Read Anyone But Me Online

Authors: Nancy E. Krulik

Anyone But Me

BOOK: Anyone But Me
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Table of Contents
 
 
 
for Ian B.
Text copyright © 2002 by Nancy Krulik. Illustrations copyright © 2002 by John and Wendy. All rights reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014. GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Published simultaneously in Canada. S.A.
 
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2002102949
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-15370-3

http://us.penguingroup.com

Chapter 1
“I’ve got it! I’ve got it!”
The football soared right towards Katie Carew. She ran towards the ball, reached out her hands and ...
oomph!
She missed it completely.
“You took your eyes off it again,” Katie’s best friend, Jeremy Fox, said, jogging up to her. He pushed his thin wire glasses higher up on his nose and ran his hands through his curly brown hair.
“I know,” Katie replied simply. What else could she say?
“Katie, I can’t believe you did that!” Kevin Camilleri shouted across the field. “You lost the whole game for us.”
Just then George Brennan came charging across the field. He had a big smile on his face. Katie groaned. Of course George was happy. His team had just won the game—thanks to Katie’s fumble!
“Don’t yell at the secret weapon,” George told Kevin.
“Secret weapon? Are you kidding?” Kevin asked. “Secret weapons help
win
games, George.”
“Exactly,” George agreed. “Katie’s the secret weapon for
our
team!”
Katie blinked her eyes tight. She didn’t want George to see her cry.
“Forget about George,” Jeremy whispered to Katie. “He can’t help being mean. He was just born that way.”
Katie tried to smile. “Could be,” she said.
The truth was, Katie wasn’t really sure why George was nasty to everyone in class 3A. Most new kids tried to make friends. Not George. He tried to make enemies.
Just then, Katie’s other best friend, Suzanne Lock, ran across the playground to them. “Let’s go play on the monkey bars for a while,” she suggested, pulling Katie and Jeremy away from George. “I’ll bet I can hang upside down longer than either of you.”
Katie stared at Suzanne. Her friend was wearing a skirt! “You’re going to turn upside down in
that?”
Katie asked.
“Sure!” Suzanne said, yanking her skirt up to her bellybutton.
Katie’s mouth flew open.
Jeremy blushed.
“It’s okay, you guys,” Suzanne laughed. “See, I’m wearing shorts under here. This way I can wear a skirt and still play.”
Katie laughed. Leave it to Suzanne to find a way to look pretty and still hang upside down on the jungle gym.
“Okay! Last one at the monkey bars is a rotten egg,” Katie called as she dashed away.
Suzanne and Jeremy took off after Katie. Katie held on to her lead, but not for long. Jeremy was the fastest runner in the class. He quickly pulled up next to Katie. Katie took a deep breath. She moved her feet faster than ever. But not fast enough. Jeremy zoomed into the lead.
Katie frowned. Well, at least she was ahead of Suzanne. Katie turned her head to see just how far behind Suzanne was and ...
Splat!
Katie stepped right into a big, wet puddle. Gushy brown mud splashed all over her. Katie stopped running and looked down at her jeans.
“Oh, no!” she cried out. “What a mess!”
Katie wasn’t kidding. She was a total mess. There were mud splatters all over her jeans. Her
favorite
jeans—the ones with the pink and blue flowers embroidered all over them.
If this were first grade, Katie could have changed into the clean clothes in her cubby. But Katie was in third grade now. Nobody in third grade kept a change of clothes at school. That was for babies. Katie was going to have to wear her mud-stained jeans for the whole rest of the day.
“Nice one, Carew,” George shouted across the yard. “Check it out, everybody! There’s a Mud Monster in the playground.”
George stuck his arms straight out and walked around the yard pretending to be Frankenstein. The other kids laughed.
Katie wanted to cry. This was the worst recess ever. She wished Mrs. Derkman would blow her whistle and make everyone go in to class. Even doing schoolwork had to be better than this!
“George, go away or I’m gonna tell,” Suzanne warned as she ran over to defend her friend.
A big smile formed on George’s chubby, round face. “Yeah, like I’m real scared,” he laughed while he pretended to tremble. “What’s Mrs.
Jerkman
going to do? Call my mommy?”
Katie and Suzanne stared at George in amazement. He’d just called their teacher, Mrs. Derkman, a mean name—and he hadn’t even whispered it! He didn’t seem scared to have the teacher phone his mom, either.
Before Katie or Suzanne could answer George, Mrs. Derkman blew her red whistle three times.
Phew! Recess was over. It was time to go back to class. Katie was very glad. She used her hands to wipe off some of the mud, and then ran to line up.
“You okay?” Jeremy whispered to Katie.
“I guess,” Katie replied.
“George is a creep. You know that.”
Katie nodded. But knowing that wasn’t going to make George stop calling her the Mud Monster. He’d probably go at it all day, unless ...
Katie couldn’t help wishing that someone else would do something embarrassing that afternoon. Then maybe George Brennan would tease that kid instead.
Chapter 2
“This is for you,” Kevin whispered to Katie. He handed her a note. It was written on light-blue paper and folded up really small. Katie knew it was from Suzanne. Her notes always looked like that.
“If you have an answer for her, send it yourself,” Kevin told Katie. “I don’t want to get into trouble again.”
Katie understood. Kevin sat at the desk right between Suzanne and Katie. He always wound up passing notes from girl to girl. Yesterday, Mrs. Derkman had caught Kevin passing a note from Katie to Suzanne. Kevin had had to write an apology note to Mrs. Derkman.
Katie unfolded the paper.
Do you want to come over after school?
the note read.
Katie scribbled her answer on the bottom of the note.
No, thanks. I have to go home and change. Maybe tomorrow?
Katie tossed the paper over Kevin’s head. It landed right on Suzanne’s desk. Katie crossed her fingers, hoping Mrs. Derkman didn’t see.
Katie lucked out. Mrs. Derkman didn’t notice the flying note. She was too busy writing on the board.
“Okay, take out your pencils and math notebooks. Today we’re going to review subtraction with borrowing,” the teacher announced.
Katie gulped. Whenever Mrs. Derkman said the word “review,” it meant that she was going to ask some of the kids in the class to go to the board and solve the problems in front of everyone.
Katie slid down low in her chair, hoping Mrs. Derkman wouldn’t notice her. She didn’t want to be one of the kids who were called on. It wasn’t that Katie couldn’t do subtraction with borrowing. It was more that she hated being in front of the whole class.
“I’ll try one, Mrs. Derkman,” Suzanne volunteered.
Katie sighed. Suzanne never worried about making a mistake in front of the whole class. She just liked being the center of attention. Katie wished she could be more like that.
But today, Mrs. Derkman didn’t ask Suzanne to come up to the board. She picked Mandy Banks, Zoe Canter, and Jeremy instead. Mandy went first. She whizzed through her problem. No surprise there—she was like a computer when it came to math. Next it was Zoe’s turn.
BOOK: Anyone But Me
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