TITLE: Nixie in the Center
GENRE: MG Literary
Twelve year-old Nixie has no friends, her sister hates her, and having dysgraphia makes everyone think she’s stupid. When a deaf dog runs wild through her town, disrupting a funeral and crashing pool parties, Nixie thinks training the dog could prove she’s more than her learning disability. But with animal control, mean girls and her own mother standing in her way, how can Nixie save an unwanted dog no one believes can learn?
When I was little, Mama told me that my name--Nixie--means “water sprite.” A water sprite is a fairy that lives in the water, so for a few years I wore a tutu when I went swimming. But when I was in second grade (for the first time), I found out the real meaning of “nixie.” It’s bad, and the worst thing is, it fits me perfectly.
It was spring and Mama had sent me to the post office because she wasn’t going anywhere with her stomach as big as it was, carrying what I hoped was a baby sister. Mama had been having so much indigestion, which she never did with me or my big sister Trilby, that she was thinking it was a boy. I thought her burping was because of the bratwurst and hot sauce she had been craving.
“It’s a nixie!” I heard an unfamiliar voice say from behind the post office counter.
“Yup, it’s a-me!” I said, shaking the spring’s rain off my red boots.
“What?” the man asked.
“It’s a-me! Nixie!” I said again, reaching for one of the Tootsie Rolls in the little dish on the counter. I squinted at the man. “Hey, how’d you know my name?”
“Oh!” he laughed and put an envelope up on the counter. “No. I meant this “nixie.” Look here.” The corners of his eyes had what Mama calls crows’ feet. They looked like lots of little smiles. “See how you can’t read the address?”