King's Courage (Blast to the Past Series #4)

King's Courage (Blast to the Past Series #4)

King's Courage (Blast to the Past Series #4)

King's Courage (Blast to the Past Series #4)


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The Blast to the Past gang gets the chance to impact civil rights when they meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and give him their vote of confidence in this fourth book in the Blast to the Past series.

It’s another exciting Monday for Abigail, Zack, Jacob, and Bo—they are going to jump back to the past to meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! The kids need to convince Dr. King not to get discouraged and to lead one of his famous voting rights marches. And they’ve got to do it with the twins’ baby brother, Gabe, in tow!

This mission will be more challenging—and more surprising—than any that they’ve faced so far. Luckily, they’ll get some help from two very special people...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416912699
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 01/01/2006
Series: Blast to the Past , #4
Edition description: Original
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.31(d)
Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

About the Author

Stacia Deutsch is the author of more than fifty children’s books, including the eight-book, award-winning chapter book series Blast to the Past. She has also written the tween novel Mean Ghouls as well as books for the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and The Boxcar Children series. Stacia has been on the New York Times bestseller list for the novelizations of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Smurfs movies. For new releases and school visit information, visit

Rhody Cohon does all the research and editing for the Blast to the Past series. She has a master’s degree in computer engineering. Rhody lives with her family in Tuscon, Arizona.

David Thorn Wenzel has been part of the fantasy art movement since the 1970s when Middle Earth: The World of Tolkien Illustrated was released. He has continued to work on fantasy projects in the children’s book, trade book, and graphic novel markets throughout his career. Illustrations from his 1980s book, Kingdom of the Dwarfs as well as the cover art of The Hobbit, are in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art. Wenzel began his career working for Marvel and DC comics, working on The Avengers and Savage Sword of Conan. Other notable titles include the graphic novel of The Hobbit and The Wizard’s Tale. Over the course of his career, he has also illustrated numerous children’s books including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Book of Kringle: Legend of the North Pole, and The King of Little Things. David lives in Connecticut where his studio overlooks a picturesque landscape of green farm fields and a winding brook. His entire family is involved in the arts. His wife Janice is an artist and teacher, and their two sons, Brendan (They All Saw A Cat, Hello Hello, A Stone Sat Still) and Christopher, are both visual artists. Greg Wenzel, David’s brother, is an author and illustrator (Giant Dinosaurs of the Jurassic).

Read an Excerpt

King’s Courage
We were about to slip the cartridge into the back of the time-travel computer. Suddenly the classroom door swung open.

Jacob shoved the computer behind his back at sonic speed. I swear I heard a popping noise when his elbow broke the sound barrier. That’s how fast he moved.

“Jacob and Zack, are you in here?” Mrs. Osborne asked as she walked into the room. She was carrying their sleeping brother, Gabe, in her arms.

“Oh, good,” Mrs. Osborne said to her twin sons. “I found you. I need you to watch—” She paused when she saw me standing there. “Hi, Abigail” she said.

I’ve always liked Mrs. Osborne. Jacob and Zack live next door to me. We’ve known one another forever. I hang out at their house almost as often as at my own.

“Hey, Mrs. Osborne” I greeted her, with a casual nod of my head. I’m good at looking like nothing’s up, when something really is.

Mrs. Osborne smiled at me and turned to look at Bo. “I don’t know you,” she said to him. “What’s your name?”

Bo’s real name is Roberto Rodriguez. He’s the new kid at school. I like Bo. He’s supersmart. He reads a lot and remembers everything. But Bo is also really shy, especially around adults. I figured I’d better help him out.

“This is our friend Bo,” I told Mrs. Osborne.

“Hullo,” Bo mumbled, staring down at his shoelaces.

She tried asking Bo a few questions about his family and how he liked our school, but his answers were all one word. “Fine” or “Good.” Stuff like that.

“You do it, Abigail,” Bo leaned over and whispered. “Tell her about me.”

“Bo’s an only child who lives with his mom,” I informed her. “Once he gets to know you, he talks more.”

Mrs. Osborne thanked me for the information. Then she took a long, careful look around the classroom.

There we were: four third graders all alone in social studies room 305. No teacher. Backpacks neatly stacked in the corner. And Jacob, standing like a statue, with his hands held tightly behind his back.

If I were Mrs. Osborne, I’d be looking at us carefully too.

“I thought you had History Club with Mr. Caruthers after school on Mondays. Where is he?” Mrs. Osborne asked us, squinting her eyes slightly with curiosity. “What are you kids up to?”

“Nothing,” Jacob answered a little too quickly.

“This is our History Club meeting,” Zack explained. Zack wasn’t lying. Bo, Jacob, Zack, and I liked to call our time-travel adventures “History Club.” During History Club our social studies teacher, Mr. Caruthers, sends us on missions to visit famous people in American history.

