Turtle Moon Queen
The September Book
A San Francisco story of brothers and sisters, during the drought, told by a ten year old, who finds herself, in her new home.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: "This audio novel is a good start to a new series written by Pere Butter (Elihu Blotnick). The narration is...infused with the youthfulness and charm of Plum Butter (Sarah Eve), the ten year old narrator."
|2 CDs: 2 hrs, 16 minutes
buy now available from Audible and iTunes
San Francisco is strange. The prettiest houses look like stranded ships, tall and narrow and long, with bright green portholes, and a figurehead on the front porch. Earthquakes happen here. They shake the city as if it were water. They keep the buildings small.
I was born in an apartment house, on the very top floor. Living eleven stories up was like having my own hill or like growing up in a lighthouse. When the fog was in, I could shine a flashlight out the window, at the gulls. Little houses below sometimes flooded.
“Underneath, San Francisco is a herd of humpback whales,” my mom said, “There were twenty-two hills last time I counted.”
Really, San Francisco likes to be strange. “Secretly, it’s still a cow town, wanting a stampede,” my dad said, “I feel like getting out of the way for a while,” he added. That was back on New Year’s Day. It was then he decided we’d move.
I didn’t want to move. My sister Midori did. Maybe she hoped she’d get her own room. I knew better.
Here, right now we shared the bedroom that had a sink in the corner. Two of the walls opened up into windows. On the right, I could see three boys fighting at the bottom of the alley, and to the left, the donut bakery across the street. The sink held the walls together. I liked living higher than anyone else in the neighborhood. So did Midori. Whenever we washed our hands, we blew soap bubbles out the windows. The bubbles had a head start, in the wind, on the way to a rainbow.
Now though the sink was dry. Eleven floors were too high. Without rain, no water could reach us, We had to bring it up in the elevator, every day of this summer. We were in the middle of a drought.
Midori was still asleep. It was Sunday. Her bed had eight pillows. Her lamp glowed like a mushroom from a magic forest, always, even when the light wasn’t on. Kites built a nest on the wall above her. They had eagle wings and dragon tails, to protect her.
I climbed onto her bed anyway. It was the best of all for bouncing up and down. I wanted to be taller. If I could only stay at the top of a bounce, I thought, I wouldn’t have to move.
Midori just slept. I jumped on her bed again and again, and harder, till I was so mad my feet felt like pancakes and my head like a watermelon. Just thinking about moving made my feet swell and my head get heavy.
Midori fell out of her dreams and her eyes snapped open. “Want to....
The October Book
Midori, Ariadne, Barley and Olive compete for the Halloween costume prize, and find themselves in the midst of new misadventures that clothe their growth. A new holiday is created. Beginning - "Give me back," Barley said, in a snit, reaching for me, as I dodged away.
"Too late," I said, "We hid you in the woods."
He went into a deep pout and slumped down in a crouch, not sure what to do.
"Iíll steal you too," he said, standing up, "next time youíre not looking."
"Canít," I said, "Youíre ghosting away. I got you good."
"Not fair. Give me back. Give me back!" he shouted, looking like he might cry.
I jumped up and down, grinning in glee. I had him. Not really, but he believed it. Nothing changed though, and he suddenly knew it.
"You donít have anything," he said, "Iím still me, no matter what you do."
"But Iím going to win the Halloween contest," I said, "Ďcause youíre just a costume, getting invisible."
"If I am, youíre a voodoo witch," he said, "or youíre bat-barny. Either way, Iím not talking to you anymore."
We were in the schoolyard, and I was wearing my new red dress. Barley knew better than to push me today, like he did yesterday, into the mud.
"When i get myself back, I'll do something to you bad," he said, unsure, looking around, still trying to figure out where I hid him.
I hadnít, of course. I had only pretended to snatch his soul, stash it, and make it invisible to him, so heíd be a ghost of himself, all year long, not just for Halloween....
The November Book.
Midori, Ariadne, Barley and Olive take the annual class trip, to recreate the Indian harvest life, of living pleasureably off the land, but find themselves in the midst of new misadventures and a maze of growth.
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