Parable recommended!


Is this the end of childhood? When a serious illness strikes one of the Flakes, the others can't daydream their way out of the shocking news. Instead they rally 'round and find that friends--and faith--show the way to a new adventure called growing up.


  • SKU: 9780310707615
  • UPC: 025986707613
  • SKU10: 0310707617
  • Title: Sophie's Stormy Summer
  • Series: Faithgirlz!: Sophie
  • Qty Remaining Online: 3
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz
  • Date Published: Mar 2005
  • Pages: 128
  • Age Range: 9 - 12
  • Grade Level: 4th Grade thru 7th Grade
  • Weight lbs: 0.28
  • Dimensions: 8.52" L x 6.06" W x 0.34" H
  • Features: Price on Product, Ikids
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Subject: Religious - Christian - General

Chapter Excerpt

Chapter One

No way would I ever want to be a lifeguard here," Maggie said.

Sophie tilted her head back to look from under her floppy hat at her getting-tanner-by-the-minute friends.

Sophie's best-best friend, Fiona, didn't look up from the miniature hut they were building in the sand with dried seaweed sticks. She kept poking them in the sand with one hand while she brushed the usual strand of hair out of one eye with the other. "Why not, Mags?" she said.

Kitty wrinkled her made-like-china nose, now spattered with freckles. "I wouldn't want to be a lifeguard, but I might want to be saved by one." Her dark ponytail bounced as she giggled - which she did at the end of almost every sentence.

"Of course you would," Darbie said, her Irish accent lilting through. "If it was a boy lifeguard."

"Gross," Fiona said.

Sophie looked at Maggie, whose dark eyes were going from one of the Corn Flakes to another.

"So why wouldn't you want to be a lifeguard here, Mags?" she said.

All the Corn Flakes sat back on their heels and squinted through the sun at Maggie.

"Because your little brother and sister are always screaming like there's a shark attack 24/7," Maggie said. Her words seemed to make soft thuds in the sand. But Sophie thought being at the beach even made Maggie's matter-of-fact voice sound lighter. "How does the lifeguard know when to save somebody and when not to?"

She nodded toward Fiona's little brother, Rory, and her even littler sister, Isabella, who hadn't stopped shouting and squealing the whole five days they had been at Virginia Beach.

"Izzy and Rory have to make all those sounds at the seashore because they're little," Sophie said. She had also felt like holding her arms out to the ocean and squealing several times since she and the Corn Flakes had been there, and she was TWELVE. It was as if the waves themselves, tumbling over one another like puppies, were setting her free. Well, that and the fact that she was here with the four people in the whole world she could be herself with.

Sure, we're flakes, Sophie thought happily. And we do corny stuff - but we are who we are.

"At least they're making happy noises for a change," Darbie said, nodding toward Izzy and Rory. "Usually they're shrieking like terrorists." She clapped a sunblock-shiny hand over her mouth and looked quickly at Fiona's mother. "No offense, Dr. Bunting," she said through her fingers. "They're perfectly charming."

Dr. Bunting pulled off her sunglasses and turned to Darbie. "You were right the first time. They are little terrorists."

"What I can't get," Fiona said, "is why they always have to be throwing something - buckets, sand, food - on each OTHER." She sighed out loud. "It's heinous."

Dr. Bunting blinked her gray-like-Fiona's eyes and put her sunglasses back on. "If tossing a few Cheetos is the worst those two do before we leave here, it's because Miss Genevieve is the nanny from heaven."

"I thought we were supposed to call her the au pair," Maggie said.

"Just call me Genevieve." The blonde, creamy-skinned woman who was on her knees making castle towers pointed a graceful finger at Rory. "Get more of that sand you just gave me," she said to him. "With it just wet enough, we can build anything."

Rory trotted obediently toward the water with his bucket and shovel, and Dr. Bunting looked out from under the brim of her white visor. "See what I mean?" she said.

