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9780060534455

Abner & Me

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780060534455

  • ISBN10:

    0060534451

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-12-04
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Summary

Cannons are blasting! Bullets are flying! Wounded soldiers are everywhere! Stosh has time-traveled to 1863, right into the middle of the Civil War. In possibly his most exciting and definitely his most dangerous trip yet, Stosh has decided to answer the question for all time: did Abner Doubleday, a Civil War general, really invent the game of baseball? It's all here: big laughs, dramatic action, fast baseball games in the middle of a battlefield. You'll be blown away by this sixth amazing baseball card adventure!

Excerpts

Abner & Me

Chapter One

Anti-Social Studies

"Hey, what's up with you, stoshack?"

Kenny Cohen was whispering from the seat behind mine. It was the middle of social studies and Mrs. Van Hook was giving a boring lecture about the Civil War. Something about the Missouri Compromise. Learning about battles and stuff was pretty cool, but all that junk about what led up to the war didn't interest me much.

"What do you mean, what's up with me?" I asked, leaning back in my chair so Mrs. Van Hook wouldn't catch me whispering to Kenny.

"People are talking about you, man."

"Oh yeah?" I asked Kenny. "And what are these people saying?"

"They're saying you're a freak. They're saying you got magic powers or something."

That got my attention.

"What kind of magic powers?" I asked, trying to sound as casual as possible."You know," Kenny said. "Like you can travel through time and crap like that."

"Yeah, right," I whispered. "Do you think that if I could travel through time and go to any year in the history of the world, I'd be sitting here listening to this?"

Kenny snickered.

The fact is, I can travel through time—with baseball cards.

That's not a joke. Ever since I was a little kid, I've had this . . . power, I guess you'd call it. Something strange happened to me whenever I touched an old baseball card. It was a buzzy, vibrating feeling. It didn't hurt, but it was kind of scary. I would drop the card right away, and the tingling sensation would stop.

Then one day, I decided to keep holding on to the card. That buzzy feeling went up my arm and across my body. And the next thing I knew, I was in a different place and a different time. I was in the year 1909 and I met Honus Wagner.

You don't have to believe me if you don't want to. But I know what happened to me. I can do it whenever I want.

What I didn't know was how Kenny Cohen found out I could travel through time. I hadn't exactly broadcast the news. I didn't want kids to think I was nuts. Only a few people knew about it. My mom and dad knew. My baseball coach, Flip Valentini, knew. My nine-year-old cousin Samantha knew.

"Yo, Kenny," I whispered, turning around in my seat, "who told you that crap about me?"

"Fuller," he said.

Bobby Fuller! That figured. I should have known. Bobby Fuller has had it in for me ever since I hit a double off him to break up his no-hitter. And that was back in our T-shirt league days! You'd think he would forget about it by the time we got to seventh grade. Bobby Fuller sure could hold a grudge.

In the past few weeks, he had been tormenting me whenever he saw me in the hall or on the ball field. I'm just glad he's not in any of my classes this year. Some people just rub you the wrong way. Fuller and Kenny were on the same team. They're a couple of prejuvenile delinquents. They should form the Future Inmates of America Club. I'm sure that ten years from now I'll pick up a newspaper and read that the two of them were arrested for something or other.

"Fuller said you were a freak," Kenny whispered. "He said you're an alien disguised as a human. He said he's gonna get you at the game after school today."

"That what he said?" I asked.

"Yeah, are you gonna show?"

"Of course I'm gonna show," I said. "Bobby Fuller doesn't scare me."

"Mr. Stoshack! Mr. Cohen!" Mrs. Van Hook suddenly said. "What is so important that you need to discuss it in the middle of my class?"

"Uh, baseball, Mrs. Van Hook," Kenny said.

What an idiot! Any fool knows that when the teacher catches you talking and asks you what you're talking about, you're supposed to say, "Nothing." Kenny Cohen is a moron.

"Baseball?" spat Mrs. Van Hook. "The Civil War was perhaps the most important event in our nation's history. It defined us as a nation. And you're talking about baseball? Tell me, do you boys find the Civil War to be boring?"

"Oh no, Mrs. Van Hook!" I said, jumping in before Kenny had the chance to say something stupid like, "Yes."

"Good. Because over the weekend I want you to read Chapter Twenty-six in your textbooks. There will be a test on this material next week."

Everybody groaned, out of habit. As we filed out of the room, Mrs. Van Hook pointed a finger at me and gestured for me to come to her desk.

"Is something wrong at home, Joseph?" she asked once all the other kids had left the room.

Most everybody at school knew that my dad had been in a pretty bad car accident not long ago. Some people had been acting weird toward me, going out of their way to be all nice to make me feel better.

"No," I said. "Everything's fine."

"I don't like what I see, Joseph," said Mrs. Van Hook. "Your grades have been slipping. You're heading for a C this marking period, maybe even a D. You're a better student than that."

"I'll bring it up, Mrs. Van Hook," I said. "Promise."

D in social studies. Ha! Little did I know that getting a D would be the least of my problems.

Abner & Me. Copyright © by Dan Gutman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Abner and Me by Dan Gutman
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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