TITLE: The Thief with Bad Manners
GENRE: chapter book
Teacher says I have this problem. She says, "Melanie Noble, you hang the wrong way on the monkey bars."
But I like hanging the wrong way. So that the world looks all upside down. Only teacher says that’s not good to do. But that's just during special times, I think. Like when a teacher is looking. Or when I’m wearing a skirt. Or when the bell rings. Those are all special times, so I get yelled at.
But this very moment was not a special time. Because no teachers were looking. And the bell hadn’t even rung yet. So there I was, hanging the wrong way on the monkey bars.
And that was when I first saw that strange boy. He just popped right onto the edge of the playground. Right between those two big trees. Like real-life magic.
But that couldn’t be real. The sun was tricking my eyes. Teacher had warned us about that. When people have too much sun, they see loose nations. Which means fake things. So this strange boy had just been standing behind the tree. Or something.
I jumped down from the monkey bars. And then I walked right over to that boy. Mostly to get a better look.
This strange boy didn’t even go to my school, I think. He looked the right age. But I’d never seen him before. Not once in my entire whole life!And his shoes were weird. Like black boxes with white lines on the side.