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Jackson Jones, Book 1
By Jennifer Kelly
ZondervanCopyright © 2010 Jennifer Kelly
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe First Chapter
Jackson didn't know it yet, but in a faraway place, closer than he could imagine, a little creature was sighing in frustration.
This little creature was sighing because she had absolutely no idea what to do. This wasn't a surprise in itself, especially if you knew her. She never had any idea what to do.
The trap door was shut.
Locked, in fact.
It wasn't supposed to be locked.
It was supposed to be unlocked.
And wide open.
She was supposed to unlock it and open it, so that it would no longer be locked and unopened.
But given that Meeka was just that kind of elf, she had forgotten the key.
So there she stood, at the top of a thirty-foot ladder, trying to unlock a trap door with a dead, smelly fish.
Chapter TwoNo Longer the First Chapter
Jackson rolled over and opened his eyes. He looked at the clock. Still early. His eyes closed. He began to dream again, but then something tickled his mind. What was so important about today?
Family reunion day.
Chapter ThreeA Chapter that Has a Secret in It
Jackson had a lot of family members.
That didn't mean his dad had four arms or his aunt had twelve legs, but what it did mean was there were a lot of people in his family.
He had a mom, a dad, one brother, one sister, seven aunts, eight uncles, and twenty-four cousins. They were a close family. Jackson saw his family all the time. What with birthdays, anniversaries, soccer games, talent shows, science fairs, and vacations, life was ... insane. And Christmas was just an imbroglio, as you can imagine. (Imbroglio is like when you're playing tag with twenty other kids ... in the kitchen ... and your mom is cooking ... and the dog just threw up.)
However (and this is a rather large however, meaning you are about to read something that is a big deal, so pay attention), HOWEVER, Jackson had just moved. Not just him, but his entire family. Not all of his aunts and uncles and cousins and all of their imbroglios, but just Jackson and his mom, dad, brother, and sister. Not only did they just move, but they moved far, far away. This meant no more imbroglios for a while.
Of course Jackson should have been mad. But as hard as he tried to be mad, he couldn't be. You see, Jackson's mom was a writer. And not just any writer, but a really good one. Not only was she a really good writer, she was also a kind-hearted writer. This meant she didn't turn into one of those writers who demand first-class treatment everywhere they go, like demanding steak and chocolate ice cream on a plane when they are only serving peanuts. But because Jackson's mom was such a good writer, she had to do research in a place that was far away. But the reason Jackson couldn't be mad was because he understood. He understood how important writing was to his mom ... because writing was important to him.
You see, Jackson had a secret. A secret only he and his mom knew about.
Jackson wanted to be a writer too.
Every Sunday night, after church was finished and the huge lunch was finished and they had all gone for a healthy walk, admiring trees and ponds and silly little ducks, after everyone had gone into their own rooms to just "take it down a notch," Jackson would go into his mother's studio, sit in the huge leather chair, and drink hot chocolate while she read his stories and talked to him as a writer, but with the kind heart of a mom. Sometimes they would talk about important things, like what he would write about next, about the clouds they had seen that day, and about how fast he was growing. Maybe growing fast isn't important to a ten-and-a-half-year old, but it's always important to a mom. And sometimes they would talk about unimportant things, such as ... well, actually, there's no such thing as unimportant things to talk about.
But I suppose you're wondering more about Jackson.
Jackson was an average-looking ten-and-a-half-year-old boy. He was a little on the small side. He had blondish-brown hair and his eyes were a bluish- grayish-greenish brown. He did have very straight teeth, however, which meant he had a very nice smile.
Jackson was in sixth grade. Yes, he should have been in fifth grade, but after a ten-minute coffee break (which included an unpleasant piece of fruitcake), the principal decided Jackson would be in sixth grade. They had more desks, you see. That was a ridiculous decision of course, but one makes ridiculous decisions when eating unpleasant cake. Wars have been known to break out over leaders eating dry sponge cake, and there is speculation that King Henry VIII had his fifth wife disposed of because she served him plain white cake instead of the raspberry he craved.
So Jackson didn't really fit in at his new school. All of the other kids had known each other for a long time and Jackson was the new kid. And he was the smallest. He got picked last for games at recess. He made the baseball team only because they were short a player. And when he did play, I'm sorry to tell you, he was terrible. And he knew he was terrible.
Jackson loved to read. It passed the time at recess when he didn't feel like being picked last that day. He also loved writing stories. Oh, the stories he'd written! Jackson was always the hero, of course.
The unassuming hero who stepped in at the last minute to save the universe.
The unassuming hero who saved the entire village from a raging fire.
The unassuming hero who saved the cat up the tree, received a medal from the mayor, and got a thank-you parade that included those old guys who drove around in little cars.
The unassuming hero who could figure out algebra.
Excerpted from Jackson Jones, Book 1 by Jennifer Kelly Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Kelly. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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