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www.zonderkidz.com Sophie and the Scoundrels Copyright 2005 by Nancy Rue This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are products of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rue, Nancy N.
Sophie and the scoundrels / Nancy Rue.
Summary: Worried that her parents are breaking up, Sophie gets lost in an imaginary world again as she and her friends transform Fiona's tree house into a space station as a school science project, despite sabotage and jealousies.
ISBN 0-310-70758-7 (softcover)
[1. Space stationsFiction. 2. Science projectsFiction. 3. Family problemsFiction. 4. Best friendsFiction. 5. Friendship. 6. ImaginationFiction. 7. Christian lifeFiction.] I. Title. II.
PZ7.R88515 Sj 2005
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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or transmitted in any form or by any meanselectronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any otherexcept for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
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Published in association with the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
Photography: Synergy Photographic/Brad Lampe Illustrations: Grace Chen Design and Illustration Art direction/design: Michelle Lenger Interior design: Susan Ambs Interior composition: Pamela J. L. Eicher Printed in the United States of America
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So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
Sunl ight hit Sophi e
La Croix smack in the eyes as she and her dad stepped from the NASA building.
Solar rays, Sophie corrected herself. If she was going to make a movie about outer space, she was going to have to start thinking more scientifically.
Her dad grabbed her elbowjust before she stepped off the curb into the employees' parking lot.
'Let me at least get you to the car before you go off into La-La Land,' Daddy said.
Sophie gave him her wispy smile. Not because he was right about La-La Land.
Her daydreams were much more sophisticated than that. She grinned because he was grinning, instead of scolding her for not paying attention to her surroundings,
the way he used to do.
'Sorry,' Sophie said. 'Did I almost get run over?'
'Not this time,' Daddy said. He imitated her high-pitched voice,
but that was okay, too. His eyes were doing the good kind of teasing.
Sophie hoisted her pretty-skinny, short self up into Daddy's black Chevrolet pickup that he called the Space Mobile and whipped the light brown strands of her down-to-the-shoulders hair off her face.
I'm going to have to wear it in a braid if I'm going to play an astronaut in the movie, she thought. You can't have a bunch of hair flying around in your space helmet.
Did they call them helmets? Would hair actually fly around with that gravity thing they were talking about?
Sophie sighed as she adjusted her glasses. There was so much she was going to have to find out.
'All right, dish, Soph,' Daddy said. 'Your mind's going about nine hundred miles an hour.'
'No, the speed of lightwhich is faster than anything.'
Daddy arched a dark eyebrow over his sunglasses as he passed through the NASA gate. 'Somebody was paying attention.'
'Okay, so what does NASA stand for again?' Sophie said.
'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'
'Oh.' Sophia spun that out in her head. 'Then it should be NAASA.'
Daddy shook his head. 'That would sound like a sheep.
'What's 'aeronautics'?' She knew she could ask her best friend,
Fiona, who knew what every word in life meant, but there was no time to waste. There was a film to be made.
'It's anything that has to do with making and flying aircraft,'
Sophie decided she and the Corn Flakes would probably stick to the space part, which had real possibilities.
'Anything else you need to know for your report?' Daddy said.
'Your report. You knowKids Go to Work with Dads Day.
Don't you have to write up something for school?'
'Oh,' Sophie said. 'Yeah.'
Daddy gave her a sideways glance. 'Don't think I don't know what's going on in there,' he said. He tapped her lightly on the forehead. 'You can make your movie. Matter of fact, I WANT you to so you won't leave the planet when you're supposed to be doing your schoolwork.'
Sophie nodded. The only reason he had given her the video camera was so she would spin out her dreams on film instead of letting them draw her right out the window when she was in class.
'Can I trust you to do your report as soon as you get home,
without my having to check it?'
'No,' Sophie said. 'You better check it.'
Dad chortled. That was the way Fiona always described it when Sophie's dad laughed.
Yeah, Fiona was definitely good with words. Sophie wanted to get her started writing the script right away. And Maggie would need plenty of time to work on costumes. And Kitty had to get the graphics going
'Earth to Sophie.' Daddy landed the truck in the driveway, and Sophie reentered the atmosphere.
'The report. By nineteen hundred hours.'
Sophie did a quick calculation in her head. 'Seven o'clock,' she said.
'Roger,' Daddy said.
'Over and out.'
Sophie tried to keep a very scientific face on as she ran into the house,
headed for the stairs. If she didn't stay completely focused, nineteen hundred hours was going to come and goand so would the video camera. 'Hi, Mama, how are you?' Sophie's mom sarcastically said from the kitchen doorway. 'Let me tell you about my day.'
Sophie turned around, hand tight on the banister. Mama's brown-like-Sophie's eyes were shining at her, right out of the halo of her curly frosted hair. She looked impishthe way people often said Sophie herself did.
'Hi, Mama,' Sophie said. She edged up another step. 'I'll tell you all about it later. I have to get my report done.'
'Sorry, Mama,' Daddy said from behind Sophie's mom. 'She has her orders.'
Sophie's hand got even tighter on the banister as she watched the happy elf go back inside her mother, to be replaced by a stiff face.
'I see,' she said. 'You go on then, Dream Girl.'
And then Mama turned back to the kitchen without even looking at Daddy.
Sophie hurried up the steps so she wouldn't have to hear the silence that was going to freeze up the whole kitchen. Every time Mama and Daddy were in the same room lately they turned into popsicles. It had been way back before Thanksgiving that she'd last heard them laugh together, and this was January. Sophie closed her bedroom door and headed for her bed with the purple bedspreadthe best place for thinking in the whole entire galaxy. As soon as Daddy looked over her paper, she would have the all-clear to dream the dreams that had to come before Corn Flakes ProductionsSophie, Fiona, Kitty, and Maggiecould start on the film.
She sighed happily to herself as she pulled out her notebook,
selected the blue-green gel pena very aeronautical color, she thoughtand went to work.
At least it was Mr. Denton, the language arts teacher, she was writing for. He liked it when she wrote about things just the way she saw them.