TITLE: The Re-Education of Christopher Parker the Third
GENRE: realistic middle grade
Christopher Parker III, a popular, third-generation Fletcher Academy student, thrives until his father’s unethical decisions devastate the family finances, forcing Christopher to trade his elite prep school for public middle school. There, Christopher accepts an uneasy alliance with T.J., a fun-loving, street-smart skateboarder. Christopher plots re-entry to the school he loves. Ultimately, Christopher revises his definitions of both success and friendship.
“Was that great, or what?”
Edward high-fived me as we settled onto Fletcher Academy’s front steps. “Man, you know it!”
That my best friend and I had been elected 7th grade representatives to Fletcher’s Council of 24, aka the “Double Dozen,” was outstanding. Guys said I was a shoo-in, but somehow Edward shot past everybody else to grab the second seat. Now we’d both lead the school with the upperclassmen. Even Dad hadn’t been elected until his freshman year at Fletcher.
Reliving the meeting, neither of us noticed Edward’s mom pull up until she
tapped the horn. Mrs. Tate called to me.
“Need a ride, Christopher?”
“Thanks, but Mom’s coming.”
Grabbing his gear, Edward pointed down the school driveway.
“Isn’t that your housekeeper?” then, “See you tomorrow.”
Why would Juanita be picking me up?
“Where’s Mom?” I asked, getting in.
“She’s tied up with, um, a meeting.” Quickly, she added, “How was your day?”
I replayed the Double Dozen highlights.
“So much responsibility for someone so young,” she said when I finished.
“I’ve been preparing for this all my life,” I began. “I can handle…”
Suddenly, Juanita slammed on the brakes. Her arm flew across my chest.
Luckily, my seatbelt kicked in, saving me from smashing her arm against the dash.
A line of kids in gray hoodies sped by on skateboards.
“Querido Jesús!” Juanita’s hand flew to her heart.
The last skateboarder must have seen her reaction. He bowed as he passed, then called, “Sor-ry!”
“Jerk!” I said.