Trial by Journal

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Overview

Get ready for a trial unlike any Tyle County has ever seen. Sixth-grader Perry Keet is missing, and Bob White, his co-worker at Tyle Park Zoo, will stand trial for the alleged murder. But Keet's disappearance is only the beginning of this legal thriller.

The real story is told by twelve-year-old Lily Watson, a classmate of Keet's. Watson was selected to White's jury because of a new law requiring a juvenile juror to serve if the case involves a...

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Overview

Get ready for a trial unlike any Tyle County has ever seen. Sixth-grader Perry Keet is missing, and Bob White, his co-worker at Tyle Park Zoo, will stand trial for the alleged murder. But Keet's disappearance is only the beginning of this legal thriller.

The real story is told by twelve-year-old Lily Watson, a classmate of Keet's. Watson was selected to White's jury because of a new law requiring a juvenile juror to serve if the case involves a child victim.

Part of Watson's duty will be to listen objectively to the testimony of Tyleville's wealthiest citizen, Rhett Tyle. His testimony is expected to be the key to White's conviction.

White's fate now rests in the hands of Watson and fellow jurors Fawn Papillon, Anna Conda, and other Tyleville locals, as they try to uncover the truth before it's too late!

In this illustrated novel told through journal entries, news clippings, and letters, twelve-year-old Lily finds herself on the jury of a murder trial while conducting her own undercover investigation of the case.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The sisters Klise once again use the format they mastered in Regarding the Fountain to cleverly recount Lily Watson's experience as the "first juvenile juror in the state's history." The sixth grader here records her experience as a sequestered juror for a research paper assignment, in order to avoid attending summer school. With little knowledge of protocol ("I have NO idea how to do footnotes or a bibliography, so you can forget about seeing any of that stuff"), Lily puts together a montage of her own journal entries plus newspaper clippings and formal and informal letters to and from jurors, as well as maps and pamphlets to trace the highly publicized case of a classmate's mysterious disappearance from the city zoo. The mystery's unraveling is fairly predictable, but the book's hyperbolic tone, all-in-fun parodies and hilarious illustrations (all of which center around an animal motif) will keep readers involved and entertained. At times the zoo theme becomes cloying (characters' names include Bob White, suspected of 11-year-old Perry Keet's murder, and Rhett Tyle, a parasitic mega-tycoon, as well as fellow jurors Fawn Papillon, an aging movie star, Anna Conda, designer of exotic fashions, and Bernie "Buzz" Ard, a gossip columnist). This three-ring circus, with Lily as capable ringmaster, will set in motion readers' flights of fancy from beginning to end, when a "wolf in sheep's clothing" receives his comeuppance and the innocent "jailbird" is set free. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
A sixth grader records her experience as a sequestered juror for a research paper assignment tracing the highly publicized case of a classmate's mysterious disappearance. "This three-ring circus will set in motion readers' flights of fancy from beginning to end," said PW. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Children's Literature
Who'd have thought you could learn about jury trials while laughing all the way to the verdict? Lily Watson is a sixth grade juror in a murder trial. A new law in her town says a child must serve on the jury in a trial where a child is the victim. In Lily's journal entries we learn how a jury is chosen, sequestered and persuaded about the guilt or innocence of the defendant, always from a kid's perspective. "We had to fill out questionnaires...Probably the lawyers are just being nosy. It's like new teachers who pass our surveys...Really they just want to know whose parents are rich and which kids they should be nice to. It's so obvious." But we also learn that Lily thinks this "blah blah blah journal" is stupid busywork assigned by her teacher. "Give me a sign if you're reading this. Are you, Mr. Holmes?" to which Lily finds "Yes" scrawled in the margin. Lily's journal is also full of advice about what to eat and not eat in the lunchroom (tuna fish smells, orange soda is particularly deadly in the fourth grade) as well as Lily's current popularity ranking. There are also daily newspaper descriptions of the trial, hints about the real culprit in the murder, notes and plots between Lily and the housekeeper at the hotel where the jurors are sequestered and all sorts of marvelously detailed black-and-white illustrations by the author's artist-sister, M. Sarah Klise. The story is crazy, the storytelling hilarious—and you might even learn what it means to be on a jury. 2001, HarperCollins, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-In this far-fetched but humorous story, Lily Watson has the distinction of being the first juvenile juror in Missouri, and her teacher asks her to keep a journal throughout the experience. The sixth grader is selected to be on a panel for a murder trial and is sequestered, dutifully recording all of her impressions inside and out of court. In addition to the journal entries, fully illustrated newspaper articles (columnist Bernie "Buzz" Ard also sits on the jury), documents, letters, notes, and miscellaneous ads are interspersed throughout. Although this format will attract readers' attention, the articles, captions, and other snippets are somewhat distracting and the writing style is too contrived to sustain laughter. In the end, the innocent man is exonerated for a murder that didn't actually occur. Of course, Lily is instrumental in cracking the case and her journal is subpoenaed in the effort to bring the true villains to justice. A lightweight mystery with a precocious heroine.-Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The authors of Letters From Camp (1999) again take diaristic fiction to another level with a tale of grown-up chicanery told entirely in correspondence, casual sketches, printed ephemera, receipts, newspaper pages, advertisements, transcripts of radio news programs, and journal entries. Despite the lack of a body, everyone in Tyleville believes that slow-witted loner Bob White has killed 11-year-old Perry Keet. Thanks to a new state law, Perry's classmate Lily gets an insider's view of the ensuing trial, for she is chosen to sit on Bob White's jury, even though it means being sequestered and losing weeks of school. Lily's journal, along with notes and sketches from fellow jurors, link a sheaf of circumstantial evidence that gradually points not to Bob, but to Tyleville's resident tycoon, Rhett Tyle, and his secret confederate, Anna Conda. They are con artists who had been planning to turn the local zoo's huge snake collection into a line of designer fashions, but are now preparing for a quick getaway after auctioning off the oeuvre of the zoo's new, star attraction: a gorilla named Priscilla, who has suddenly started painting recognizable pictures. Sound complicated? That's only an overview—but the Klises keep it all in the air with expertly timed revelations, distinct character voices, and seemingly bottomless reserves of droll, inventive humor, and readers get a surprisingly credible look at how the jury system works. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380978809
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Klise lives in Norwood, Missouri, where she works as a correspondent for People magazine. M. Sarah Klise lives in Berkeley, California. Regarding the Fountain is the first book for young readers from this pair, who are sisters as well as collaborators.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

