Authors: Dana Reinhardt
Tags: #General, #Science Fiction, #Juvenile Fiction, #Social Issues, #Family, #Emotions & Feelings
ALSO BY DANA REINHARDT
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
How to Build a House
The Things a Brother Knows
The Summer I Learned to Fly
This is an uncorrected eBook file. Please do not quote for publication until you check your copy against the finished book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright © 2013 by Dana Reinhardt
Jacket art copyright © 2013 by Susan Reagan
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Susan Reagan
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books,
a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Wendy Lamb Books and the colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Visit us on the Web!
Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Odessa again / Dana Reinhardt. — 1st ed.
Summary: When nine-year-old Odessa Green-Light stomps out her frustration at being sent to her room after shoving her annoying little brother, one particularly big stomp sends Odessa flying through the floorboards and mysteriously twenty-four hours back in time.
ISBN 978-0-385-73956-6 (hardcover) — ISBN 978-0-385-90793-4 (lib. bdg.) — ISBN 978-0-375-89788-7 (ebook) [1. Time travel—Fiction. 2. Remarriage—Fiction.] I. Title.
The illustrations were rendered digitally.
Book design by Trish Parcell
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The New House
There comes a day in the life of every big sister when it’s simply no longer suitable to share a bedroom with your toad of a little brother.
For Odessa Green-Light, that day was a Tuesday.
They’d only been living in the new house a few months. Odessa and Oliver shared a room, like they had in the old house, and like they did in Dad’s apartment. This new house, of which Odessa was not particularly fond, had one redeeming feature that the old house she missed so much did not.
It had an attic.
From the first time the landlady gave them the tour—with someone else’s scribbles on the kitchen wall, and someone else’s stickers stuck to the dryer that had dried someone else’s clothes, and the narrow wooden staircase scuffed from someone else’s shoes—Odessa had her eye on that attic.
“You’ll love it here,” the old lady barked at Odessa, as if this were an order and not a wish.
Odessa doubted very much that she would love it there, but she did think that she might love living in the attic, a full flight of stairs removed from Oliver.
She asked, but of course her mother said no. If there was one thing Odessa could count on, it was Mom saying no to the things Odessa wanted most.
So a few months back, on move-in day, a day Mom tried to make cheery by blasting old-fashioned music and singing into a broom handle, Odessa unpacked her stuff into one-half of a too-small bedroom while Oliver the Toad unpacked into the other.
And each day since, or at least every weeknight and every other weekend, which were the nights she spent at her mother’s, Odessa had begged to move into that attic, but it hadn’t worked.
Begging rarely did.
She’d also tried cajoling, bamboozling, and hoodwinking.
“Not a chance,” Mom said.
Sometimes, however, victory is found in unlikely places.
Oliver discovered the field mouse that delivered this victory in the backyard. Oliver didn’t seem to know how to get along with real live people: his terrible shyness got in the way. But there was no denying he had a way with rodents.
It was a Tuesday, which meant the next day was a Wednesday, word-study day, and Odessa had set her mind to moving into word group
which required some studying.
The fourth-grade class was divided into word groups
and although Mr. Rausche chose letters from smack-dab in the middle of the alphabet, Odessa knew that as an
she was only a second-level word-study student.
Smack-dab in the middle.
Odessa loved words. And she always tried her best to use the ones that other people too often ignored. But loving words and knowing how to spell them were two different things, and Odessa knew she would never make the move to group
without mastering the illogical rules of spelling, which was nearly impossible to do with Oliver crashing around her too-small room.
So she told him to get lost, not having any idea that this would lead him to their new backyard, where he’d find a field mouse sniffing around a chew toy that someone else’s dog had left in the grass. Nor did she guess that Oliver would sing softly to this mouse until it wandered into his outstretched palm, at which point he would carry it into their bedroom and drop it down the back of Odessa’s pink T-shirt with the turquoise stripes.
Odessa did what any reasonable person would do. She shrieked, ran to find her mother in the kitchen, and threatened to sue in a court of law if she couldn’t move into the attic.
From her mother’s lips sprang these three beautiful words:
“I. Give. Up.”
And so Odessa found herself tucked in bed by 7:45 that Tuesday night under the quilt Mom pulled from one of the attic’s boxes. A quilt sewn as a gift for the darling baby Oliver, who had grown up to be a pesky toad.
Odessa had been sleeping in the attic for exactly three nights before it happened.
One of the reasons Odessa did not love the new house was that she’d seen it for the first time the day after Dad told her that he was getting remarried.
something means to do it all over again, so
marrying should have meant he’d be getting married to Mom again, not getting married to someone else.
But Odessa didn’t say this to Dad as they sat in a booth at Pizzicato and he made his announcement. Odessa and Oliver loved Pizzicato. Dad hated it. That he’d taken them there without any begging should have been the first warning sign.
The second was when he clinked his glass with his fork and said he had
Odessa preferred small news. Big news was never good.
She’d cried that night, and Mom had held her.
“I don’t want to be de-hyphenated,” she wailed. She’d never much liked the name Green-Light. If you were a woman named Green, and you met a man named Light, wouldn’t you run as fast as you could in the opposite direction? Probably. But her parents didn’t. They fell in love and got married and had kids whose names they hyphenated, and then fell out of love and got divorced, and now the most important thing in the world to Odessa was to hold on to the name Green-Light.
“Nobody is taking away your hyphen,” Mom said, stroking her hair. “You will always be Odessa Green-Light, for better or for worse.”
That night, it definitely felt