The first in a funny new chapter-book series about a third grader with mysterious visions, Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow Power is a winning tale from children's television writer Jennifer Hamburg, with illustrations by Jenn Harney.
She can see the future . . . or at least, a small part of it.
One perfectly ordinary afternoon, a vision flashes through third-grader Hazel “Hazy” Bloom’s mindof flying peas. The next day in the school cafeteria, a food fight erupts that involves the very same airborne veggie. After one or two more seemingly silly visions come true in unexpected ways, Hazy realizes she has a strange new power: twenty-four hours before trouble occurs, she receives a visual clue about what's going to happen.
But seeing is not always understanding, and headstrong Hazy quickly discovers that “tomorrow power” sometimes only gives her the ability to make a hilarious mess of things instead of saving the day.
Praise for Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow Power:
“This series starter strikes a nice balance between drama and levity . . . Hazy may well be a match for Beverly Cleary’s spunky Ramona Quimby.” Booklist
“Hazy's irrepressible, hilarious narration (punctuated with exclamation points and spelling vocabulary words she likes and dislikes) proves fast-paced and amusing . . . Likely to engage the primary school set with its madcap humor and unpredictable heroine.” Kirkus Review
“This quickly paced tale features a well-developed main character and lots of funny scenes . . . Hazy’s voice is unique, and her quirky personality is showcased on every page . . . Harney’s pictures are charming and add to the humor of the story.” School Library Journal
About the Author
Jennifer Hamburg is an Emmy-winning children’s television writer who has written for hit shows such as Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Super Why! She is the author of three picture books, including A Moose that Says Moo, and lives with her family in Houston, Texas.
Jenn Harney is an illustrator and toy designer who lives in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Read an Excerpt
Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow Power
By Jennifer Hamburg
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2017 Jennifer Hamburg
All rights reserved.
The first vision I ever had came on Sunday, and I know this because I was staring at the fridge.
Well, not just the plain old fridge, because that would be weird.
I was staring at the school cafeteria menu on the fridge. Mom puts the weekly lunch menu on the fridge every Sunday, in the very same spot each time: between our family calendar and the "reminder" board where we are supposed to write reminder-y things like Get milk or Remember library book, but where my brother usually draws cartoons of insects burping or monsters sitting on the toilet. The point is, my brother's annoying. And also, that it was definitely Sunday.
I put my finger up to Monday on the menu and slid it down to the right spot. Then I squealed. "Pizza dippers!"
If you don't know what pizza dippers are, you've got a lot of living to do. But I'll go ahead and tell you that pizza dippers are long sticks of bread with gooey cheese inside and you dip the whole thing in pizza sauce. They are extremely delicious. Which is why I then said, "Yay-yay-yay-yay-yay-yay-yay!"
"Ay!" chirped The Baby, who was sitting on the floor trying to eat Cheerios with a fork. The Baby has an actual name, which is Alexander, but everyone else calls him "The Baby," so I do, too. And he doesn't even seem to mind, which is odd because I wouldn't want everyone calling me "The Girl" or "The Middle One." But I guess he's okay with that kind of thing.
Mom peered over my shoulder at the menu. "Ooh, pizza dippers. Lucky you. And lucky me — one less lunch to make," she said with a wink.
"Yup, 'cause I'm having" — I took a deep breath, opened up my arms, and sang at the top of my lungs — "piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizza dip —"
I stopped singing. Because suddenly my arms started to get prickly and goose bumpy, and I kind of felt hot and cold at the same time. And then — well, remember that vision I mentioned? That's when it happened, right there, in front of the fridge, my mom, and The Baby, who was now using his fork to hurl Cheerios at our dog, Mr. Cheese. It was like a picture only I could see. But it wasn't a normal picture, like of my family, or me on my birthday.
This is what it was a picture of:
That's right. Little, round, green peas, flying around in midair. And then, the picture was gone.
Very. Strange. Especially because I'm not even that fond of peas.
"You okay, Hazy?" Mom asked. I guess I was still staring at the fridge.
