Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

BOOK: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the
product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living
or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Sternberg, Julie.
Like pickle juice on a cookie / by Julie Sternberg; illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
p. cm.
Summary: When eight-year-old Eleanor's beloved babysitter Bibi moves away to care for her ailing father,
Eleanor must spend the summer adjusting to a new babysitter while mourning the loss of her old one.
ISBN 978-0-8109-8424-0
[1. Novels in verse. 2. Babysitters—Fiction. 3. Loss (Psychology)—Fiction. 4. Self-reliance—
Fiction.] I. Cordell, Matthew, 1975- ill. II. Title.
PZ7.5.S74My 2010
[Fic]—dc22
2009015975

Text copyright © 2011 Julie Sternberg
Illustrations copyright © 2011 Matthew Cordell
Book design by Melissa Arnst

Published in 2011 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved. No portion of
this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the
publisher. Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Printed and bound in U.S.A.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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www.abramsbooks.com

I had a bad August.

A very bad August.

As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.

As bad as a spiderweb on your leg.

As bad as the black parts of a banana.

I hope your August was better.

I really do.

My bad time started one morning

when my parents sat down in my room.

“We have some difficult news,” they said.

I hate it when they say that.

It means they have terrible news.

Just rotten.

The last time they had difficult news,

they had lost my hamster.

Her name was Dr. Biggles.

My dad had left her cage open.

We went from door to door

in our Brooklyn apartment building.

We asked all the neighbors,

“Have you seen Dr. Biggles?”

But we never found her.

I tried to think what news could be as difficult as that.

“Did Grandma Sadie die?” I asked.

“Of course not!”

said my mother.

“Grandma Sadie is in excellent health,”

said my father.

“Why would you ask such a question?”

said my mother.

“She is the oldest person I know,” I said.

“I thought she might have died.

That would be difficult news.”

My mother shivered.

“Yes,” she said.

“That would be very difficult news.”

“Nobody died,”

my father said.

“So what is the news?” I asked.

My father looked at my mother.

BOOK: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
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