Five boys from Napa, California, are doing their best to make it through middle school. This group of Grape Field Middle School misfits includes Blake "the Snake" Sloan, Jeff "the Nose" McCoy, Billy "the Mackster" Mack, Sy "Slo-Mo" Wilcox, and Wesley "Tex" Strait. Together, they get in and out of trouble, dealing with both school and romance.
Blake develops a crush on Rose, but he doesn't know how to talk to a girl. She's not like his buddies, and it's going to take an awful lot of work to charm her. Meanwhile, the boys get caught up in adventures, including a scary overnighter to Tex's parents' ranch and some dangerous neighborhood shenanigans.
Blake realizes over the course of his relationship with Rose that his friends can both help him and hinder him. Even so, girls may come and go, but true friends are forever. Middle school might not be big enough for Blake and his buds, but the boys aren't big enough for the real world-not yet, but they will be someday!
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)|
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Blake "The Snake" Sloan and Friends ...
Making it Through Middle School!
By Delbert "Delby" Pape
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2013 Delbert "Delby" Pape
All rights reserved.
First Day of School
What? The text books are gone! What will we do?
Hello. My name is Blake Sloan. My friends call me Blake the Snake. My dad is a grape farm manager. We just moved from Eugene, Oregon, and I'm a little concerned about my first day of school in this new place and meeting and making new friends. Well, off to school I go!
"Good morning, class. I am Ms. Rothchild, and I will be your fourth-grade learning facilitator this year. I welcome you all to Grape Grove Elementary School, the newest elementary school in the Napa Valley area of California. I have good news. This school is the most technologically advanced to date. Look around the room, and you will see that there are no books. All of the information from textbooks will be found online and accessed from your individual student computer.
"As you can see, each student desk cubicle are a has a computer. The computer is located directly in front of you in the locked compartment. Each desk has an electric pencil sharpener and is mounted just to the right side of your desk. On the back left side of your desk, you will notice a small, mounted container that will be used for trash depositing. In front of that are two mounted, narrow containers that you will use to deposit completed assignments that are not computer related, as directed by yours truly ... me.
"Further, hard-copy notes and letters will no longer be sent home to parents, as these will come directly to you through your e-mail, and you will be responsible to then forward them to your parents. If you will look directly behind and at the rear of the classroom, you will notice two very wide doors. Once these doors are opened, you will see a nicely furnished lounge. As each period ends, you will have a ten-minute break and access to this area for your enjoyment and relaxation.
"This area is equipped with a surround-sound system that is connected to a 105-inch flat-screen television and entertainment center. The latest video games are available, as are light snack foods. This is the area where we will, beginning tomorrow, start our morning activities and obtain announcements from the main office. I'll give you more information later, but for now I'd like us all to introduce ourselves to each other. Let's begin with Georgia."
"Good morning, Ms. Rothchild. My name is Georgia Jean Hathaway. I was born and still live here in Napa. My daddy came from a banking background, and we live in the old Willford mansion on Cotton Wood Drive just south of here. As I look out the window, I can see the top of our home in the distance. It's the one on the top of the hillside. That's all I have to say."
"I'm Sy Wilcox, but my friends call me Slo-Mo. You can call me almost anything, but please don't call me too late to eat. I love to eat. My parents started the Hensley Steakhouse back in 1973. We now operate three others as well. We enjoy skiing for family fun. We go skiing every December at Cloud Croft, New Mexico, for our winter vacation. I'm especially looking forward to this year's vacation so I can get better at my skiing skills, as I get to go on the big-hill ski jump this time."
"Hello, my name is Pricilla Kay Keaton. My grandmother is Mary Kay, and she does cosmetics to help pretty girls look prettier. My parents own and operate the distribution center for my grandmother's cosmetics. I won my first beauty contest pageant this past summer and expect to win many more."
"Hi! I'm Billy Mack, the Mackster, and I like to run and play football. I'm already the quarterback for the Pee Wee Giants. Coach Watkins says our team is going to go undefeated this year as long as I'm the quarterback. See ya at the game."