"Um, yeah, I just ... saw something," I said. Mom gave me a funny look and opened her mouth like she was going to ask more. Then everything went bananas. The Baby spit up some mushed Cheerios just as my brother Milo ran into the house from soccer practice, followed by my dad, who immediately tripped over Mr. Cheese. (My dad always trips over Mr. Cheese. I don't know if he doesn't see Mr. Cheese, or if Mr. Cheese tries to trip him on purpose, but the point is, if you're ever at my house, just please look down when you walk in the kitchen door. There might be a dog.)
"Hazel, don't just stand there. Please do something!" Mom pleaded.
I guess I wasn't being very helpful. I grabbed The Baby so I didn't have to clean up his disgusting regurgitation, and by the time I changed him, my dad got his throw-uppy clothes into the washing machine, and my brother got sent to his room for saying "Gross!" again and again and again, I didn't really get a chance to talk to anyone about the flying peas. But that was fine with me. I didn't want to think about them anyway. It weirded me out, for real live. Instead, I decided to turn to more important things.
I headed to my room to work on my space mission to Mars.CHAPTER 2
My plan to become an astronaut started with our "Curious Kids" science project at school. We had to pick something we were curious about and do a report on it. Some kids were curious about thunderstorms, others were curious about sharks. I was curious about how many mini-marshmallows would fit up my nose. (I bet you thought I was going to say, "Space travel"! Don't worry, it's coming. Keep reading.)
When I explained my nose-marshmallow idea to my teacher, Mrs. Agnes, she asked me if I could come up with a more "educational" idea, and then I asked her if there were rules for being curious about mini-marshmallows and she told me no, but it was a rule to behave safely, and sticking marshmallows of any size up one's nose did not appear to be a safe classroom activity.
Of course, I decided to prove her wrong. The next day, I brought a bagful of mini-marshmallows to school and started stuffing them up there in my nostrils in front of a small circle of my friends during Silent Reading. As soon as Mrs. Agnes caught sight of what I was doing, she marched me straight to the nurse's office. The nurse, who was as alarmed as Mrs. Agnes, made me take them all out, and then had me sit there and rest for twenty whole minutes just in case I had permanently damaged myself in some way, which I totally had not. The point is, the answer to my mini-marshmallow question was six per nostril. And also, as I was sitting there bored out of my mind, the nurse handed me a book to pass the time, and that book was about Mars.
Before long, I had learned all of these amazing things, like it's a mystery whether there is any water at all on Mars and even if there is, the average surface temperature is minus fifty-eight degrees. I also learned the following: no human has ever been to Mars.
And that got me thinking: if I get there first, I can make the rules! And the first rule would be that if you want to stick mini-marshmallows up your nose, that's your business. Also, I'd offer ice-skating lessons. Might as well make use of the cold weather.
Since that day, I've been carefully planning my space mission, and if I say so myself, it is going pretty well!
I pulled my Mars Space Mission notebook from my bookshelf and flipped it open to the page called "Finance," which is all the stuff about money. I figured I would need about seven million dollars to rent a rocket ship to get me to Mars (which is at least thirty-four million miles away, did you know that?), and after digging through my pockets from yesterday, I now had ... eight dollars and fifty-three cents. So I was on track.
Now it was time for the next order of business: my space outfits. I started rummaging through my clothes (in addition to being freezing cold, Mars sometimes also gets really hot, so I concluded that the answer was layering). Soon, though, my thoughts returned to the flying peas.
What was that weird vision thing that happened in the kitchen? Had I been remembering something? I figured I would remember flying peas if I had seen them before. Maybe it was something I had dreamed about? But I didn't recall any dreams about peas, or any vegetable, for that matter. Especially ones flying through the air.
I shook my head hard, willing my thoughts away. Forget it, I instructed myself. It was probably a daydream. A really weird, totally random daydream about flying peas. It could happen.
Once I told myself that, I didn't think about the peas at all, like ever again.
Until lunchtime the next day.CHAPTER 3
Rrrrrrrrrrring! The Monday lunch bell snapped me out of my spelling-test stupor. Third grade seemed to be all about spelling, and I would like to know why I'll ever need to know how to spell wrinkle, or quotient, or camPAIGN, which I believe is a word you would use to describe my older brother. Personally, I think it is much more important to learn to spell words like disgusting and regurgitation, which are much more useful, especially when The Baby is around. The point is, it was now time to eat.
