Michelle Mulder. Melody DeFields McMillan. and the. Trick of the Eye ORCA YOUNG READERS

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1 Michelle Mulder Melody DeFields McMillan Addison After Addley Peaches and the Trick of the Eye ORCA YOUNG READERS

2 I tried one more time to get to sleep, but now my eyelids didn t want to behave. Did you ever notice how your eyelids flutter back and forth really fast when you re trying to be still so you can sleep? The more you want them to stop moving, the faster they jump around. Same with your brain. The more you want it to slow down, the faster ideas and pictures come storming through. Like right now, ripped notes and slimy worms and broken steps were playing hide-and-seek in my head. The irrepressible Addison Addley is back, and he s got a whole new set of problems. His mother wants to sell their comfortable old house and move into a townhouse in a new development across town a shoe box near a shoe factory, Addison calls it. As usual, Addison s brain goes into overdrive as he puts his own unique spin on optical illusions (and home décor) and ends up surprising everyone, even himself $7.95

3 Chapter One Sometimes, you ve just got to expect the unexpected. That s what I should have been doing last Sunday when Mom dropped the bombshell on me. It wasn t a big bombshell, just four little words. Four little words too many. We need to move, she said. I choked. My raspberry smoothie didn t taste so smooth anymore. I was right in the middle of adding peanut-butter chips to the grocery list. First I thought maybe she was just trying to scare me into doing a better job of being in charge of the weekly budget. Ever since I had a math catastrophe at school, she s been making me keep the budget. She tells me how much 1

4 we spend, and I record it. I m in charge of figuring out what percentage we spend on each category, like food or entertainment. Mom likes to analyze things. You d think she would have analyzed me enough by now to know that I m not great at numbers. Besides, if it were up to me, I d spend a bigger percentage on entertainment. I d buy some new video games and invite my friends over. They d bring a bunch of chips and pop, so that would take care of the food percentage too. Mom doesn t usually try to scare me though, because she knows I m not much afraid of anything. I m probably the bravest guy in my gradefive class. Maybe I d heard her wrong. Move, like in moving the furniture again? I asked hopefully. Last summer we had moved the old couch fourteen times to get it to look just right in the newly painted living room. That old couch had ended up exactly where it started, right up against the window. My back ached just thinking about moving it again, but if it was a choice of moving the couch or moving me, the couch was the hands-down winner. Mom shook her head as she dished up a bowl of vegetarian chili. 2

5 Maybe Mom s astronomy club was doing weird things to her brain again. Sometimes she thinks too much. She was probably worried that the stars weren t lined up right and that we needed to be in a different place in case a meteoroid came crashing down. She s always second-guessing herself. Or third- or fourthguessing. She really thought too hard the time we painted the living room. I thought her head was going to explode. She covered the entire wall in little paintsample chips and left it that way for six months. She couldn t decide on a color. Even after we painted it, she couldn t decide on the color and thought we should repaint it. Then she thought people would think we were crazy to paint the same wall twice in two days. We never did repaint it, but I still catch her staring at it sometimes. Personally I would have just left all of those little paint chips up there. They would have saved me a lot of work. The astronomy angle gave me an idea. You mean move, like how the earth moves around the sun? We re moving all the time, right? I d picked up a couple of things from all her star talk, which surprised me because usually things like that just float right out of my brain. I have a problem remembering school stuff too. 3

6 Unless it s important, like how many times I can hand in my homework late before I get a detention. Mom shook her head again. I tried one last time. You mean move, like we re moving up in the world, getting rich and famous? That would be great. Of course I already knew that I would be rich and famous one day for my incredible inventions, but it would be nice to see Mom get rich too. Maybe if she studied the night sky long enough, she might just discover a new planet. Then she d have to go on tv and talk about it and maybe someone would pay her a lot of money to write a book. This time Mom groaned. That s just it, she explained. We re not getting rich and famous. Not that I d really want to be famous. But having a bit more money would be nice. She swept her hand in front of her. This house, she said emphatically, is just too big. Too big for the two of us. There s just too much to take care of. Too big? Was I hearing things? A kingdom is too big. A castle is too big. Even a dungeon is too big. I looked around the kitchen. This house was definitely not too big. You could barely open the fridge door without hitting the kitchen table, where we ate all 4

7 our meals. I guess we could be using the diningroom table, but it was the perfect place to store my comic books and Mom s star maps. The living room was just the right width for me to do ten kicking karate chops when I was playing my Ancient Warrior video game. I didn t understand how she could think the house was too big. Maybe she meant there were too many rooms. The only time we used the guest bedroom downstairs was when we had guest mice. We needed that room. Where else were the mice supposed to stay when they got tired of sleeping in the attic? The only thing that was really big was the yard. It was huge. I liked it that way, even though I complained about it when I had to cut the grass. I took some pepperoni pieces that were hiding in my pocket and slipped them into my chili. Mom s vegetarian recipes sometimes needed an extra boost. For the same amount that we pay every month for this house, we could get a brand new place, she said as she sat down. A smaller one, but one with less upkeep. Upkeep? What was there to keep up? I was in charge of the lawn and the garbage. What else was there? 5

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