My Journal
NAME: Lily A. Watson
GRADE: 6
TEACHER: Mr. Holmes
JOURNAL ENTRY FOR: Monday, September 25, 9:45 a.m.

Hi, Mr. Holmes!

How's everything at school? I wouldn't know since I'm not there. I'm sitting on a bench in a long hallway on the second floor of the Tyle County Courthouse, waiting for someone to tell me what the heck I'm supposed to do.

This is the first day of jury selection in the trial of Bob White. That means they're picking 12 people plus two alternates who will decide if Bob White killed Perry Keet.

Everyone knows Bob White did it. Everyone except maybe you, I mean. This all happened over the summer before you moved to Tyleville, so I'll fill you in on the details.

Perry was almost 12 years old, like me. (I just turned 12 last week. Yea!) He went to Tyleville Middle School and would've been in sixth grade this year, if he were still alive. Perry and I have been in the same class since kindergarten, but we weren't really friends. We weren't enemies either, but we sat at different lunch tables and did different things after school. Perry played soccer and was in the art club. I'm in band and work on the school newspaper.

Now that I think about it, Perry and I were engaged to be married for a couple of weeks in second grade. We had the starring roles that year in our class play, I think we called off the wedding during dress rehearsal. It was kind of a scandal (in a second grade way), but really it was just one of those dumb things you do when you're 8.

Anyway, Perry got a job last summer at Tyle Park Zoo, which is part of Tyle-O-Tropolis, the huge mall in downtown Tyleville.It's like an amusement park, circus and shopping mall, all in one. If you haven't already been, GO. It's the only fun thing we have in Tyleville.

