Joe’s latest visitor had a fly-in with a window—splat! Now Pete the parakeet is dead, and his owner is going to be robbed! Pete needs Joe—the Protector of Undead Pets—to help prevent it from happening, but will Joe succeed so Pete can fly on to his final destination? Funny and full of adventure, this series is ideal for boys and girls seeking a fast-paced and amusing chapter book.
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Joe grabbed a handful of strawberries and dropped them into the jug.
“Maybe a little more banana,” he said, stirring the mixture with a long wooden spoon.
His best friend, Matt, was standing next to him, smashing a bag of ice cubes with a rolling pin. He glanced at the jug. “There’s no room.”
“A few more blueberries, then . . .” Joe was just searching along the countertop for the bowl of berries when something hit his cheek.
“Hey!” He spun around to find the most annoying boy in the class, Spiker, smirking back at him. In his hand was the bowl of blueberries.
“Want some more?” Spiker fired another berry in Joe’s direction.
Joe and Matt both ducked.
“Ow!” Leonie, who was behind Joe, let out a shriek as the blueberry bounced off her head.
Another volley followed. Joe and Matt dodged out of the way.
“Argh!” groaned Leonie. She turned around to see who was throwing the fruit just in time for a big squishy berry to explode on her cheek. “Ms. Bruce! Someone’s throwing fruit at me!”
In the blink of an eye, Spiker slid the bowl of blue- berries away from him along the countertop like a cowboy barman serving drinks in a saloon. “It was Joe!” he shouted.
“What? No, it wasn’t!” Joe cried.
“Joe Edmunds!” shouted Ms. Bruce from the other side of the classroom. “I’m surprised at you!”
“But I didn’t do anything . . .”
“It was Spiker!” Matt added.
Ms. Bruce held up her hand to silence them both. “Finish what you’re doing, then bring your mixture over to the blender. It’s your turn next.”
It was Friday morning and the sixth grade students were making fruit smoothies in their home economics class. There was going to be an official tasting at the end of the day by their principal, Mr. Hill. The best smoothie would win a prize!
“Hold it still,” said Matt as he poured the bag of crushed ice into their mixture.
“What’s your smoothie called?” asked Molly, peering over Joe’s shoulder.
“Berry Blaster!” He scowled over at Spiker.
“Joe, Matt, hurry up!” called Ms. Bruce, who was supervising the blender. “Bring your jug over here.”
Matt shoved in the rest of the crushed ice, and Joe picked up the jug.
Just then, something splattered on his head. He spun around, expecting to find Spiker lobbing more fruit at him. But Spiker was over by the trash can, getting some paper towels. Joe glanced around suspiciously. Who was it, then?
“Hey!” Something else had landed on his head. Joe reached up and touched it. It was soft and squishy. He inspected his fingers. “Ugh . . .” It was white with black bits in it. It looked just like bird poo.
There was a loud squawk and a brightly colored bird flashed in front of him.
Joe gasped. He twisted around to see where it had gone. “Did you see that? It looked like a parakeet!”
“Very funny!” said Matt, taking the jug out of Joe’s hand. “And there’s a UFO landing in the playground! Come on, or Leonie and Natalie will grab the blender before us!”
“Wait! Look over there!” said Joe. “On top of the whiteboard.”
But Matt wasn’t listening. He was already helping Ms. Bruce tip their mixture into the blender. “Get the spoon,” he called over to Joe. “There are some bits stuck at the bottom.”
But Joe didn’t move. He couldn’t take his eyes off the bird. It was hopping along the top ledge of the whiteboard now, cocking its head and nervously looking around the room.
Joe blinked a few times. Why hadn’t anyone else noticed it? You couldn’t miss it—a bright green parakeet with a big scar and one bulging red eye!
Must have gotten in through the window, Joe muttered to himself. Ms. Bruce always had the windows open. She said fresh air was good for you. But Joe figured she just couldn’t stand the smell of Spiker’s sweaty feet!
“Look!” said Joe as Ava walked past with a bag of apples. “It’s a parakeet.”
“What?” She glanced to where Joe was pointing, then rolled her eyes. “Very funny!”
“Hurry up, Joe!” Matt called from the blender.
“Hurry up, Joe!” echoed the bird in a high-pitched singsong voice.
Joe grinned. It was mimicking Matt!
Then suddenly it fluttered over, landing on Joe’s head.
“Hey!” Joe said, trying to swat it away.
“Hey!” it repeated. “Kissy, kissy!”
“Stop that!” Joe tried to wriggle free.
“Stop that!” copied the parakeet. “Who’s a pretty boy?” it twittered. Then it dug its feet into Joe’s scalp.
“Get off!” Joe yelled.
Ava glanced up from the workbench and nudged her twin sister, Molly. They were looking at Joe like he was nuts! Others were staring, too . . . Leonie giggled. Bethany pointed.
Joe was just about to shout to Ms. Bruce when the bird fluttered down from his head and hovered in front of his nose. It blinked a few times, then cocked its head at him.
“Sorry about that, Joe—just had one of my funny turns!”
“My name’s Petey, and I need your help!”
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