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On Thin Ice

On Thin Ice

by Michael Northrop


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on July 30, 2019

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545495905
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of TombQuest, an epic book and game adventure series featuring the magic of ancient Egypt. He is also the author of Trapped, an Indie Next List selection, and Plunked, a New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing selection and an NPR Backseat Book Club pick. An editor at Sports Illustrated Kids for many years, he now writes full-time from his home in New York City. Learn more at

Read an Excerpt

I drop my tray on the round, empty table in front of me. It clatters loudly. It doesn't matter. The volume in the cafeteria is at jet-engine level. Everyone is talking, everyone is joking. And anyone who was going to stare at me is already doing it.

I sit down alone. Everyone says we're never going to use most of what we learn in school. But some of it's important. Right now I'm thinking about math. I'm thinking about addition and subtraction all at once. I'm thinking about how everything you subtract adds up.

When Maps left our table last year, there were still three of us: Nephi, Danny, and me. We didn't even take it that personally. We all knew Maps was different. He was an instant star on the middle school teams. He had teammates to talk to and games to plan. And even when Nephi made his move to the makers' table, there was still Danny. There was still someone left. They were never leaving me alone. It was easier for me and, honestly, I think it was easier for them too.

They're not bad guys. At least I never used to think so. We all knew the deal: Things change. New classes, new teams, new schedules, and so yeah, sometimes that's going to add up to new friends and new tables. It was almost like a game of musical chairs: one less player each time. You just start up again with whoever is left.

But now Danny is gone. Subtract one, like every time before. But this time it leaves me with zero. Game over: not enough players.

Danny didn't do anything different than the others. He just did it last. He was my last friend from before, but now he has slipped away like a fish with no one to net it. I'm alone. It happened piece by piece and then all at once. Now, it's down to me and what's left of this sad, soggy piece of pizza. The table is big and round and white, like the beam of a spotlight. Like the number zero.

Welcome to the rest of my life, I think.

I hate this cafeteria.

And it hates me back.