Read Going Batty Online

Authors: Nancy Krulik

Going Batty

Table of Contents
 
 
 
For Jane O’Connor, with thanks for all she does
for Katie and me.—NK
For Jonas, head honcho of the bat cave.—J&W
GROSSET & DUNLAP
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Text copyright © 2009 by Nancy Krulik. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by John and Wendy. All rights reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. S.A.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2008050380
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-13888-5

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Chapter 1
“I love seeing things upside down,” Katie Carew said as she flipped over on the monkey bars. “Everyone looks so funny.”
“I know,” Katie’s best friend, Suzanne Lock, agreed. “It’s like they’re walking on the ceiling.”
“A
cement
ceiling,” Katie added with a giggle.
Just then, Becky Stern scrambled up the monkey bars. She hooked her knees over one of the metal bars, and flipped upside down next to Katie and Suzanne.
“Hi, Becky,” Katie greeted her.
“Yeah, hi,” Suzanne added. She didn’t sound as happy to see Becky as Katie did.
“I’m wearing shorts under my skirt so no one can see my underpants,” Becky told the girls.
“I’ve been wearing shorts under my skirts since second grade,” Suzanne said proudly. “I was the first one in the whole school to do it. But you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t move here until the middle of
third
grade.”
Katie rolled her eyes. That was
soooo
Suzanne. She was always bragging.
“You know, when we smile it looks like we’re frowning,” Becky told Katie and Suzanne. “At least to the people who are standing right-side up.”
Suzanne frowned. Katie could tell it was a real frown because she and Suzanne were both upside down. Suzanne looked right-side up to her. Well, sort of.
Katie knew exactly why Suzanne was frowning. Becky had changed the subject. Suzanne hated not being the center of attention.
Just then Katie spotted her other best friend, Jeremy Fox, walking by with George Brennan and Kevin Camilleri. Now no matter what Suzanne said or did, Becky wouldn’t pay any attention to her. That was because Becky had a crush on Jeremy. A
huge
crush.
Unfortunately, Jeremy did
not
have a crush on Becky. He usually tried to stay far, far away from her. But Becky had seen Jeremy. There was no way he could avoid her now.
“Hi, Jeremy!” Becky called out.
Jeremy pushed his glasses up on his nose and looked down at the ground. “Hi, Becky,” he muttered.
George and Kevin laughed.
“Hi, Jeremy,” George said, making his voice sound high and squeaky, like a girl’s.
“Cut it out,” Jeremy told George.
“Your
girlfriend
is calling you,” Kevin joked.
“She is
not
my girlfriend!” Jeremy insisted.
“Watch this, Jeremy!” Becky shouted. She grabbed hold of the bars on either side of her. Then she flipped over, and flew off the monkey bars. She landed on her feet and threw her arms up in the air.
“Awesome,” George said.
“Very cool,” Kevin added.
“Did you like my flip, Jeremy?” Becky asked him.
Jeremy shrugged. “It was okay,” he said. Then he ran off as fast as he could.
Suzanne sat up on the monkey bars. Katie did, too. “Becky’s such a show-off,” Suzanne whispered to Katie. “I am so sick of her doing gymnastics all the time! And I hate the way she always copies me. She didn’t have to wear a skirt with shorts under it. She could have worn jeans, like you.”
Katie sighed. Suzanne was just mad because everyone had thought Becky’s flip was really cool.
“I’m sorry Becky ever moved here,” Suzanne said. “I wish she would just go back to where she came from!”
Katie gasped. “Suzanne, you do not wish that! You do not wish that at all!”
Suzanne stared at Katie with surprise. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked her.
Oops.
Katie didn’t know what to say. She hadn’t meant to get so upset. It was just that Katie hated wishes.
That was because she knew how much trouble they could cause if they came true.
Chapter 2
It had all started one horrible day back in third grade. First, Katie had missed the football and lost the game for her team. Then she’d fallen in the mud and ruined her new jeans. Worst of all, she’d let out a giant burp right in front of the whole class. The kids had really teased her about that. Especially George. And he could be a really bad teaser.
It had definitely been one of the most embarrassing days of Katie’s whole life. And that night, Katie wished she could be anyone but herself. There must have been a shooting star flying overhead when Katie made her wish, because the very next day the magic wind came.
The magic wind was unlike any wind Katie had ever seen before. It was a wild, fierce tornado that only blew around Katie.
But the worst part came after the wind
stopped
blowing. That’s when the magic wind turned Katie into someone else. One . . . two . . . switcheroo!
The magic wind could turn Katie into anyone. The first time it appeared, it changed her into Speedy, the hamster in her third grade classroom. Katie spent the whole morning going around and around on a hamster wheel, and chewing on Speedy’s wooden chew sticks.
Blech!
They tasted worse than the food in the school cafeteria!
Another time the magic wind came and turned Katie into Jeremy. That had been really awful. Katie hadn’t known whether to go into the boys’ room or the girls’ room. She was really lucky she didn’t have an accident that day!
Katie knew she would never forget when the magic wind showed up during her family vacation in Europe. That was when it turned Katie into an Italian gondola driver! Suddenly it was her job to paddle a boatload of people through the little canals in Venice.
Unfortunately, Katie didn’t know her way around Venice. She didn’t speak Italian either. Katie wound up getting everybody really,
really
lost.
Mamma mia!
What a mess that had been!
The magic wind was the reason Katie hated wishes so much. But of course she couldn’t explain that to Suzanne. Her best friend probably wouldn’t believe her even if she did. Katie wouldn’t have believed it either, if it didn’t keep happening to her.
Still, Katie knew she had to say something. Suzanne was staring at her.
“I just meant that you should learn to ignore Becky,” Katie explained finally. “She’s not going to go away. So you have to deal with her.”
“I don’t
have
to do anything,” Suzanne answered.
Just then one of the teachers blew a loud whistle.
“Yes, you do,” Katie told Suzanne. “You have to go inside. School’s about to start.”
“Okay, I guess I have to do that,” Suzanne admitted. “But I don’t have to sit near Becky in class. And I don’t have to talk to her either.”

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