TITLE: The Secret of Sagamore Hill
GENRE: Middle Grade Mystery
"Stay with the group, Rebecca!" Miss Richter hollered from up ahead.
But I couldn’t move. The soles of my sneakers felt like they were stuck to the pavement with bubblegum.
My class charged up the path to Sagamore Hill, but I wasn’t charging anywhere. Everything about this place reminded me of Dad.
“We don’t have all day, Rebecca!” My teacher tried again, waving her arms frantically.
I wanted to tell her that I didn’t need a guided tour of Theodore Roosevelt’s mansion—that I’d been here a million times before with Dad—at least before last May. But I decided to keep my mouth shut and forced myself to catch up with the rest of the class.
As 6th graders, we were all officially new to Oyster Bay Middle School. But I was in a different category of “new,” since I’d come from Oyster Bay Academy—a private girls’ school where Dad used to teach, and where my sister, Ava, and I had gone for free. But after he died suddenly last Memorial Day, Mom transferred Ava and me to public school. We couldn’t afford private school.
I trailed behind my classmates into the brisk October wind. The Roosevelt’s lawn was still green and stretched as wide as two football fields. When they had lived here, they never even had to mow it. They had had gardeners for that.
Not us. With Dad gone, I’d spent every other Saturday this summer behind a rumbling lawnmower, bits of grass clippings stuck to my sneakers.