From Cartoon Network's hit show Clarence
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...
...is not how this book begins. But it does talk about pizza poppers, trampolines, trolls, and mudslides. Join Clarence, Jeff, and Sumo in their most daring setting yet: a book of short stories. Does Clarence turn into a werewolf? Will Sumo find the perfect wig? Only time will tell if this book becomes a classic, but it's got five times as many chickens as any Shakespeare play.
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Read an Excerpt
A New Way to Walk
Clarence, Sumo, and Jeff walked home from Belson’s house. Belson lived far away, so it was a really, really long walk.
“We’ve been walking forever,” Sumo said with a sigh.
Clarence kicked a loose pebble into the gutter. “I know, right? Walking is always the same. This foot, that foot. This foot, that foot. Even running is just walking but faster.”
“We could skip home. That’s different,” Jeff said, hopping down the sidewalk. Clarence and Sumo skipped with him for a few steps and then stopped.
“I only skip when I’m in a magical forest,” Clarence announced. “But what if we found a new way to walk? Like this!” First, Clarence walked pigeon-toed. Then he walked on his tippy-toes. Then he took giant steps. Then he took a million tiny steps. He even walked backward.
Sumo bounced down the street next to him, monkey-style. “Nah, I feel like these walks have all been done before. Maybe we should try walking on our hands?”
Clarence saw Mr. Reese sitting in an old chair on the lawn of his apartment building. He sat next to a sign that read YARD SALE! “Hey, you guys! Maybe Mr. Reese has something to make walking more fun.”
Clarence, Sumo, and Jeff ran up the driveway. The yard was full of all kinds of things with price tags on them. There was one of those exercise bikes with handles that move back and forth, a workout bench with safety bars so people can’t drop weights on their faces, brand-new running shoes with gold laces, and a shriveled basketball.
Mr. Reese was surprised to see them. He jumped up from his rickety chair. “Oh hello, boys. Can I interest you in some brand-new exercise equipment?”
“Is this brand-new?” Sumo asked as he pulled a wig out of a box. The wig looked like it could fit Mr. Reese.
“How’d that get in there? That’s not for sale!” Mr. Reese grabbed the wig and hid it behind his back.
Clarence looked around at all the junk in the yard. Then he saw a really big trampoline with two pairs of roller skates next to it. The trampoline had a safety net around its edge so no one could fall out.
Clarence smiled. “I think I just found a new way to walk!”
He ran over to Mr. Reese. “Mr. Reese, how much for the roller skates AND the trampoline?”
Mr. Reese shifted his balance from one foot to the other. “Well, let’s see. Those are some quality products. How about one whole dollar?”
“Throw in the wig and you got yourself a deal,” said Sumo.
Mr. Reese frowned. “Sumo, I told you. The wig isn’t for sale. It has . . . sentimental value.”
Sumo shrugged his shoulders. “Fine! Pay the man.”
Jeff took a crisp dollar bill out of his pocket and gave it to Mr. Reese. Mr. Reese was excited. He ran inside the house shouting, “My first sale! Woo-hoo!”
Clarence got to work on his invention right away. He grabbed a roller skate, put it on the leg of the trampoline, and tied the laces as tight as he could. He even used double knots.
Then he did the same on the other three legs. It looked like the trampoline was wearing shoes. In a few minutes, Clarence’s creation was finished. “Welcome aboard my New Way of Walking Machine!”
Jeff was hesitant. “Okay, I guess we should give it a whirl,” he said as he climbed inside the trampoline’s safety net. Sumo climbed over the net, launched onto the trampoline, and started bouncing up and down immediately. “I love it! This is the best thing since illegal fireworks!”
Clarence gave the trampoline a big push down the driveway, then jumped aboard. “Here we go!”
He zipped the safety net so they couldn’t fall out. The trampoline rolled down Mr. Reese’s driveway, picking up speed fast!
Clarence and Sumo bounced as high as they could. “This is awesome,” Sumo yelled, flying higher and higher. It was like he was on the moon! Clarence bounced up next to him. “Look at me, I’m air-walking!” he shouted, kicking his feet like he was running in midair.
Jeff held on tight to the safety net as the trampoline zoomed toward the street. “Aggghghghhhhhhhhh! Is there a way to steer this thing?”
“Lean left!” yelled Sumo.
Clarence, Sumo, and Jeff leaned left. The trampoline turned out of the driveway and rolled down the sidewalk.
Clarence did a belly flop. “Come on, Jeff! Jump!”
“Here I goooooo!” Jeff let go and hopped up and down on the trampoline. But he couldn’t keep his balance. “Woaaaahhhhh! Everything’s moving! Outside of me! And inside!” Jeff bounced around like a dented Ping-Pong ball.
Sumo did a double backflip. “Good idea! Let’s try to make ourselves throw up!”
Sumo and Clarence ran in circles on the trampoline and the whole thing started to spin. Now they were spinning while they were rolling and bouncing.
“It’s like all the best carnival rides in one!” Clarence yelled to the sky.
The trampoline zoomed down the sidewalk, faster and faster. It zoomed past the playground. It zoomed past Clarence’s mom’s hair salon. Then the fire department, the library, and the pet store. It zoomed right out of Aberdale!
The pavement at the edge of town ended, and the trampoline zipped down a dirt road. Jeff pointed ahead. “We’re headed for the Old Mill Duck Pond!”
“Uh-oh! I think I forgot to invent one thing,” yelled Clarence, his hair flapping in the wind.
“What’s that?” Sumo screamed.
“Aggghghghghghh!” they all screamed as the trampoline rolled down a huge hill and onto a dock. The trampoline hit the posts at the end and bounced them right into the pond! Ducks flew all over. Quack! Quack!
Clarence, Sumo, and Jeff swam to shore and got out of the water. They were soaked!
“That was so fun!” screamed Jeff. “I felt like I was a junior astronaut at space camp!”
Sumo dumped water out of his sneakers. “Yeah, I didn’t even miss not getting to throw up! We should find even more new ways to walk.”
Then Clarence looked up the hill, toward home. Aberdale was far, far away. It was just a tiny speck on the horizon. “Don’t worry, Sumo! I think we have lots of time to do that.”
Clarence, Sumo, and Jeff looked at the road ahead and laughed. Then they started the long walk home.