I remember asking Perry how he got the job at the zoo. I always thought you had to be 16 years old to get a real job–besides baby-sitting or yard work, I mean. Perry told me he'd worked out a deal with Mr. Tyle, who owns Tyle-O-Tropolis. Perry said he volunteered to work for free doing anything (even gross stuff like cleaning out the cages) in exchange for free admission to the zoo whenever he wanted.

Mr. Tyle said OK. He even let Perry bring his friends to the zoo and sometimes gave them Tyle Tender to buy snacks. That's just how Mr. Tyle is. He's the richest guy in town, but he's not snobby or mean. He's really funny and generous. Mr. Tyle comes to school every year and tells stories about how he used to travel all over the world with a carnival. He performed magic shows for kings and queens in Europe. His specialty act was snake charming.

Mr. Tyle is nuts about snakes. He will give you $5 if you bring him a snake over four-feet long. Ask Joyce about the humongous nine-foot black snake she caught in third grade in the attic of the elementary school. She sold it to Mr. Tyle and he put it on display in the reptile house. Everyone went to the zoo to see it.

But don't waste your time going to Tyle Park Zoo to look for Joyce's snake. The reptile house has been closed for renovations since I was in fourth grade. Mr. Tyle is planning to build the biggest and fanciest reptile house in the world.

Besides, the biggest attraction at Tyle Park Zoo these days is Priscilla the gorilla. I'm SURE you've heard of her. She's the gorilla who's been painting all those modern pictures in her cage. It's the biggest story ever to hit Tyleville. People are coming from all over the country to see Priscilla and her famous paintings. We've even made the national news.

Unfortunately, Perry never got to see all that. Bob White killed Perry Keet before Priscilla started painting on the walls of her cage.

See, Bob White also worked at the zoo. His job was cleaning cages, too. But when Perry started working, he cleaned the cages faster and better than Bob. Then Bob got nervous about losing his job and killed Perry.

That's what everyone says, anyway. And that's why they're having this trial–to find out for sure what happened last summer. Twelve of the people at the courthouse today will be the jurors who decide if Bob White is guilty.

Speaking of the people here today, I have to tell you about the man sitting right here. He's eating tuna straight from the can. At 10 o'clock in the morning! (P.U.) I'm thinking of making a citizen's arrest.

We have a rule at my lunch table at school that no one can bring tuna for lunch. The smell is so strong, it makes everyone's lunch taste like cat food. I don't know if they have rules like that at the teachers' lunch table, but from my experience, you can't go wrong with peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and banana is a bitiffier. P.B. and honey is safe, too, but you probably already know all this from your last school.

There's another guy sitting here in the hallway who's been whistling nonstop all day. One cornball song after another. That's one thing that drives me crazy about grown-ups. If I sat here whistling, you can bet the bank someone would tell me to put a sock in it. But adults think they can share with the world any old tune that's dancing through their heads...

Trial by Journal. Copyright © by Kate Klise. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2010

    You should really read this book!

    The book "Trail by Journal" by Kate Klise was a very good book. An old man named Bob White was on trial for the murder of Perry Kett. Perry was a young 12 year old boy who worked at the zoo with Bob. According to the new Missouri State Law since Perry was only 12 there must also be a juvenile juror on the jury in this case. Lily Watson was chosen to be the juvenile jury in this case. She was in the same class as Perry but never really knew him. Because she missed so much school she would have to keep a journal through the time she was at the trial. Her teacher told her to put all of her feelings and thoughts into the journal. Well let me just say she sure did! This trial will be like no other Missouri has ever seen. It will be turned upside down and all around trying to uncover new clues. But while this is going on there is the complete opposite, Bob White the quite old man writes in his journal about making good friends with the rats in his jail cell. There are articles from the local paper including one section from one of the juror that is on the jury. I found this section personally one of the best parts. He tells you about the trail and some of the friends he makes with the other jurors. This book will have you laughing for hours! I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone! The grade level is about 5th or 6th grade, but people older still should take a look because it s a great book. Anyone one looking for a good light hearted book should read this book, "Trial by Journal".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Awesomeness

    I love this book so much!! It was a really fun and interesting book with mystery. Recommended for 4th and 5th graders. I just love this book a lot. My favorite book in the whole world. About a girl named Lily who is on Jury duty and trying to solve a mystery of who killed who and she writes all the stuff she finds in her journal. READ THIS BOOK!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Sixth-Grader is First Juvenile Juror