"Yo. What's up! I'm Trevor Walker, and I play football with the Mackster. My dad is the coach of the Pee Wee Giants, and I'm the best football receiver there is. Coach told me we're going to go undefeated this year as long as I'm the receiver. Coach says I'm the best receiver ever, and the Mackster told me that too, and he's the best quarterback ever. So, come out and watch us this next week. We'll be there ... hope to see you there too!"
"My name is Angelina Faye Cash. My grandparents were famous country singers. My daddy is their son, and he and my mom operate the royalties from some of their enterprises. I hope to be a singer someday, as I'm taking voice lessons and can already play the piano and violin. When I get to middle school, I'll be in the band. I can hardly wait for that to happen."
"Aaron Cartwright. My parents operate the Drury Inn Suites here in Napa. I like to spend some of my Saturdays there with my dad. I get free food at breakfast and dinner. I also like to play hide and seek there with my older sister. Dad allows us to play if we don't get too disruptive. Also, I would like to say I really like this new school. I like the way the lights automatically come on when I walk into the rooms and restrooms. That's really cool!"
"Amy Colgate here. My dad runs the plant that makes everybody have a beautiful and healthy smile. I live across the street from Georgia Jean. Hello again, Georgia. I'm glad we're in the same class together. This year is going to be the best! This weekend, our family will see some good ole 49er football. If Trevor and Billy realize that there's no I in team, then maybe I'll be able to see them play college ball someday. So when you do, I'll be there to watch you guys play."
"Beau Beauregard is my name, and riding my go-cart is my game. I'm a descendent of a famous general of the great Confederate States. My dad is chief executive officer (CEO) of Beauregard Enterprises, which specializes in government contracts in the greater Napa area. My most favorite thing to do is to ride my go-cart with my neighborhood buds. There's a track behind my house, and about five of my friends are usually there riding until dark or dinnertime. We have a blast!"
"Hi. My name is Nancy Intwissle. I am a foreign exchange student. I come from a small farming community in Norway. I am staying in the United States with my grandparents, and then I will return to Momma and Poppa at the end of this semester. I'll be home just in time for Christmas, and I will get to see my school friends and tell them about my stay in this country. I hope to get acquainted with all of you. Thank you."
"Aye, what's up, Doc? My name is Jeff McCoy. Everyone around here calls me the Nose. I come from a long line of comedians. Always remember that the Nose knows. The Nose sees all, it knows all, and the Nose is all knowing. Got the picture? I had an uncle that used to say, 'I don't get no respect.' He said his wife is so ugly that once he parked his car and helped his wife get out. When she got out, a man walking by looked at her and then turned to him and said, 'I'm sorry.' My uncle then turned to him and said, 'Yeah, but she sure can cook.'
"And I have a cousin from my mom's side that makes a lot of money doing a show that has a lot to do about nothing. He's the real tall one and always has trouble walking and stumbles most of the time. And I have—"
Ms. Rothchild interrupted, saying, "Thanks, Jeff, that will be enough. Next student please ... wait. I appreciate all of the introductions. We have three other students that will be here starting on Wednesday, as soon as their summer cruise completes. We will be introduced to them upon their return. Now, we have one last student to hear from."
"Hello. My name is Blake Sloan ..."
Some Things to Think About
1. Would you like to go to this school?
2. What things do you do over the winter holiday?
3. Do you think this school would have different rules than other schools?
4. What things do you do with your family during the summer?
5. Which student or students would you like to hang around with the most?
6. Do you think the ten-minute break time should be longer?
7. What would you do during the break time?
8. Do you know where your parents work and what jobs they do?
9. What job do you want to do when you get older?
All aboard the Great RV Tour
A colorful blossom, a red flower, a sweet-smelling beauty ... that's my Rose!
Hello again. It's me, Blake. It's been a year, and I'm a fifth-grader now. About two months ago, my dad bought an RV. He wanted our family to be close together and have some good times roaming around the world in it. He thought this would do the trick. He promised that he would let me have some friends over to spend the night in it too. That night finally arrived.
After school, my buds came over. We were excited! Jeff arrived first. He has a really long nose, and I always tease him that his nose arrives three minutes earlier than the rest of him. That, of course, is an exaggeration, but it makes the point, and besides, he's a good-natured person and laughs right along with me. That must be why he's one of my best friends.