"Come on, Hazy Bloom. Let's get in line. The first dippers are the freshest." Elizabeth grabbed my hand and steered me toward the cafeteria.
Elizabeth Almeida is my BFSB, which stands for "best friend since birth," because, that's right, we met right after we were born — well, not like that minute because we were busy crying and dealing with the issue of being birthed and stuff — but very soon after, when both our moms took a Mommy and Me yoga class together at the Y (we were the "me's"). During the class, our moms found out they lived one street away from each other. They became great friends, and Elizabeth and I did, too. Of course, Elizabeth and I don't remember meeting back then or going to the yoga class at all, but we're pretty sure it's the reason we can both do excellent backbends.
Besides yoga, Elizabeth and I have a lot in common. We both hate puppets. We both have a z in our name. We both wish we had braces. And we both love pizza dippers. Also, Elizabeth is the only person who always calls me Hazy Bloom, which is my preferred version of my name. So there's that.
Elizabeth and I got our dippers and walked over to our table. Well, it's not our table like we own it, but we sit there every day so it's kind of the same. The twins, Lila and Derrick, were already there. As usual, they were wearing sports-team jerseys. Lila's was really bright orange, and Derrick's was really bright green, so together they really made my eyes hurt. It is just my opinion, but I believe that as twins, they have a responsibility to color coordinate, at least if they're going to sit side by side. Anyway, they were chatting about the Spring Spectacular, the big school carnival coming up next week.
"I've been practicing my face-painting designs," Lila was saying. "So far I can draw a butterfly, a rose, and a shooting star."
"What about a mouse?" Derrick asked.
Lila looked at her brother. "Who'd want a mouse painted on their face?"
"Someone who likes animals, like me. That's why I signed up for the petting zoo. There's going to be sheep, miniature goats, ducks, I think a pig, some chickens ..."
The Spring Spectacular was the most fun event of the whole school year, mainly because the students were in charge, which is how school should be all the time. The fifth graders picked the theme (this year it was "Flower Power," for spring), the fourth graders chose the games and rides, and the third graders (that's us, in case you forgot) would each get to volunteer at a carnival station. We could choose from: face painting (Lila), games (Anthony, Deacon, and May), petting zoo (Derrick and Zoe), raffle (Shelby), tickets (Joanna), bake sale (Elizabeth and me!), dunk tank (Caleb), or cleanup crew (no one). Because nobody chose cleanup crew, Mrs. Agnes said she'd have to choose somebody "at a later date," which we all knew meant if someone got in trouble between now and the day of the carnival, that person would end up being on the cleanup crew.
"Oh, and a baby llama!" Derrick was still going on about the petting zoo.
"Can we please stop talking about farm animals while we're eating?" Lila said. "My sandwich is starting to smell like manure" (not a spelling word, but totally should be because it is hilarious, for real live).
"Let's talk about the bake sale," Elizabeth suggested. "This year there's going to be a cupcake contest, and guess what? The winners get a free week at Camp Showbiz! Seriously, a free week at theater camp!"
So the thing is, Elizabeth likes to perform. A lot. She's constantly making up skits and casting herself in the lead, and then I end up playing the lamp or the pumpkin or the howling wind (which, let me tell you, is not as easy as it sounds). I'd like to ask Elizabeth why I can't ever be just a plain old person and not some dumb thing in the background, but I know why. It's because Elizabeth is always the star. I've learned not to argue with that.
Anyway, it would be a dream come true for her to win the free week at theater camp, especially because her mom told her the camp was too expensive and she couldn't go otherwise. I'd personally rather go to space camp, but since my best friend really wanted this, I was all in. Also, I'm not aware of any space camps in Denver that prepare you for Mars. The point is, we had big plans to win the contest.
"Hazy Bloom and I are going to make a ginormous cupcake tower," Elizabeth was explaining.
"Gi-normous," I repeated just to get the point across.
