I’m thrilled to announce that we have a winner in the audiobook giveaway contest that ended on Friday.

So … drumroll, please!

And the winner is Jeni Peterson! 🙂 Yay, Jeni!

You’ll be getting a special code to use when ordering INVISIBLE ME, the audiobook on Audible, so it’ll cost you nothing!

I wish I could say I got any entries from the UK, but alas (there I go being Shakespeare!), I didn’t. Maybe some other time.

Maybe I can coax a bit more interest by posting more chapters. What do you say? Like you have a choice in the matter, huh? 🙂

So … I hope you’ll enjoy these. And, if you don’t, feel free to read another blog. 🙂


I’ve barely arrived at school the next day, when Denise runs up to me.

“So? What happened? Where did he go?”

“Down, girl,” I say. “He got on a bus and transferred to another bus, which turned onto Route 29. From there, all I can tell you is he went south. Not having a death wish, I aborted the mission.”

Denise looks crushed. “Where would he go that requires taking Route 29?”

“Good question.”

“Now what?”

“Next time I could hop on the bus and see where he goes.” It’s the only thing I can suggest.

She beams. “Awesome. That’s a great idea. I can’t wait until next week.”

“Mm-hmm. Want to get together and hang out or something?” These words tumble out. Oops. My cheeks turn hot. I brace myself to be rejected. I’m an expert at it.

Denise looks thoughtful. It seems to take a lot of effort.

She grins. “I’m heading to the mall with a couple of friends after school today. Want to come along?”

Oh, my God. She’s going to let her friends see us together.

I nod and smile. Works for me.

I head for the caf at noon, wondering if Denise is ready to share a meal with me in public. A chubby, black girl appears at my elbow.

“Hi,” she says, out of breath. “My name’s Judy Lee.”

“Hi, Judy.” I recognize her from math class.

“Mind if I eat with you today?”

I stop so short, Judy nearly loses her balance. Why am I suddenly so popular?

“I’m sorry,” Judy says, sounding timid. “You don’t even know me. Never mind.”

She starts to turn away. I stop her with a hand on her arm.

“No, I’m sorry. It’s just . . . no one usually wants to be seen with me.”

Judy looks wary. “Yeah, well . . .” Her voice trails off. She continues her labored breathing. “I don’t have a lot of friends either.”

“Are you all right?”

“What do you mean?”

“You sound out of breath.”

Judy’s smile contrasts sharply with her complexion. “Oh that. I have asthma. Sometimes it acts up. No biggie.”

We stand momentarily like a pair of rocks in a stream, students flowing around us.

“Well, Judy. I’m starving.”

“Me, too.” Her coffee-colored eyes light up.

“Let’s get something to eat.”


As we down our pizza and soda, Judy starts talking about her family. She has a younger brother and an older sister.

“It must be nice,” I say. “I’m an only child. It’s lonely. Especially when you’re as . . . different as I am. And your family’s always moving.”

“My sis is in high school now,” she says. “We’re only two years apart. When we’ve gone to the same school, I’ve been able to hang out with her. She’s pretty popular, but . . . well, not me. Haven’t made too many friends in my own class.”

“Why? What’s the problem?”

“My sister has much lighter skin. Like my brother. They take after my mom. My dad is black as the ace of spades.”

She laughs at her own joke. I don’t know how to react. Should I laugh? That seems cruel.

“How ironic.”

“What do you mean?”

“People shun you because you’re too black and they shun me because I’m too white.”

I crack a smile. She starts laughing so hard, she’s gulping breaths and shedding tears. I start laughing along with her.

Before we split up after lunch, Judy asks if I’ll help her with math.

“You’re so good at it,” she says. “Want to come over tonight? I live only a few blocks from here.”

I pause and consider her question. I wonder how long I’ll be at the mall with Denise.

“Could we make it tomorrow?”

Judy nods like a bobble-head doll. “Sure, thanks,” she says, trying to catch her breath. “I’m really glad we had lunch today.”

“Me, too.” I feel an unfamiliar rush of warmth. Judy’s smile gleams. “Well, I’ll see you later. Lunch tomorrow?” I nod. She turns and moves toward her locker.

I stand for a moment, pondering life’s odd turns. Here I am, the biggest nerd—hair and skin so white they look bleached. Yet, suddenly, kids are seeking my counsel. Part of me isn’t surprised, because I can learn most subjects with ease. And there are few subjects I’m not interested in.

One summer, I tried reading an old encyclopedia at the library. The volumes weighed a ton each. I started with A and plowed through most of it. I call tell you plenty about aardvarks, apples, agnostics, atriums, and aviaries. Not to mention albinism.

You know the expression “encyclopedic knowledge”? The term is misleading. If I learned one thing from reading them, it’s that encyclopedias don’t cover everything.


And here’s my reading of Chapter Four!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest! May luck be with you next time! You’re awesome!

Oh, readers/listeners/viewers of the UK! Lend me your ears/eyes! 🙂 Thank you, Paul Downie, for this original Wings video!


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