TITLE: MIGHTY MIKE AND THE INTERGALACTIC CANDY DISPENSER
GENRE: MG Science Fiction/Adventure
Mike sat on the park bleachers, glancing from his math book to the soccer field. Still clear.
According to The List of Chumps to be Pounded After School, today was hang-Mike-like-a-piñata-Wednesday. The List belonged to Brutus, the biggest kid in sixth grade. Failing to call the bully by his self-chosen nickname broke Chump Rule #1. Mike blew that the first day of school. On the second, he sat in Brutus’s swing. His name topped The List ever since.
Little League batting practice. Mike gritted his teeth and hoped no one saw his panic. He would not hide in his house like a friendless dork. His plan to escape The List had to work.
Step one: attend Space Camp Academy section two years ahead of his age group. Step two: become the youngest astronaut—
“C’mon Mike, we need another player.” Carlos bounced the soccer ball against the lowest bench.
Demonstrating his sorry soccer skills wasn’t Mike’s favorite after-school activity, but he never turned down his best—and only—friend. Besides, doing homework on the bleachers just encouraged the dork title. Maybe Brutus wouldn’t even show up. Just in case, Mike ran downfield. Way downfield.
He stretched, pretending to miss Carlos’s wave to move closer.
“Look, it’s Afro-Einstein.” Brutus’s screech carried across the field.
Mike froze. When his zero-gravity omelet-maker won the science fair, the judge called Mike the next Einstein. Brutus chanted “Afro-Einstein” until he was sent to the principal, never realizing Mike thought it a compliment having nothing to do with skin color.