TITLE: The Crimson 5 and the Golden Light Bulb
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary
If wishing with my whole heart could make my wish come true, I’d win the Piedmont Challenge. I’d get my own Golden Light Bulb with my name chiseled on the front. But wishing won’t help me win, and I don’t have a genie to help me either. All I have is my brain with a trillion ideas swirling in it. I hope that’s enough. I need to whip these other kids, like a giant blender.
My sixth grade class has gathered in the amphitheater, outside Crimson Elementary School. All five hundred of us are squished shoulder to shoulder for the Opening Ceremony. These metal bleacher seats are burning my legs. The sun is scorching the back of my neck. My ponytail even feels hot. I’m trying hard to listen to Principal Bermuda’s speech, but he’s taking so long and I’m melting. Besides, pictures of the Golden Light Bulb keep popping into my head. They all say the same thing: Kia Krumpet, in giant, swirly letters.
The first notes of the Piedmont Challenge theme song thunder through the speakers. I bite my pinky nail. The signal should be coming next. Principal Bermuda waves a flag in the shape of the infinity symbol. We stand up and turn on our heels. I’m facing the back of a boy I’ve never talked to before. It doesn’t matter though. The Period of Silence has begun. There is to be no talking or laughing—not until we’ve solved our final task, seven days from today.