Drawing a Blank: Or How I Tried to Solve a Mystery, End a Feud, and Land the Girl of My Dreamsby Daniel Ehrenhaft, Trevor Ristow (Illustrator)
I don't know how this happened
One day I'm snug in my loner existence at Carnegie Mansion School, and the next I'm tramping through the Scottish wilderness looking for my dad. Who's been kidnapped. Because of a feud that started in medieval times. Or something. Suffice it to say, I never paid too much attention because I thought the whole thing was some twisted
I don't know how this happened
One day I'm snug in my loner existence at Carnegie Mansion School, and the next I'm tramping through the Scottish wilderness looking for my dad. Who's been kidnapped. Because of a feud that started in medieval times. Or something. Suffice it to say, I never paid too much attention because I thought the whole thing was some twisted figment of my dad's imagination.
Now my only company is a wannabe cop who just might be my superhero dream girl. And if I don't deliver some piece of mysterious "proof" to the kidnappers, my dad is toast. I've got my fair share of issues with my dad, but I don't really want to see him burned to a crisp.
Anyway, you in?
This is not the first time I've been wrong about something.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
Drawing a BlankOr How I Tried to Solve a Mystery, End a Feud, and Land the Girl of My Dreams
By Daniel Ehrenhaft
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Daniel Ehrenhaft
All right reserved.
of Guilt and Fear
"The key to telling an epic tale," my creative writing teacher announced on the very first day of fall semester, "is to treat your opening line like a prison break: You bust out in one bold move, and you never look back -- not unless you're gonna kill somebody or take 'em with you. Dig?"
Yikes, I thought.
This was important, dramatic stuff. It should have kept me engrossed for hours on end, or at least until the end of the period. Unfortunately, it just wound up as further proof of a certain crucial failing of mine: Copying it down word for word represented the sum total of all the notes I took the first week of fifth form1 year -- in any class, biology and precalculus included.
I have a little trouble listening.
Actually, I have a little trouble with a lot of things, but listening is definitely way up there. There's no excuse, either. Not a decent one, anyway. Not like I couldn't listen because over the summer a band of vicious hobgoblins invaded, and they chewed off my ears in an orgiastic frenzy of flesh eating so I wentdeaf, yet ultimately I prevailed . . . no, nothing like that. And I'd wanted to listen. Right before I moved back to campus, I'd even purchased six new Mead brand 5-Subject Organizers complete with, as advertised:
Perforated pages that tear out to full-size 8 1/2 x 11 -inch sheets!
The problem was that these notebooks were geared toward kids who, in fact, took notes. They were geared toward the Ivy League bound. Not toward "degenerate comic-book addicts who should take some [#@%&*] responsibility for the money it costs to send a seventeen-year-old to the most expensive [#@%&*] boarding school in the country." (Or something along these lines. I'm paraphrasing my dad.)
I'd planned to change, though.
The smell of the new notebooks alone would be enough to scare me into taking some responsibility. Yes, that antiseptic, papery stink . . . that would transform me into a real student, someone who deserved six separate Mead brand 5-Subject Organizers. I was counting on that stink. I was counting on those pristine college-ruled pages, too, just begging to be filled with schoolwork and nothing else. I'd gone so far as to label each section: PRECALCULUS. BIOLOGY. CREATIVE WRITING. And underneath the labels: PROPERTY OF CARLTON DUNNE IV. I'd used all caps, the way a graffiti artist or anonymous stalker might, praying that the class names would inspire guilt and fear every time I saw them, especially above my name.
Well, okay, they did -- pretty much everything around me inspired guilt and fear on some level -- but the labels weren't quite enough.
As usual, by the end of the first week, all my notebooks were full of wacked-out sketches: grotesque villains and alien landscapes, terrible creatures and accursed artifacts. And, as usual, I'd hardly heard a word any of my teachers had said.
Excerpted from Drawing a Blank by Daniel Ehrenhaft Copyright © 2006 by Daniel Ehrenhaft. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Daniel Ehrenhaft is the author of many books for teens, including the Edgar Award-winning Wessex Papers (under the pseudonym Daniel Parker), Dirty Laundry, and Drawing a Blank.
Author Daniel Ehrenhaft met illustrator Trevor Ristow at Columbia University in the early 1990s. There they founded a subversive guerrilla film and art collective known cryptically as E.N.R. They can now be found in New York City, where they continue to foment artistic revolution and creative mayhem whenever possible.
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