    Get ready for a trial unlike any Tyle County has ever seen! Sixth-grader Perry Keet is missing, and Bob White, his co-worker at Tyle Park Zoo, will stand trial for the alleged murder. But Keet's disappearance is only the beginning of this legal thriller. The real story is told by 12-year old Lily Watson, a classmate of Keet. Watson was selected to White's jury law requiring a juvenile juror to serve if the case involves a child victim. Part of Watson's duty will be to listen objectively to the testimony of Tyleville's wealthiest citizen, Rhett Tyle. His testimony is expected to be the key to White's conviction. White's fate now rests in the hands of Watson and fellow jurors, Fawn Papillon, Anna Conda, and other Tyleville locals, as they try to uncover the truth before it's too late.

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

    Posted November 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    WOW

    What a wonderful book. I read it with my mother-daughter book club, and everyone loved it, even the people who thought they wouldn't. I recomend this book for EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YAY YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YAY

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2007

    READ THIS BOOK!

    This is one of the best books I've ever read. The age range is 8-11, but I'm older and I still loved it! I would definitly recommend this book to anyone. It's great the way that the story is told with newspaper clippings, letters, and diary entries. Lily is so funny!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2006

    FANTASTIC!!!!

    I thought that this book was fantastic!! It was a page-turner and it really kept your interest. It was NOT one of the types of books that you start but never finished. This is definitely one of my favorite books!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2006

    The Good Book

    This book was a very excellent book. Except there were too many things with the word 'Tyle'. What's the deal with that?! But besides that fact, it is a must read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2005

    best book ever!!!!

    Me and my friend both read this book and loved it. the letters and other things where the best. Every time I would pick up the book to read it I would say only one chapter but since this book is so suspending I ended up reading about 3 to 4 chapters at a time. I loved this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    GREAT BOOK!

    This is such a good book. It has a great story. And it ends on such a nice way! I couldn't stop reading it! That's how good it is. I would give this book a lot of stars. Get it from the library or buy it, or whatever and READ IT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2004

    GREAT book

    Trial by Journal is one of the best books I've ever read. If there is one book that I would read more than once, Trial by Journal would be it. I can't believe that Kate Klise is an adult. Any kid who half-way likes to read would love this book. My parents have even read it, and they love it! It's basically a funny collage of fake newspapers, the villain's evil notes to the other one, outfit orders, etc!

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

    Posted May 22, 2003

    A Really Good Book.....

    This book is fab-o! I'm in the middle of it right now, and I love it! Just read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2003

    Trial by Jury no Trial by Journal

    This book is great! I couldn't put it down. It took my 4 hours to read and I read it without stopping! It is a great book that mystery and journal lovers will love. Kate Klise has done a wonderful job! Lilly Watson, Juvinille Jusrist is out of school on jury duty... it's a murder case of one of her classmates! Her teacher tells her to write a journal but little does she now she will have to write the truth and nothing but the truth. I enjoyed the style it was written in. Kate Klise {author} has connected a journal with evidense... newspaper clippings, letters even has parts of a jury members autobiography!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2002

    Trial by Journal { Awesome Book}

    I LOVE this book. I LOVE how the author made the character realistic and not just plain. I like how she planned the story and how she made the character. The mystery and guessing is thrilling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    Your Ticket to the Court Room!

    Trial by journal is a great book.Kate Klise is a great author and I love the way she writes all her books in letter format. The personal stationary is fun to look at to. Trial by journal is a great book full of mystery and humor. Put yourself in the court room and read Trial by Journal!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2001

    A FANTASTIC BOOK!!!!!!!!!

    This book is about a girl who goes on jury duty for a murder trial. Being out of school was her dream, but writing journal entries for each day for her teacher to tell about the trial was not on her list!This wonderful book is funny and has twists and turns along the way!Trying to be a detective she finds out something nobody knows...Kate Klise has a extraordinary way to write though journal entries, newspaper clippings, news stations, and secret letters. I definatly recommend this book to kids and adults. A must read!!

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    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted May 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

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