Friday Giveaway and Author Spotlight - Carla Mooney

1:17 PM Posted by Carla Mooney

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Here's a sneak peek from Owen and the Dragon by author Carla Mooney available in May 2010 from Soto Publishing!

It’s not fair. I didn’t ask to move here.

Owen watched the yellow moving truck roll down the street. He ran to the end of the driveway and craned his neck until the truck disappeared around the corner. He took a deep breath and slowly let out the air from his mouth.

I wish Dad didn’t get a new job.

Owen turned and stared at the house behind him. His mom was so excited about this picture-perfect white colonial. Black shutters framed the windows, and a large porch with columns stretched across the entire front of the house. But Owen liked houses made of red bricks. Just like the one he’d lived in for his entire ten year old life. This new one didn’t have a steep hill for sledding in the winter. It didn’t have an old mulberry tree for climbing in the summer. And worst of all, it didn’t have his best friend next door.

Owen shuffled to the back porch and slumped onto the steps. Through the screen door, he could hear the rustle of boxes opening. His parents and sister couldn’t wait to unpack. But Owen didn’t want to unpack. He didn’t want to see his books and toys in a new room, even if it was bigger.

Owen stared across the backyard. Beyond the fence, there was a trail leading into the woods behind the house. It might be worth exploring tomorrow. Maybe he could find a good rock or even a fossil to cheer him up. Suddenly, something flickered deep in the trees. What was that? A few seconds of darkness, and then it flickered again. Owen struggled to see past the thick shadows under the trees. What had made those flashes?

“Hi! Whatcha doing?”

Owen jumped and looked around. A girl with brown, curly hair walked across the yard. As she got closer, he could see the splatter of freckles across her cheeks. Marching right up to the porch, she pushed a covered plate at him.

“Brownies,” the girl said. “My mom and I made them this morning. I thought you might want some.”

“Thanks.” Owen reached and took the plate. Too bad I don’t like chocolate.

“I’m Izzy,” the girl said. “I’m going to be in third grade this year.” She fiddled with the long necklace she wore. “Third grade is really cool because you get join the theater program and be in a play!” Izzy paused as if she expected Owen to say something.

“Umm. Sure, sounds good,” Owen muttered. Theater! You’ve got to be kidding me. He rolled his eyes, but Izzy didn’t seem to notice. She prattled on and on. Owen wasn’t sure if she even stopped to breathe.

“Isabelle! Dinner!” A loud voice rang out from the house next door.

Izzy’s face turned pink underneath her freckles. “Coming, Mom!” she yelled. She jogged across the lawn, then stopped and turned back to Owen. “Hey, what’s your name?”

“Owen,” he said.

“Owen,” Izzy tested the name. “Well, see you tomorrow!” She waved wildly and banged the door shut behind her.

Owen walked to the edge of his backyard and leaned on the split-rail fence. Four weeks before school. New town. No friends. A theater-loving, third grader next door. And a girl no less! He covered his face with his hands. Things were going from bad to worse in a hurry.

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