As it turns out, the three new kids have every reason to stick together. Sophie thinks she's making friends with the popular girl until she finds out she's not welcome in the Faith, Hope, and Charity Club. YL is ridiculed because he takes ballet lessons to improve his football. Harper is shocked to find out her father's name isn't on the Vietnam Memorial as she had always believed. These three outsiders form a special bond, but Harper determination to find her father puts their friendship to the test. Now, for that bond to survive, it's going to take a little faith, a lot of hope, and plenty of chicken feathers.
|Edition description:||1st ed|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.03(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Ladies and Jelly Beans
"Surprise!" Mr. Workel said, sticking his head inside the door of Room 17 the first day of school After Christmas vacation. "Three new kids for your room," the principal announced, reading from the canary-yellow slips of paper in his hand.
"Mizz Harper Lee Stritch from Kenosha, Wisconsin," he said, sounding like a host on a TV game show. He patted her head like she was two years old."Mister YL Truax here is from . . . " Mr. Workel checked one of the slips of paper. "His father said they just moved from Cheyenne, Wyoming." Mrs. TenBroeck stopped what she was doing at the chalkboard and walked over to the door.
"Is your father with the army?" Mrs. TenBroeck asked, eyeing YL. He stared at the very pointy toes of her highheeled shoes.
"No, ma'am, he's a disc jockey."
"A disc jockey? Do you mean a disc jockey, as in on-the-radio disc jockey?"
"Yes, ma'am. He works for WMTN."
"Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. . . ."
Mr. Workel cleared his throat and looked at his watch. Mrs. TenBroeck got the message and stopped her questioning.
"And this is Miss Sophia Maria Spagnolo who's moved to Whispering Springs from Magnolia, Delaware." Mr. Workel pulled one of Sophie's fluffy brown curls. He handed Mrs. TenBroeck the slips of paper. "Sophie's parents are the ones who bought the old Crescent Moon Motel on Route Forty," he added.
"No kidding," Mrs. TenBroeck replied, her eyebrows furrowing. "Theold Crescent Moon Motel," she muttered.
"Welcome to West Virginia, kids," Mr. Workel said. "I hope I won't see a single one of you down in my office," he finished, pointing his index finger at YL, Sophie, and Harper.
"Why don't you three take the desks in the back of the room for right now?" Mrs. TenBroeck said, pointing to them.
"Citizens! Citizens of Room Seventeen," she, commaned, turning to the entire class, "we have new students today." She slipped on a pair of bifocals. The gold charms on her charm bracelets rattled and clanked as she picked up a piece of chalk and began to write on the board. She adjusted her glasses while she read from the slips of paper. She wrote in large sloping letters: YL Truax, Sophia, Maria Spagnolo, and Harper Lee Stritch.
Let's give our new students a big welcome," she reminded. "Remember our song?" The class audibly groaned, but Mrs. TenBroeck continued her toothy smile. She walked to the center of the room and began waving her arms, the charms jingling. "Make new friends? Remember? Our welcoming song. You remember, don't you?" she admonished, looking at the students. She stepped to the front of the room. "Hmmmmm," she sang, providing the beginning pitch and making sweeping motionsin the air as she conducted the class through the song.
"Make new friends, but ke-ep th-e oh-old," the wobbly, voices in the first two rows sang. Mrs. TenBroeck's chirped above them all. She pointed to the next twoand the last two, until the whole class was singing rounds.
"One is silver, and the o-ther's gold," the first singers Mrs. TenBroeck continued pointing and conductthe final two rows of students completed, "and the o-ther's gold." Harper, YL, and Sophie sat in their speechless.
"That was lovely. Simply splendid," Mrs. TenBroeck complimented the class. "Bravo!" she applauded, her claps the only ones in the room. "Now, we'll get back to business. Citizens," she ordered, turning around and walktoward her desk, "take out your social studies books. We have barely enough time before lunch to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the equator." She licked her index finger and flipped through the pages. "Page forty-five, if you will, please, ladies and jelly beans." She looked to the back of the room, noticing the three new students still frozen in place. "Move 'em,out, doggies. Hustle, hustle. Get rolling back there. That means you new people, too. There ought to be social studies books in those desks, or my name isn't Claire TenBroeck.
Sophie lifted the lid of the desk and held it with her head. She scooted the slippery books to one side, checking the spines for the words SOCIAL STUDIES. She turned her head and caught the attention of the boy next to her.
"In two more hours," he whispered.
"Oh," she sighed.
"Melody Briscoe?" Mrs. TenBroeck called out.
The teacher put on her glasses and ran a red, nail-polished index finger down a long list of printed names on the bulletin board beside her desk. "Melody, it appears from my list here that you're the Welcome Hostess for the month."
Melody Briscoe groaned aloud.
"That means you'll give YL, Sophia, and Harper a tour of the school during the lunch hour. Remember to show them the bookstore and the nurse's office. Got that?"
"Yes, Mrs. TenBroeck," Melody muttered, glaring at Sophie.
"Call me Melo," MelodyBriscoe told the three students sitting across from her at the lunch table. Sophie, Harper, and YL looked up from their lunch trays. "So where's Magnolia, Delaware?" Melody quizzed, in between mouthfuls' of grilled-cheese sandwich.Sophie's cheek bulged with a big bite of meat loaf. She didn't answer.Melody turned to YL.
"We don't have that many black kids at this school. Were you the only black kid in your school in Cheyenne?"
"Nope," YL answered. He stared at her, amazed that she would ask such a question.
"What a bunch of ko-inky-dinks you are," she said, eyeing the three of them. "You've all started Whispering Springs Elementary School on the same day," she sputtered in between gulps of chocolate milk.
"What's a ko-inky-dink?" Sophie asked."Where have you been?" Melody replied.