TITLE: Harold - The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day
GENRE: MG Contemporary
Twelve-year-old Jake is D-O-N-E with Harold. Sure Harold’s a genius at baseball trivia and Algebra, but he also has Asperger’s and a knack for ruining Jake’s social life. When Jake gets an opportunity to play shortstop for the undefeated Comets, he’ll get his chance to ditch Harold and the rest of Jake’s second place team—unless winning isn’t everything.
On the first day of sixth grade, I cracked open the front door and looked outside. The bus stop was empty. So far, so good. I’d figured Harold’s mom would drive him this year like she did when he was in kindergarten. Harold had trouble when it came to new things. Well, that was one of his problems.
I walked toward the stop and from behind I heard, “Hey Jake! Wait up! It’s 8:03. Bus Number 6 will be here at 8:07.”
I walked faster and called over my shoulder, “Thanks for the update, Harold. I didn’t know I was so early. Tomorrow, I’ll sleep in a whole 4 minutes.”
Harold caught up with me and said, “I woke up at 6:33, but Mom said I couldn’t come out until I saw you.”
Great. Where is that bus?
“Hey, Jake, have you ever heard of Harvey Haddix?” he asked while he rummaged through his bookbag.
I knew what he was looking for. Each year before school started, Harold added one green composition notebook to his school supply list and in that notebook he kept track of the times he beat me at anything—Texas Hold’em, NCAA 12, checkers. He’d write down the date, the game, and the score. He also wrote down baseball stats.
“Yeah, Harold, I know all about Harvey.”
I didn’t have a clue, but I thought just this once Harold wouldn’t go into his never-ending monologue about one more Major League ballplayer I’d never heard of.