The Morgan Love Series is a chapter book series written for girls, 7 – 9 years old. The series provides moral lessons that will aid in character development. It will also help young girls develop their vocabulary, english and math skills as they read through the stories and complete the entertaining and educational exercises provided at the end of each chapter and in the back of the book.Morgan, wanting to fit in with the crowd, teases a large girl and a special ed kid at school. When she is caught she has to go to the principal’s office. When she finds out how much her teasing hurt her classmates she feels bad. Even though she feels bad, the principal disciplines her. At home things become weird when she tells her parents about what happened at school. They get upset with Morgan and start arguing with each other about the best way to punish Morgan. Once again Morgan feels bad and sees that going along with the crowd is not always a smart thing to do. Later, while playing together, Morgan and her cousins all share a secret wish. Morgan wanted to be prettier. Drake wanted to be taller. Sadie wanted longer hair.When Morgan goes to vacation bible school she learns that God made each person just the way they are for a good reason. As she thinks about this, the wishes she and her cousins made and even those other kids she laughed at, Morgan realizes that they are okay just the way they are and that to God they are all something special.
About the Author
STEPHANIE PERRY MOORE is the author of many Young Adult Christian fiction titles, including the Payton Skky series, the Laurel Shadrach series, the Perry Skky Jr. series, the Faith Thomas Novelzine series, the Carmen Browne series, and the Beta Gamma Pi series. She is also the co-editor for the impactful BibleZine, REAL. Mrs. Moore speaks with young people across the country, showing them how they can live life fully and do it God's way. Stephanie currently lives in the greater Atlanta area with her husband, Derrick, a former NFL player and author, and their three children. Visit her website at www.stephanieperrymoore.com.
Read an Excerpt
By Stephanie Perry Moore
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2011 Stephanie Perry Moore
All right reserved.
Chapter OneCruel World
"Our class has got this! We're gonna win Field Day! Come on!" Trey said, as he tried to cheer us on.
"Yeah," Billy said. "Look at Mr. Wade's class. We gotta go against them in the relay race. And look at that big girl over there. She looks like a hippopotamus!"
Everyone in my class started laughing but me. I didn't even know who they were talking about, but I knew deep inside of me that it was wrong to laugh at people. It's not fun being on the outside looking in, and two times this year I was on the outside. When my classmates laughed at me, it hurt worse than when I skinned my knee really bad in recess one day in my kindergarten class.
At the beginning of the school year, I got a lot of attention because they kept telling me that I was smart. But now it seemed like nobody cared that I was smart. And that doesn't feel so good. It shouldn't matter that no one thinks I'm special, but seeing that there are two other ways to get attention—I needed one of them.
For one, you had to be really cute, like my friend Brooke. A lot of people started paying extra attention to her. At first, she always wore her hair up in a pony tail, but lately it's been flowing down her back. And it's pretty too. A perm makes my hair pretty, but not like Brooke's. She has hair like a baby doll.
The other way people stand out in the class is if they make jokes and act funny so kids will laugh. But I'm not good at poking fun at people. It's not that I want to be such a good girl; I just don't think hurting anybody's feelings is the right thing to do.
Finally, it was my turn to run in the relay race. And, guess what? It was between me and the girl who was bigger than everybody else in the second grade. Her name is Tara.
Billy handed me the baton and shouted, "You'd better smoke her, Morgan!"
We took off running. Right away, Tara started breathing hard, and I just kept going. We had to run really far, and when I reached the finish line, Tara was nowhere in sight. Though I didn't want her to catch up with me, I hoped she was okay.
Both of our classes didn't even wait to see if she was all right. They just started cracking jokes about her until I didn't wanna hear anymore.
"Maybe if she let some air out of that balloon she could run faster," one boy said.
"Don't sit beside her at lunch. She'll eat her food and yours," another girl said.
They kept laughing at her as she finally made it to the finish line. The kids in Tara's class were really mad at her too. I didn't say anything and just moved along with my class.
"I'm so glad you beat that girl. If you had let that big girl beat you, we would never let you hear the end of it," Billy told me.