Shortly after Jeff arrived, Billy Mack strolled up. The Mackster was really enthused about this adventure. He had never been inside a real RV before. That's what I like about the Mackster; everything he sees is viewed as though it's completely new to him. This makes me get excited about things too, even though I may have seen them before. He helps me see a different view of things, which gives me a greater appreciation of that which I observe.
Finally, Sy arrived in his slow-moving way. We call him Slo-Mo because he moves so slowly. I slithered ahead and then motioned for them to follow me. Slo-Mo was last as usual. I brought out the walkie-talkies and issued one to each of us. I assigned places to sleep, as we all decided we would sleep in the bunk section of the RV. Dad said we couldn't do any cooking, so Mom made us sacks of goodies, one for each of us.
We stayed up talking about things that happened at school the past week. Jeff the Nose said that Ross and Lacey were going steady. I asked him how he knew that. He laughed and said he had a nose for things like that. Then Slo-Mo reported he saw the principal kiss his teacher. We all reminded him that they are married. The Mackster looked at Sy and said, "You really are slow, aren't you!" They turned to me and asked if I had any news.
At first I couldn't think of anything really exciting that happened. But then I remembered we got a new student in our class, and her name is Rose. As I said this, all three of them looked at me and began asking all kinds of questions.
"I've heard about her!" the Nose exclaimed.
"I hear that she's a looker," added the Mackster.
"I can verify that she is indeed," I said.
"What's her name again?" asked Slo-Mo.
I told them that she came from Hawaii. I related that she has really nice, shiny, dark hair and shiny, dark eyes to match.
"Man, you're lucky that you have such a looker in your class," said the Mackster.
"Not only is she in my class, but she lives just three blocks from here," I said.
"No way," said the Nose.
"Oh, yeah ... way," I said.
About that time, Mom opened the back door, leaned out, and said for us to get ready for lights out. She turned off the back porch floodlight and told us good night. Dad added that he wanted our lights out in the RV within thirty minutes.
"Yes, sir," we all chimed back.
At eleven, Dad stuck his head into the RV and reminded us that it was time for lights out. We crawled into our places, and after the lights went out, we said good night to my dad.
Well, we continued our conversation for about thirty minutes longer, and it all centered around Rose. Then Slo-Mo got a brilliant idea. "Let's sneak over to her house," he said.
"No!" We all said at once.
"Come on. Let's do it," Slo-Mo came back with.
After a few more back and forths, we got out of bed, got out of our PJs, and put back on our clothes. As we eased out of the RV very quietly, I asked if everyone had their walkie-talkies, and Slo-Mo slithered back into the RV to obtain his.
About a half a block down the street, I gathered us together. I reminded them to keep their talkies on low volume and keep them close to their ears when talking over them.
We went a few more blocks, and I pointed to Rose's house.
"That's the one ... I think," I said as we edged a little closer.
We hunkered down between some bushes that were across the street from her house. Some lights were still on, and we could see movement inside. We were intent on our observing when we heard footsteps coming in our direction that couldn't have been more than twenty feet from us. Our heads turned toward one another, and we all put our forefinger to our lips so as to remind each other not to say a word. The footsteps stopped about ten feet away. It was my mom and my dad. They talked for a short while and then went on by and then across and down the street.
"That was a close one," I said after they were out of sight. "I guess they were out for a late stroll," I told my buds. We huddled and decided to meet in the alley in the back of Rose's house. This we did, with each of us leaving fifteen seconds apart. One by one, we gathered again at the designated place, and Slo-Mo was last to arrive.
"Guys, we have a problem," I stated.
The concern was that the fence was too high for us to see over. Heads together, we planned to scale the fence. I had to explain to Slo-Mo that to scale the fence meant that we had to climb over it. Well we did—climb over the fence, that is. The backyard was bushy and had three tall trees in it. I must admit it was a little scary looking. I turned my flashlight on and then quickly back off. I did that so we could orient ourselves to our surroundings. Each of us took a position and waited.
A short while later, I heard coming from my talkie, "This is the Nose ... I see movement." We all relayed back through the talkies and confirmed the same. The Mackster then reported that someone was approaching the back sliding door.
