TITLE: Theft of the Star Tracker
GENRE: Middle Grade
Drew Richfield slouched lower in the worn bus seat and cranked up the volume on his iPod. A steady drumbeat throbbed in his ears as he shifted in the seat, trying to find a comfortable position for his long legs. Traffic surged past them on the busy highway as the Greyhound lumbered slowly toward school. Oakville. Drew read the green sign right before a truck blocked his view. Ugh, he thought, another hour and I'll have to show the parasite around.
As if on cue, his younger brother was standing in front of him, mouth moving. All summer he had been forced to listen to Alex prattle on and on about global positioning systems and programming mechanics. But now, away from their father's watchful eye, he could finally ignore Alex and concentrate on his own thoughts.
He nodded in his brother's direction, and Alex disappeared. Drew closed his eyes and relaxed into the seat. Maybe after the science fair he could ditch Alex and focus on football.
Suddenly, a hand gripped his shoulder. Drew jerked upright. Alex was standing over him, motioning wildly with his spindly arms, his face transitioning from red to purple.
Drew's pulse quickened. He pulled his earbuds out and grabbed his brother by the shoulders. "Alex, take a breath and tell me what's going on."
"My bag." Alex pointed to an empty seat.
"What bag?" Drew asked. "I don't see any bag."
"Exactly." Alex whined, "I told you to watch it, and now it's gone."