By Patricia McKissack, Fredrick McKissack

MIAMI JACKSON CAN’T look ahead to university to finish. yet who ever proposal 5 days may be see you later? His instructor is leaving for Ghana, his arch-enemy, Destinee Tate, is on his case, and now Miami’s conserving secrets and techniques from his ally, String. summer time can’t come quickly sufficient!

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I choose to do a Band-Aid—say it quick. how you yank a Band-Aid off. “I’m speculated to purchase a going-away current for our instructor. Will you force me to the mall? ” Leesie is sort of a block of ice. I want she may say something—anything. eventually the Frost Queen speaks. “If I take him and produce him back,” she asks, now not even me, “may i am going out back? ” “Yes, offering it’s no longer too late,” Mama solutions. Leesie’s bought a few critical drama on her face. She understands I’m at her mercy. yet I’ll beg if i must. “Okay,” she says, taking a look correct at me now. “I’ll assist you, yet you’ve obtained to claim you’re sorry—sorry for giving me one of these demanding time approximately my using. ” Is that it? I suggest, Leesie may have requested me for my complete allowance. She may have made me do her chores for a month. i'd have performed whatever. “Hey! performed. I’m sorry. Let’s move. ” “No. No. No. Say you’re sorry with extra … extra soul. Or remain domestic, Miami. ” Mama can’t disguise the smile. She’s pretending to learn anything. I straighten up. “Leesie. I shouldn’t have teased you approximately … while I acknowledged …” you understand how issues get humorous after they shouldn’t? Like in church or while you’re giving a file out loud? good, the extra I speak, the funnier it’s attending to me. “I’m sor … sor …” I burst out giggling. Mama’s shoulders are shaking. i do know she’s giggling. That makes me chuckle tougher. yet I continue making an attempt. “Leesie! i actually am … sor … sor … sincere …” “Just close up, goofy,” she says. Now i will see her making an attempt difficult to not snicker. yet she chokes it down. “Go wash your face,” she says. “I can’t be came upon with a dirtbag. ” five Friendship Is valuable similar day, 4:05 P. M. In Leesie’s brain, she’s hauling me to the mall. In my brain, she’s chauffeuring me. yet first, we need to move via Destinee’s condominium. She lives in lengthy Acres subdivision approximately 4 blocks from our residence. we discover quantity 17. I’m out of the automobile like a flash. earlier than i will be able to knock, the door swings open. Destinee is status there on a crutch. Her ankle is bandaged. “What did you do? ” She doesn’t are looking to inform me. “I fell,” she solutions. “Sorry. ” “No, you’re no longer! ” “Okay. for those who say so. ” “Here’s the cash. ” She shoves an envelope choked with buck accounts at me. “Don’t you lose it, both. And you’d larger purchase whatever good—like what’s in this checklist. ” She offers me a folded sheet of paper with present feedback the category has made. Leesie blows the horn. i must cross. “You coming to varsity the following day? ” I ask, stuffing the cash and the be aware in my coat pocket. “If i need to crawl,” Destinee solutions. 4:46 P. M. Leesie pulls right into a automobile parking space. ahead of we get out, she morphs into Leesie-the-Con-Artist. “Mama advised me to stick with you,” she says. “Help decide your teacher’s reward. yet i'll allow you to move by yourself. ” Leesie doesn’t are looking to be troubled with me, fairly. That’s high quality. “Sure,” I say, being very agreeable. “Go forward. Mama doesn’t want to know. ” “You’re gonna get to move loads of areas. simply continue that reliable angle, little brother,” says Leesie. We pass within. It’s crowded. “Make yes you meet me on the heart fountain at six o’clock sharp,” Leesie says.

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