"It's Rose," I said.
Rose slid open the back door and said, "Go on, Lady, do your thing." Then a large, black and white spotted, barking dog came rushing out.
Four boys got a lesson and experienced their first heart attack that night. But no time for that as we scrambled around the yard, trying frantically to find the back fence. I heard the Nose say he was wrapped up and being eaten by a snake. I flashed my light in his direction and saw that he was tangled up in a garden hose, "Not a snake," I firmly stated. I continued toward the fence and was about halfway over it when I saw my three friends open the back gate, run through it, and into the alley. I felt like an idiot straddled across the fence.
A man came running out as I dropped my flashlight and bounded down the backside of the fence and onto the hard alley ground. It was easy to see which way the others had run, as I just followed the dust to the street. After that, I followed the smell of ... well ... you know, the burning of shoe rubber on asphalt. It didn't take me long to catch up with them.
Well, we made it back to the RV safe but not too sound. I had to listen to them whine about how I almost got them killed. I reminded them that it was Slo-Mo's big idea to go over there and not mine. Then the Nose started in on his nearly being eaten. "Yeah, by a garden hose," I reminded him. "Would you guys like some cheese with your whining?" I asked. That got us to laughing, and finally we nodded and then dosed off to sleep.
The next morning at breakfast, my mom and dad asked us what was going on at about midnight in the RV last night. We looked at each other and said, "What do you mean?" They explained that they heard us talking up a storm. "Oh, well," I said, "We thought we heard something outside".
"It must have been a bear," the Mackster blurted.
"Actually, I think it was a raccoon," I said, quickly recovering and motioning to him when my parents weren't looking.
"Oh, is that all?" my dad said. "I'm glad it wasn't a lion or a sea turtle. Well, anyway, I hope you guys had a fun time."
At school on Monday, Rose came up to me, handed me something, and said, "I think this belongs to you." I looked at what she gave me, and it was a flashlight that had my name engraved on the side of it. I looked up, and she was looking at me. Our eyes met, and we grinned ... and then we laughed.
After school, I met up with my buds at the usual corner at the end of the school grounds. I told them that I talked to Rose. With clenched fists in my face, they immediately reminded me that I was not to say anything about our Friday night adventure. I backed away, and as they lowered their fists, I said, "Too late for that." I then showed them the flashlight that I had dropped while on our adventure. "She gave it to me this morning," I hurriedly stated. I showed them my name on the side of the flashlight, and then they understood.
Some Things to Think About
1. Do you have an RV, or do you know someone who does?
2. Have you ever spent the night in an RV or a tent in your backyard like these boys did?
3. What does your RV or tent look like?
4. Do you have a favorite experience to tell about? If so, tell or write about that favorite experience.
Excerpted from Blake "The Snake" Sloan and Friends ... by Delbert "Delby" Pape. Copyright © 2013 Delbert "Delby" Pape. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Vocabulary Exercise For Each Selection.................... xii
First Day of School.................... 1
All aboard the Great RV Tour.................... 7
Those Big, White, Furry Things.................... 14
The Night My Mom Got Arrested ... Almost.................... 23
Graduating to the Sixth Grade.................... 29
The Campout.................... 42
The Ghost in the Dark that Wanders.................... 48
How High Is the Moon?.................... 52
Alanthe Car Guy.................... 57
Library Day—Yeah!.................... 61
Choosing Bob.................... 66
Show and Tell.................... 71
Snowy Weather for Skylar.................... 76
Thanksgiving Day.................... 80
Dancing Ants!.................... 84
May I Introduce Mr. Kilgore ... Your Sub.................... 89
It's Snow Time.................... 100
Is that Really a Six-Foot Dog?.................... 107
Shy Girl.................... 112
Restroom Mix-Up.................... 116
Class Leader.................... 124
Visit to the Mackster's Grandparents.................... 128
My Name Is Not Dennis.................... 132
Bikes and the Race.................... 138
Movie Night.................... 144
Understanding Girlsor Not!.................... 150
The Dance.................... 157
Mistake or Mistaken.................... 162
What's Happening?.................... 168
Let's Shake Things Up.................... 174
I'm Sorry? No, I'm Happy!.................... 179