Read A Flying Birthday Cake? Online

Authors: Louis Sachar

Tags: #Ages 5 and up

A Flying Birthday Cake?

Joe Normal stood at the front of the room,
next to Mrs. North.…

He looked just like a normal third grader.

“Where are you from, Joe?” asked Mrs. North.

“Um … Earth,” said Joe. “Just like you.”

Mrs. North laughed. “Good answer,” she said. “But really, what city?”

“City?” asked Joe.

Marvin could tell Joe was nervous. He knew he’d be nervous, too, if he had to move someplace and go to a new school.

The Marvin Redpost series by Louis Sachar

Marvin Redpost #1
Kidnapped at Birth?
Marvin Redpost #2
Why Pick on Me?
Marvin Redpost #3
Is He a Girl?
Marvin Redpost #4
Alone in His Teacher’s House
Marvin Redpost #5
Class President
Marvin Redpost #6
A Flying Birthday Cake?
Marvin Redpost #7
Super Fast, Out of Control!
Marvin Redpost #8
A Magic Crystal?

More books by Louis Sachar!

The Boy Who Lost His Face
Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes
Holes
Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

Text copyright © 1999 by Louis Sachar.
Illustrations copyright © 1999 by Amy Wummer.
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of
Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

www.randomhouse.com/kids

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Sachar, Louis, 1954– Marvin Redpost : a flying birthday cake? / by Louis Sachar.
p. cm. A stepping stone book
SUMMARY
: Two days after Marvin sees a glowing green thing that looks like a flying birthday cake in the night sky, his third-grade class is joined by a mysterious new boy with peculiar behavior.
eISBN: 978-0-307-80573-7
[1. Extraterrestrial beings—Fiction. 2. Schools—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.S1l85Maog 1999 [Fic]—dc2l 98-7204

Random House, Inc. New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland

RANDOM HOUSE
and the colophon are registered trademarks and
A STEPPING STONE BOOK
and the colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.

v3.1

To Rachael and Sam

Contents

1
Seven Minutes
After Midnight

It was green.

Marvin stared up at it. He didn’t know what it was. He was lying on his back, in a sleeping bag, in Nick Tuffle’s backyard.

It glowed as it moved across the night sky.

Nick and Stuart were in sleeping bags beside him. They were asleep.

Today was Nick’s birthday. Or maybe that was yesterday. Marvin didn’t know if it was after midnight yet.

Seven kids had come to Nick’s party,
although only Stuart and Marvin got to sleep over.

But Marvin couldn’t sleep. He had eaten too much cake. He had drunk too much punch. The ground was too hard.

He heard a low humming noise. The glowing green thing hovered directly above him. He felt the ground shake beneath him.

He wondered if he was dreaming. It had to be a dream. Maybe he really
had
fallen asleep and didn’t know it.

There was a bright flash, then the thing zoomed away. Marvin could no longer see it, hear it, or feel it.

Marvin couldn’t fall asleep after that. He stayed up all night, staring at the sky.

At least, he
thought
he stayed up all night. In the morning, he woke up, so he
must have fallen asleep sometime. Maybe he was really asleep the whole time.

He remembered that Nick’s birthday cake was covered with green icing.

He must have been dreaming, he decided. Now that he thought about it, the green thing had looked like a flying birthday cake. The candles made it glow …

2
A Very Normal Third Grader

Nick’s birthday party was on Saturday. On Monday, a new kid came to Marvin’s school.

Mrs. North introduced him to the class. “Everybody, this is Joe Normal.”

Joe Normal stood at the front of the room, next to Mrs. North. He wore baggy pants, untied sneakers, a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, and a Dallas Cowboys cap.

He looked just like a normal third grader.

“Where are you from, Joe?” asked Mrs. North.

“Uh … Earth,” said Joe. “Just like you.”

Mrs. North laughed. “Good answer,” she said. “But really, what city?”

“City?” asked Joe.

Marvin could tell Joe was nervous. He knew he’d be nervous, too, if he had to move someplace and go to a new school.

“Uh, Chicago,” Joe said. “Located on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, it’s the largest city in Illinois.”

“What a show-off!” whispered Casey Happleton, the girl who sat next to Marvin.

“Chicago is a beautiful city,” said Mrs. North. “I’m surprised you’re a Cowboys fan, Joe. I would have guessed you’d like the Bears.”

Joe bit his lip and shrugged.

Marvin was surprised Mrs. North knew so much about football.

“Well, it’s nice to have you with us,” said Mrs. North. “I think you’ll like it here.”

“Thank you,” said Joe. “You seem like a good teacher. I want to learn as much as I can.”

Nick groaned loudly.

Mrs. North gave Nick the Look. Then she turned back to Joe and said, “I like your attitude, Joe. Why don’t I put you next to Nick? Maybe some of your good attitude will rub off on him.”

Nick groaned again.

Nick sat several desks away from Marvin. He turned toward Marvin and whispered something to him, but Marvin couldn’t get what he said. It might have been “What a jerk!” or “What a nerd!” He knew it was “What a something!”

Joe sat down next to Nick.

“We’ve been studying mammals,” Mrs. North told Joe. “Who can name a kind of mammal?”

Marvin raised his hand, but Mrs. North called on Casey.

“Bears,” said Casey.

That was what Marvin was going to say. He lowered his hand.

Mrs. North continued to call on other children.

“Lions,” said Clarence.

“Rabbits,” said Heather.

“Humans,” said Stuart.

Mrs. North liked that answer. “Very good, Stuart. People are mammals, too. How about you, Joe?”

“Uh, sure, I’m a mammal,” said Joe.

Mrs. North smiled. “No, I mean, can you name another kind of mammal?”

“Oh,” said Joe. “Um … Oh, I know! What’s that one? It’s big and fat and has a really long nose …”

“You mean an elephant?” said Nick, beside him.

“That’s it!” exclaimed Joe. “I couldn’t remember what they were called. Thanks.”


Duh
,” said Nick.

“That’s not nice, Nick,” said Mrs.
North. “I’m sure there are times you’ve forgotten a word.”

“I’ve never forgotten
elephant
,” said Nick.

“Well, uh, there aren’t a lot of elephants in Chicago,” Joe explained.

“Like there are here?” said Nick.

Marvin felt bad for Joe. He knew what it was like to forget a word. Once he couldn’t think of the word
parade
.

Mrs. North reminded the class that there would be a test on Wednesday. She asked if anybody had any questions.

Joe raised his hand.

Mrs. North smiled at him. “Yes, Joe?”

“How much does the human brain weigh?”

Other books

Window Wall by Melanie Rawn
Taming the Heiress by Susan King
Always in My Heart by Kayla Perrin
Love and War by Chanel, Jackie