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NEW NEXT DOOR
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden couldn't remember anyone ever living in the house next door.
Grandfather calls it the Beach House I thought people spent summers there.
Mrs. McGregor knew the house from long ago.
An old lady lived there when I was a little girl. I wish I could remember more.
Well. there's a family there now.
There are two boys. I wonder how old they are.
We should go talk to them.
Benny yelled to get the new neighbors' attention.
They're coming this way.
We're your new neighbors.
My name is Sammy Beach.
This is Jeffrey and Sammy. I'm sure they'll like living here.
We'll come over sometime when you get settled.
Those kids next door are the weirdest boys ever.
Benny, that doesn't sound like you!
I'm just telling you the way it is. Grandfather, they don't play or do anything.
It's true. I've never seen boys like them.
One boy is ten and one is eight.
How do you know how old they are?
I asked them! Then I asked if they ever play, and they both said "no."
You have three weeks to learn about them. Then we leave on our family vacation!
We must do something for those boys.
Now what could we do? Let's think.
I know! A tree house! Everybody likes a tree house.
That's a great idea! Let's go find Jeffrey and Sammy.
Benny thought building a tree house would be fun.
My father has lots of tools!
We have lots of boards, too! I bet we could use them.
They found a great tree in the Beaches' yard.
This is the best tree in the whole yard.
It's a special tree. Dad and Uncle Max used to play in it.
Jeffrey and Sammy told the Aldens that their father and uncle grew up in the Beach House.
But they had a big fight. They had a telescope but one day it was missing.
Dad said my uncle took it, and Uncle Max said Dad took it. They never found it. They never got along after that.
Now Uncle Max owns a restaurant not far from here.
That's Beach's Place. We should go there! We could ride our bikes.
I don't think we should start on the tree house until we ask your father and mother.
After all, it's their tree.
They all agreed to work on the tree house the next day, if Mr. and Mrs. Beach said it was okay.
WITH HAMMER AND NAILS
The next day, the Aldens were eager to begin the tree house.
What did your parents say?
They said, "As long as you don't go out of the yard."
My dad seemed interested. He even drew some plans.
You father's plan is perfect!
That's the best tree house I've ever seen!
I can't wait to get started!
All the children helped build the tree house. Everyone was very excited.
Benny, it was a good idea to make a ladder.
There's got to be a way to climb up there. We're not all big like Henry.
Wouldn't it be nice if we finished today?
It sure would.
After lunch, the children were determined to finish the tree house. They all worked extra hard.
The only thing missing is a telescope.
I wonder if Uncle Max could tell us whatever happened to the one that was lost.
We should ride our bikes to his restaurant, and then you could ask him.
Ask your parents if you can go tomorrow.
UP A TREE
Mr. and Mrs. Beach agreed to let their sons ride their bikes to Uncle Max's restaurant. But only if they went with the older Alden children.
I can smell the food from here! I'm starving.
Uncle Max is a great chef.
Uncle Max was excited to see his nephews. Jeffrey and Sammy told him about the tree house. Then, they asked him about the telescope.
Your father and I had a tree house in that same tree. I haven't seen that telescope since then.
This is the best hamburger I ever had!
I sure wish other people knew that, Benny. My restaurant isn't doing very well.
Uncle Max wouldn't take a penny from the children. He loved seeing hungry people enjoying his food. The children thanked him and headed home.
Come back any time!
Thank you, Uncle Max!
Excerpted from Tree House Mystery & Tree House Mystery by Christopher Long, Jeff Limke, Stephanie Hedlund, Mark Bloodworth. Copyright © 2009 Abdo Consulting Group, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
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Posted February 20, 2013