Mr. C had invented a time-travel computer. The computer looked like a handheld video game with four red buttons and a large screen. Slipping a cartridge into the back took us to the past. Pulling out the cartridge brought us home again.

Our teacher had told us that American history was in danger. He’d showed us a little black book full of names. For some mysterious reason all the famous Americans in Mr. C’s book were quitting. They weren’t inventing, or speaking out, or fighting for what was right. They were giving up on their dreams!

Mr. C wanted more time to focus on his newest invention, so he asked the four of us to time-travel for him.

It was our job to prevent history from changing forever!

So far we’d been very successful on all our adventures. We’d managed to keep history on track—no small thing since the computer gave us only two hours to get the job done.

Seriously, if Mrs. Osborne had walked into the classroom two seconds later, there would have been a green glowing hole in the middle of the floor. All she would have seen were the tops of our heads as we jumped down through time.

“Who’s going to tell me what’s going on here?” Mrs. Osborne asked as she looked at each of us in turn.

First, she stared long and hard at her two sons.

The twins might have looked alike but they were very different. It was easy to tell them apart. Today Jacob was wearing slacks, a white collared shirt, and a belt.

Zack was the opposite. Shorts, T-shirt with a big food stain on the front, and tennis shoes so dirty they looked like they’d been run over by a garbage truck.

Their clothes were different and their personalities were different too. Zack worried a lot and quit everything he tried. And yet, he was also totally goofy and very funny. Jacob was more easygoing and adventurous. He never quit since he did only one thing—computers.

Their mom pinned her gaze on Jacob, who still had his hands locked around the computer, safely hidden behind his back. Afterward, she studied Zack. Zack’s lips were pressed so tightly together, they didn’t even look like lips. They looked like two flat pink worms. The twins weren’t talking.

Next, she looked at Bo, but saying “Hullo” had been hard enough for him. It was obvious he wasn’t telling her anything more.

So she turned to me. “Abigail?” Mrs. Osborne was looking for the truth.

I felt a teeny-weeny bit guilty that we were hiding something from her. “It’s—It’s just History Club,” I stammered. “Really.”

I think she believed me.

“Mom,” Zack asked as he moved to the side, away from Jacob and the computer, “what are you doing here?”

I guess I really had convinced her nothing unusual was going on, because Mrs. Osborne stopped surveying us suspiciously and answered, “Well, tomorrow is Election Day.”

Election Day is a special Tuesday in early November when people can vote for government officials and new laws. I knew that our school was a polling place—a place to vote. Last year my own parents voted in our gym during their lunchtime.

“I’m in charge of organizing the volunteers this year. We have a lot of volunteers coming to help out.” As Mrs. Osborne spoke, she shifted Baby Gabe up and rested him against her shoulder.

Even though Gabe was almost two years old, I still called him “Baby Gabe.”

Honestly, Baby Gabe was a destructive mini-monster. Nothing was safe if Gabe was around. But he was also superadorable. Today he was wearing the sweetest little outfit: blue pants and a bright red T-shirt.

“I’m sure I told you boys I’d be here after school to help get everything ready,” Mrs. Osborne said. “Don’t you remember? I asked you to watch Gabe for me while I set up.”

What! I nearly yelled the word, but held my tongue. It was a good thing because Jacob and Zack said it for me.

“What!” they cried at the same time.

Zack bit the inside of his lip. “I don’t remember you telling us!” He was so surprised his eyes were bulging out of his head like a cartoon character. “I’d have remembered a thing like that!”

“I’d have remembered too,” Jacob added. I could see the panic on his face.

The twins couldn’t babysit today! Mr. C was counting on us. According to his little black book, Martin Luther King Jr. was the next to give up and quit. We had to convince him to follow his dream.

“I—,” I began, thinking of a hundred reasons Jacob and Zack couldn’t watch their brother. But I didn’t get a chance to tell Mrs. Osborne even one good reason.

She checked her watch and said, “Oh, my goodness, I’m late.” And before I could get another word out of my mouth, Mrs. Osborne spread a blanket out on the classroom floor and gently lay Gabe on top of it.

“I’ll be back when club time is over,” she told us. “That’s exactly two hours from now. I’ll be in the gym if you need me.” She handed Gabe’s diaper bag to Zack. Like me, he wanted to argue, but couldn’t get the words out. Zack just stood there sputtering, “I—We—You—Me—”

“Gabe should sleep the whole time I’m gone. He won’t bother your club meeting. If for some reason he wakes up,” Mrs. Osborne continued, “give him the crackers and sippy cup of water from his bag. I’m counting on you kids to keep him out of trouble.”

With that, she left the room.

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