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Tuesday, 26 March 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

GENRE: MG Mystery 
WORD COUNT:39,000 

Turtle Wexler meets Willy Wonka when a mysterious train ride, an escaped convict and a firefly jar prove the best kind of magic doesn’t fix broken promises; it makes you believe in them again.

When she opened the mailbox on the first day of summer break, Molly Pepper found three things of interest. One, a Woman’s Day magazine; two, her final report card she didn’t have to open to know mostly C’s would be hogging all the white space; and three, a small, crème-colored envelope with her name on it.

That was the most astonishing discovery. Molly could not recall the last time she had ever received anything in the mail—especially something as interesting as this. Not only was the crisp, smooth envelope addressed to her, but it also lacked both a return address and a stamp. No stamp meant somebody had sidestepped the entire mail system altogether and placed this exact letter into her mailbox, probably this very day.

Feeling a little paranoid, Molly peered over her shoulder for any chance that the owner of the envelope might still be watching her. All she discovered behind her, however, was the sound of the distant ferry whistling through the salty air, and the passing by of an old, white convertible spewing a fume of exhaust in its wake.

Molly coughed in protest and tucked her report card in her back pocket for safekeeping. Then, she tossed the Woman’s Day magazine into the garbage can, being extra careful to bury it under a pile of crumpled newspapers so her dad wouldn’t find any trace of it. She did not want to face one of his solemn, glossy-eyed looks again. Not today. Not on the first day of summer break that was supposed to be filled with the promise of adventure.

Filed: Pitch Madness

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