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|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
R.C. Nason, a professional artist for more than 20 years, is the recipient of the Hans Christian Anderson Award for Thumbelina. He has worked with companies such as Harper Collins, Hallmark, 20th Century Fox and Sony, to name but a few.
Read an Excerpt
“What’s that?” I said, directing our attention to a sliver
of light coming from behind a bookcase. Moving closer, we
scanned the large, built-in bookcase.
“Shut your flashlights off!” Zippy ordered.
One by one, our flashlights winked off. Moving in
closer, we discovered there was a light source coming
from behind the bookcase itself. Before we could register
the discovery before us, a rustling sound erupted from the
“Did you hear that?” Zippy said.
The rustling sound was undeniable, because everybody
had heard it this time.
“See, I told you!” Jaq said in a loud whisper. “What the
heck is it?”
Quickly rising from our huddle in front of the bookcase,
Gary and Zippy entered the hallway to investigate. Not
to be left behind, Jaq latched onto my arm and we slowly
followed behind them. With each step, the old wooden
floor creaked from our combined weight, and the shadows
of the room seemed to dance in our imagination. I was
not sure if it was the fear of this unknown sound rushing
through me, but I could feel my senses begin to heighten.
The dusty smell of the living room intensified, and I could
feel my heart beating into my fingertips.
My eyes focused into the long hallway, where a light
from under a mysterious door bled into the soupy darkness
before us. Gary and Zippy were nodding back and forth to
each other to see who wanted to go first. Of course, each
thought the other should proceed, but when a shadow
passed in front of the light, everyone stiffened with fear.
“Someone’s here!” Zippy whispered in a panic-filled
rush of adrenalin.
As we turned to make a run for it, a rock suddenly
shattered the living room window into a million pieces.
Shards of broken glass fell to the hardwood floor like a
tipped-over box of Rice Krispies.
Jimmy’s face popped into the open window frame, filled
with undeniable terror.
The rumble of the old pickup grew louder as it pulled
into the driveway.
“HIDE? RUN!” Gary ordered as he raced out of the
hallway and dove through the open window, followed
quickly by Jaq and Zippy. I went back for Old Man
Sheesley’s notebook about our baseball games. I wanted
to find out what he’d written about us, but when I dashed
around the edge of the couch, I ran right into a side table
and went down hard. The leather notebook slid from my
hands and pages flew into the air like confetti. Looking up,
I saw the doorknob of the back door beginning to turn. I
was trapped. Trapped like a rat in a cage with no way out.
Table of Contents
The Death of the Great Pirate - 1
Barataria Bay - 5
Summer Reading - 8
The Fort - 16
Flippity-Flappity - 22
A Closer Look - 30
The Meaning - 38
X Marks the Spot - 44
The Mystery Box - 52
Our Faded Glory - 58
The Sky Is Falling - 66
Busted - 72
An Empty Vessel - 78
Playyyy Ball - 83
Don’t Stop Believing - 92
The Caddy - 98
Shattered Glass - 110
Dripping with Blood - 119
A Different Man - 127
The Secret Room - 134
Stowaways - 146
Running Like the Wind - 154
A Bridge Too Far - 163
The Great Fall(s) - 171
The Betrayal - 177
Trapped - 182
The Long and Winding Road Home - 190
Returning - 195
The Hunt - 203
A Sticky Situation - 210
The Cooties - 219
One Last Try - 224
A Game to Remember - 232
Making Contact - 239
A Final Word - 249
About the Author - 255
About the Illustrator - 256