"What's a cupcake tower?" asked Lila.
"You don't know?" I said. Then I stopped because I had no idea either.
Elizabeth took over, using animated hand movements to demonstrate. "Okay, a cupcake tower is when you have a bunch of round trays with little stands underneath, and then you stack the trays on top of each other. Then you put cupcakes all around each one." She gestured triumphantly to her imaginary creation. "Ta-da! A cupcake tower." She ended with a bow. (See? Born for the stage!)
Derrick said, "Cool! How many trays will there be?"
I jumped in. "A lot. Like fifty."
"Well, like six," Elizabeth said.
"Exactly," I said.
Do you see how well we work together? It's no wonder we're best friends. We were totally going to win that free week at theater camp. Maybe we'll do a play about astronauts.
"Hey," I said. "We should decorate the cupcakes with little flowers for spring."
"That's what I was thinking!" Elizabeth exclaimed. I could tell she felt good about our plan. I leaned over to take a cheesy, pizza-dipper-y bite, and that's when I saw something annoying at the other end of the table. That something was Luke.
Luke has been in my class since kindergarten and my nickname for him is Mapefrl, which I know is not easy to say but cannot be changed because it stands for "most annoying person ever, for real live." I don't know if he tries to be annoying or if being annoying simply comes naturally, but the point is, he must be taking lessons from my brother. Those two have a lot in common.
Anyway, I normally wouldn't be paying attention to Mapefrl, but at that moment, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him grab some food off his lunch tray and throw it at me. I couldn't tell what it was, but something about it seemed oddly familiar. Anyway, whatever he threw missed me completely, but his total rudeness made Elizabeth mad, so she stood up and flung a pizza dipper right back at him. Unfortunately, it didn't get Mapefrl, but it smushed right into Shelby's shoulder.
Between you and me, pizza dippers smushed all over someone's shoulder suddenly don't look very tasty. Anyway, Shelby grabbed some crackers and threw those across the table. Then Lila threw her jelly sandwich. Derrick threw string cheese. All of a sudden, there were cookies, chocolate milk, pickles, and yogurt being flung all over the cafeteria, including a bagel that would have gotten me in the forehead, but I dodged it just in time. It was a full-on food fight. I watched as Mapefrl gleefully lobbed handfuls of food, cackling away. And that's when I noticed what he was throwing, what he'd been throwing all along, and specifically, what had started the entire food fight.
It was peas. Flying peas.
I thought about yesterday and the prickles and goose bumps and the weird vision thingy I saw in front of the fridge. All of a sudden, I realized what it was I had seen. I saw this crazy food fight.
The day before it happened.CHAPTER 4
Mapefrl was put on the cleanup crew for the carnival. Mrs. Agnes said it was a consequence of starting the food fight. The rest of us had a consequence, too, which was to do extra spelling homework, which now included the word consequence. I probably would have been more annoyed about the homework, except I was currently freaking out about the flying peas. It was practically impossible (spelling word) to concentrate (spelling word) on anything else for the rest of the day, so when the dismissal bell finally rang, I sprinted over to Elizabeth in about one second flat.
"Okay, for real live, can I tell you something one thousand percent weird?" I said.
Elizabeth looked at me. "Is it about hairballs or potato salad?"
"It is not," I promised.
In case you ever need to have a conversation with Elizabeth, you should know that hairballs and potato salad are the two things she does not like to talk about, ever. I don't know why it's those two particular things but the point is, I like potato salad so don't worry about bringing it up to me. Also, hairballs should totally be a spelling word. It comes up a lot more than campaign.
I told Elizabeth about the flying peas, how I saw them in my head yesterday in the kitchen, and then today how I saw the same thing for real live in the cafeteria, and how it was all just totally bananas, which come to think of it, were pretty much the only food that wasn't involved in the whole ordeal (spelling word).
After I was done talking, Elizabeth looked at me like I had a tree growing out of my ear. "Okay, Hazy Bloom. Let me get this straight. Yesterday in your head you saw a bunch of peas flying through the air —"
Excerpted from Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow Power by Jennifer Hamburg. Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Hamburg. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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