to solve, and we again follow along with a goofy cast of supporting characters including her sister.

    When I finish these books, I pass them along to my teenage cousins (young women currently ages 19 and 21), and they both enjoy them as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Amazing

    This book is amazing! It is funny and very entertaining! XD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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