It was time to take a water break, and I saw Tara standing alone with tears in her eyes. I went over to her, wanting to say something nice.
"What?" she asked me. "You got some more jokes you wanna say to me? I'm standin' right here. So you don't have to talk behind my back."
"I wasn't makin' jokes about you," I said to her.
"You were laughin', and that's just the same. You think I'm happy about my size? I know I'm the biggest girl in second grade. I don't need kids laughin' about it. It's not even my fault."
"What do you mean?"
"At home it's just my mom, my older sister, and me. My mom works late so she's never there when we get out of school. She brings home fast food, and I'm eating at ten o'clock every night. By that time I'm starvin'. So I eat too fast, and I don't take time to digest my food. The doctor said eatin' late isn't a good idea. But when you haven't had much to eat all day, you take what you can get," Tara explained with a sad look in her eyes.
I really wanted her to know that I cared about her feelings, so I asked, "Have you tried exercising?"
"Sometimes I try. But when I do, people around me laugh like they're perfect and I'm not."
Tara was getting more and more upset. "Why are people always tryin' to pick on me? They need to leave me alone. Everyone has somethin' they need to work on. I think it's mostly their character." Then she shoved by me and walked to her class.
Just then, Brooke and Chanté came over to me.
"What did that big girl want?" asked Brooke.
"Don't call her that!" I snapped back.
"Well, she is a big girl," Brooke said, spreading her arms and making wide circles.
Very sadly, I said, "You guys made her cry."
"Well, she needs to lose some weight," Chanté said, with no sad feelings for Tara.
"What if she's tryin' to lose weight but it isn't working? What if she doesn't have healthy foods at home so she can eat right? How would you feel if you had people makin' fun of you all the time?"
"Why would people laugh at me?" asked Brooke. She added proudly, "I look good!"
I just shook my head and walked away. My two best buddies weren't listening to me at all. We had hurt someone's feelings and they didn't even care.
I wished I could take back all of the insults and jokes that Tara heard that day. But the only thing I had wanted was for me to be popular. We were all being mean by only caring about ourselves. Jesus wouldn't be pleased with how any of us were acting.
* * *
"If Alec is going to be my partner, then I'm not doing it," Trey said boldly. Miss Nelson was pairing us up for the three-legged race.
There were three other second grade classes, and our class was in the lead with the most points. We didn't lead by much, and two classes were trailing us close. If we didn't win the three-legged race and tug-of-war, then we would lose Field Day. We all had to work together if we wanted to win.
Right after Trey spoke up, Billy called out, "Me either. If he's in the three-legged race, then I'm not doing it."
"Same for me," Brooke said, as she stood by Trey. He smiled wider than if he was getting his teeth cleaned at the dentist.
Miss Nelson handed Alec the tie he was supposed to use in the race, but Alec threw it down. "No big deal. Everybody knows I'm the best athlete in this class. Win or lose without me—I don't care!"
Even though he said he didn't care, Alec sure looked like he was hurt. He was really upset. His voice was usually strong, but it didn't sound that way now. Alec started to walk off, but I stood in his way before he could go far.
"Wait! Alec, we need you," I pleaded.
Trey huffed and said, "No, we don't."
"Alec, where are you going?" Miss Nelson called out, as he dashed around me and took off.
Walking away from our class, Alec hollered back, "I'm not playin' with them!"
"Get back here, young man," Miss Nelson said to him. But he just sat down on a nearby concrete stump.
When Miss Nelson went over to talk to Alec, I turned and asked Trey, Brooke, and Billy, "What's wrong with y'all?"
"Don't even start, Morgan. That boy pushed us around for months. The last thing I wanna do is be his friend or be tied up next to him. He might trip me and make me fall just for the fun of it," said Trey.
I said, "But you gotta talk to him."
"I don't gotta do anything."
But I wasn't ready to give up, so I tried again. "I'm sure if you talked to him, you'd see."
"See what?" he asked.
Ugh! I just blew out real hard, rolled my eyes, and folded my arms. There was so much more I knew about Alec than anybody else, but my parents wouldn't like it if I ever said anything. I knew that Alec's dad had lost his job and that made him turn into a really mean person. So, I felt bad for Alec. Their dad had screamed and yelled at Alec and his brother so much that they turned around and were mean to other people.
