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—School Library Journal --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
My stomach lurched as I thought of Daddy inside that mountain. Usually I liked glancing across the valley, knowing that he was right there, busy at work. “Like a worker ant in an anthill,” he often joked. But that day the mountain didn’t seem friendly and forgiving: it loomed threatening and angry against the skyline.
My friend Emily came to stand beside me. She squeezed my hand and said, “Don’t worry, Mary. I’m sure he’s okay.” Emily’s father worked the night shift so she was spared the worry. “You know it always works out,” she said. I nodded, but in my head I knew that it hadn’t worked out for Matthew and Aaron O’Malley. A day after the siren went off last year, we found out that they were fatherless. Their daddy and uncle lay buried under a pile of rocks. A week after the siren went off, there was a double funeral, and two weeks later the remaining O’Malleys moved away.
As the siren blurted out its bad news over and over and over again, I scanned the pale, scared faces of my classmates and wondered, Is it your uncle? Is it your brother? I didn’t let myself put words to the real question that was rolling through my mind. Is it my father?
Finally the siren stopped. After a few minutes of silence, Miss Sullivan, white-faced and teary-eyed, gathered us up and ushered us back into school. “Let’s try to keep busy, shall we?” she said as she started us on our regular afternoon lessons. Although we all went obediently through the motions, no one had thoughts of anything but what was happening in the mine across the valley.
Finally it was time to go home. Miss Sullivan helped us with our coats and sent us quickly out the door. I didn’t even bother waiting for my friends. Instead I flew down the hill toward home, my feet pounding the wooden sidewalk. When I reached my own block I slowed down, not wanting to rush into any bad news that might be waiting for me.
Deliberately, I opened the gate. Deliberately—one, two, three, four—I climbed the steps of the porch. I paused for a minute at the front door, took a deep breath, and walked inside. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00HXYHVOO
- Publisher : Charlesbridge; New edition (1 February 2013)
- Language : English
- File size : 5391 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 114 pages
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