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* "This life-affirming novel gets its depth from well-drawn, supportive characters such as Kara's father, her cousin Daisy, and Felix, a new boy who has cerebral palsy. But the satisfying climax and believable ending come about because of Kara's indomitable and generous spirit."—Shelf Awareness, starred review
I rip another page from the book.
I tear it out, right out.
The paper is tissue thin and edged with gold. It flutters in my hand like a tiny bird, desperate to escape. I let it go and watch it fly up into the clear, blue sky.
I rip out another, and another. The pages soar and tumble across cow-scattered fields into the haze above the silver blue sea.
I look down. Jake’s pink face is squinting up at me against the glare of sun. Ethan’s standing next to him, trying to find fingerholds in the granite blocks of the wall. He jumps to pull me off, but I pull my legs up out of reach.
The wall’s too high.
I’m safe up here.
“Kara-Two-Planks!” yells Jake. “Teacher’s looking for you.”
I run my finger along the rough leather binding of the book. It’s heavy in my lap. The hard edges dig into my skin. I rip out another page and set it free, soaring upward, skyward.
“You’re in big trouble, Kara-Two-Planks!” shouts Jake. “That Bible is school property. You’ll be sent to hell for that.”
“She won’t get there, though,” calls Ethan. “She won’t be able to read the signs.”
Jake laughs. “Learn to spell your name yet, Kara? K-a-r-a W-o-o-d. Kara-Thick-as-Two-Planks-of-Wood.”
I’ve heard all this before, a thousand times. I turn my back on them and look down to the footpath on the far side of the wall. It runs one way to the coast path along the cliffs, and the other, down steps tangled with nettles and bindweed to the harbor in the town below.
“What I want to know,” says Ethan, “is Kara Wood as thick as her dad?”
“My mum says,” confides Jake, “that Kara’s dad lost his last job because he couldn’t write his own name.”
I spin around and glare at them. “Shut up about my dad.”
But Jake’s not finished. “I heard your mum had to write his name for him. Isn’t that right, Kara?”
My eyes burn hot with tears.
“Who writes his name for him now, Kara?”
I blink hard and turn back to the sea. The waves out there are tipped with white. I feel the hot sun on my face. I mustn’t cry. I won’t let them see me cry. If I ignore them, they’ll go away like they always do. The sea breeze is damp and salty. It catches the white cotton of my shirt and billows it out like a spinnaker sail. I close my eyes and imagine I am sailing across an endless sea, a wide, blue ocean, with nothing else around me but the sun and wind and sky.
Jake’s still there.
“It’s a shame about the Merry Mermaid!” he shouts.
If Jake knows about the Merry Mermaid, then everyone does.
I turn around to look at him.
A few other children from class are watching us from a distance. Chloe and Ella are both looking this way from under the deep shade of the horse chestnut tree. Adam has stopped his game, his soccer ball clutched against his chest.
“Still,” Jake says, “it never was much of a pub. It’ll make a great holiday home for someone, a rich Londoner probably. I heard the food was terrible.”
Jake knows my dad works in the kitchens of the Merry Mermaid. He knows he’ll have no job and no money to live on when it closes at the end of the summer. Jake would love it if we had to move from Cornwall.
“Maybe your dad can come back and work for mine on our trawlers?” says Jake. “Tell your dad we’ll be fishing for shellfish when the dredging ban is lifted in ten days’ time. Dad’s even bought new gear to rake every corner of the seabed out there. He can’t wait.”
I just glare at him.
Jake laughs. “I’ll ask him if you can come too.”
I tighten my grip on the Bible’s hard leather binding.
Beyond, I see Mrs. Carter striding toward us. I could try and hide the book, but Jake and Ethan would tell her anyway.
“Have you seen the advertisement at the boatyard, Kara?” asks Jake. He’s looking at me now and grinning. Ethan’s grinning too. They know something I don’t. It’s in Jake’s voice, and he’s bursting to tell me.
Mrs. Carter’s halfway across the playground. Her face is set and grim.
“The Moana’s up for sale!” Jake shouts out. He’s jubilant now.
I scramble to my feet. “Liar!”
It can’t be true. I’m sure it can’t.
But Jake is smug. He pulls his trump card. “My dad’s going to buy her and chop her up for firewood!” he shouts. “’Cause he says that’s all she’s good for.”
I hurl the book at him. The Bible’s hard edge slams into Jake’s nose and he drops like a stone, both hands clutched across his face.
Mrs. Carter is running now. “Kara!”
I glance down at Jake, moaning in the dirt below me.
“Kara, come down now!” Mrs. Carter yells.
But I turn away from them all and jump, leaving Jake Evans bleeding through his fat fingers, turning the dust-dry ground blood red.
Posted December 19, 2012
Dudes and dudetts need to get this book. It is the best book ever! Wild Wings is another great book. Must read this book, especially if you love nature. GET THIS BOOK NOW. AMAZING! COOL! SWEET! AWSOME! FAR OUT! GET IT! READ ME!
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 30, 2013
I love thhis book the auther is very crative in her writing. If you like dolphins and sad stories than this is the book for you. Also tje age is like 9 years old because of what they say!
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Posted November 27, 2012
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Posted September 26, 2013
I purshased this book at my school book fair when i began reading it i did not like it that well but kept reading it i fell in love i read it in between classes and i cant put it downWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2013
Posted September 4, 2013
I love this book so far. I'm on chapter25 and page 217. This book has emotions dolphins and there are two main dolphins they are extremely cool and one gets injured so the question is "Will Kara,her cousin Daisy,the vet,recue team,and the friend Felix be able to save the dolphin???" :)
Great book so far I recommand it to people who love animals or dolphins if you do you should read it
Posted August 24, 2013
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Posted March 18, 2013
I have the book in real life! I give this book 5 stars. I would give this book a millon stars if I could! Listen to me, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-CBN : )
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