Because I understood why Alec had acted the way he did, I wasn't mad at him anymore like the rest of them. And if Trey knew, he'd stop being mad too. Besides, the other kids in my class wouldn't be upset with Alec if Trey changed his mind about all this. I wanted all the meanness to stop. I wanted us to have some peace as a class. But I didn't know how to make that happen. I didn't know how to help us all be friends. This was so hard.
"Why do you keep takin' up for him, Morgan?" Billy asked. "You must like him or somethin'."
"I don't like boys ... not like that anyway." I shook my head at Billy's crazy idea.
Trey looked over at Brooke, and she smiled. I didn't know what was going on, but Brooke and I needed to talk. Everything Trey said, she went along with. She really had no excuse for being mad at Alec. I forgave her, and she should forgive him. Besides, Alec was mostly mean and stuff to the boys more than the girls.
"Brooke, can I talk to you?" I asked.
"No," Trey answered for her. "She's gonna be my partner in the three-legged race."
I grabbed her hand real tight and said, "Trey, you be Billy's partner."
"Ouch! Morgan, that hurt," Brooke said. I let go of her hand when we were away from the others.
"What's goin' on with you, Brooke?"
"What do you mean? I don't like Alec, and you shouldn't either. He didn't even tell Trey he was sorry."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, Trey said he didn't."
"Alec needs friends too, Brooke."
"Alec should've thought of that before he was mean to everybody."
"I forgave you, and you need to forgive somebody else. Think for yourself, and stop doin' what other people want you to do."
"Morgan, I'm glad we're friends again, but you want me to think like you. You want me to be just like you. You're talkin' about me following Trey but you want me to follow you. I don't wanna be Alec's friend right now, and that's my choice. He wasn't a nice person, and I'm not going to be nice to him because you want me to. Okay? Now the race is about to start. Are you going to be my partner so we can go after the other team and win the race?"
I nodded and followed her over to where everyone was getting ready for the race to take place. When I looked over at Alec, he had his head down. I was still determined to find a way to make him feel like part of our class. Yes, he'd been mean, but there was a reason. Most of the class was just being rough on him, and they needed to stop. After all, we were going to the third grade soon and we needed to start growing up a little more.
When I thought, what would Jesus do? I knew the answer right away. Bottom line: I was not going to give up on Alec. And if Jesus were here in person, He would help us all to act nice toward each other. So since I was here, I had to be like Him.
* * *
Since we were having so much trouble getting along with each other, we lost the three-legged race. Now our class was tied with Mr. Wade's class. The tug-of-war contest would crown the champions of Field Day.
There was a ten-minute break before the big event. Our class still wanted to win, so everyone huddled around so Trey could give us a pep talk. It wasn't my idea, but I went along with it.
"Okay, now. We need to get our act together, guys. We need our five strongest boys and our five toughest girls out on the rope. We gotta win for the class. We can do it! All we need to do is participate and pull together so we can win!"
Before he could finish telling us what to do, which was getting on my nerves because nobody made him class captain, Miss Nelson stepped into the middle of our group.
"Guys, you have one classmate who's sitting over there alone and wants to join in. The rule is that everybody is supposed to participate in at least one event, and Alec hasn't done one. Somebody had better go over there and talk to him, or the coach will disqualify our team."
Miss Nelson didn't even have to ask twice. I dashed right over to Alec. I didn't care what anyone else had to say or what they thought about it. But, as soon I got to him, he let me know that he didn't want to hear what I had to say.
"What do you want?" Alec said, turning his back to me.
I stepped over in front of him and said to his face, "Alec, we really need you so we can win."
"No, you don't. You're just sayin' that to make me feel better."
"No, really. Miss Nelson just said that everyone has to participate in at least one event or we can't win. I'm not makin' this up."
"But they don't want me, and I don't wanna be anywhere I'm not wanted."
"I've seen you and your brother playin' all kinds of games in the neighborhood. You know you're the bomb athlete, Alec. Why would you let someone tell you that you're not?"
"Because ... I deserve it! Okay?" he said, just before he got up to walk away from me.
But I wasn't going to let him get away with it. "No! Let's talk, Alec. Why do you have to run away and act like such a baby?"
He stopped and turned back to me. "Why do you care anyway, Morgan?"
"Because if they just knew everything that happened to you then they'd know why you acted the way you did."
"No way! I'm not tellin' them any of my business. Think about it, Morgan. My dad was goin' through a tough time, and he was hard on me. But he didn't come to school with me and treat people bad. I did that on my own. And if it wasn't for how I treated people, then maybe I'd have some friends. But maybe next year will be better. I'm tired of actin' tough and I wanna change. I wanna be nice so kids will like me."
He was making a lot of sense. Just because someone was rough on you didn't mean you had to be rough on other people. Maybe sitting over here alone had helped him to think about it.
"Have you told them that you're sorry?" I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders like he didn't know.
"What kind of answer is that?"
"I don't know. I tried to talk to them but they don't wanna talk to me. I probably said I'm sorry. Why?"
"You don't have to make anybody like you, Alec. But if you really wanna make friends, then be real. Talk to people. Haven't you been bored sittin' here by yourself watchin' Field Day all day by yourself and not havin' any fun?"
"Yeah. We could've won that three-legged race," Alec said with a grin.
"Okay, so can we do tug-of-war now, please?" I asked, just as I heard Miss Nelson calling both of us.
He smiled and said, "Cool."
We jogged over to the rest of the class. Miss Nelson put Alec and Trey at the back of the line. I was in front of Trey. Brooke was in front of me. Billy was in front of her. The rest of the kids, along with Chanté were closer to the front.
Waiting for the whistle to blow, we were holding on tight.
"You know I don't want you to play, right?" I heard Trey say to Alec.
"Yeah, but you like to win even more. And with me on the team, we can win."
The next thing we knew, the coach, Mr. Bradley, blew the whistle.
"Pull!" Billy yelled out. "We're goin' forward, pull back hard!"
"I don't care if we lose," Trey said, not really meaning it.
"Hey, man," Alec told him. "I'm sorry I hurt you. There was a lot goin' on at my house, and let's just say I've got a lot to learn. But I won't mess with you anymore, I promise. Besides, you showed me somethin'. I'm not the only tough guy at school."
Trey laughed at that. "Yeah. I was tired of you pushin' me around and tellin' me what to do."
"Well, let's just say I got the message," said Alec.
Finally, when the two of them stopped talking, I said, "Okay, so y'all need to pull! We wanna win!"
Then Trey and Alec both pulled as hard as they could. Everybody was trying really hard. We kept pulling until Mr. Wade's class crossed over the line—and we won! Hooray! Miss Nelson's second grade class was the Field Day champs, and all was right with the world!
After the game was over, Trey started talking to Alec, and everyone else did too. Alec, Trey, Brooke, Billy, Chanté, and I went to the cool-off area to get some snow cones. We had earned them, and we were ready to enjoy those flavored ice drinks. They're so yummy!
As the group stood around the table eating our icy reward, the special education class was finishing their last race. I hadn't spent a lot of time with kids who have special needs. But a few of the kids were standing around the table with us, waiting on their cool treats. Some of the kids in our group started laughing at this one kid named Tim. As he ran toward us, one of his knees bumped up against his other knee. The kids were making one joke after another about him.
"Freak!" Some girl called out that cruel word, as Tim made it to the snack table.
Excerpted from SOMETHING SPECIAL by Stephanie Perry Moore Copyright © 2011 by Stephanie Perry Moore. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1. Cruel WorldChapter 2. Trouble CostsChapter 3. My GirlChapter 4. Double TakeChapter 5. Keeping SecretsChapter 6. Make BelieveChapter 7. Pretty Sweet
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is ideal for children living in today's society. I've chosen this book for my 3rd grade daughter's book club and have since read it to my 13 year old son. I also read it to a 7th grade class, and they loved the story line. This book kept the kids engaged and gave them food for thought. Any christian based book for children should be read as long as it is in line with the Word of God.