Sophie tried to imagine Fiona's last nanny playing at the beach with Rory and Izzy dumping seashells over each other's heads. Miss Odetta Clide had handed out demerits if they spilled their milk. True, she had turned out to be less like a steel rod than they'd thought at first, but she NEVER would have gotten on her hands and knees in the sand.

The Corn Flakes - including their newest member, Willoughby - had all been worried about who would take Miss Odetta Clide's place when she married Fiona's grandfather Boppa, and they went off to Europe on their honeymoon for the summer. With Fiona's parents taking all of the girls - except Willoughby, who was on vacation with her family - to Virginia Beach for ten whole days, the choice of a nanny would determine the amount of fun they could have.

Sophie watched Genevieve drip wet sand through her hand to create a castle tower, the way soft ice cream piled on top of a cone. The au pair's thick braid hung over her shoulder like a silk rope, and her blue eyes seemed to hug Isabella as the curly-headed four-year-old tried to dribble sand through her tiny fingers. I want to be like Genevieve when I grow up, Sophie thought. IF I grow up.

Not that she WANTED to - at least not right now. Here - building a little beach hut out of dried sticks of seaweed with her best friends, she didn't have to think about anything scary, like starting middle school in two months .

"Okay," Sophie said out loud. "Everybody tell their favorite part about being at the beach so far."

Fiona pushed a stubborn strand of golden-brown hair behind one ear as she poked the sticks into the adobe-colored sand like she was doing math. "I liked it when we dug those giant bowls in the sand and climbed in there, all of us together."

"We KILLED ourselves laughing over things that are funny only to us," Darbie said.

"Was that your favorite too?" Sophie said to her.

Darbie kept weaving seaweed into the roof of their masterpiece for a minute. Her reddish hair and her snapping eyes were as dark as her flesh was white. She was the one most likely to burn like a marshmallow. Sophie liked to think of Darbie running on the beaches of Northern Ireland where she had lived until last year, shouting things like "blackguards" - which Darbie pronounced as "blaggards" and meant people who did evil things.

"My favorite," Darbie said finally, "was when we used those long sticks to write our names on the beach - and the shells were our periods and commas." She grinned her crooked-toothed smile. "At least, the shells we're not taking home by the bucketful to Poquoson."

"I liked pelican-watching," Maggie said. She was just returning to the job site with a bucket full of dried seaweed, her face Maggie-solemn, as if she were doing serious business. "I liked watching them fish."

"I DIDN'T like that part," Kitty said. "We only did that when Genevieve made us wait thirty minutes after we ate before we could go back in the water."

Maggie cocked her head at Kitty, so that her blunt-cut shiny hair splashed against her face just below her ears. "You have to do that," she said. "Or you'll get a cramp and drown."

Sophie squinted her brown eyes through her glasses at Kitty. "So what WAS your favorite?"

"It's too hard to pick," Kitty said. Her curly ponytail bounced on the breeze, and at that moment, Sophie thought, I want her, I want ALL of us, to stay just like we are. And I want everything we ever do together to be as perfect as it is right now.

"While you're thinking about it, Kitty," Fiona said, "we need more seashells for furniture."

"Why do I have to get them?" Kitty went straight into whining mode. To a certain degree, as Fiona always said, that was just Kitty's usual voice, just like Maggie's dropped out in matter-of-fact blocks, and Sophie's was as high-pitched and squeaky as a caught mouse. But right now Kitty suddenly had an I'm-about-to-cry edge to her voice.

"You don't have to get them," Fiona said, her own voice cheery. "You can just stand there and watch while we do all the work."

"Don't yell at me, Fiona," Kitty said.

"Who's yelling?" Fiona looked blankly at Sophie. "Was I yelling?"

"All right, I'll get more seashells, Kitty," Darbie said. "And you keep making the entrance."

"What entrance?"

"Right here," Maggie said.

She pointed to the sticks, like soft bamboo, that Sophie had laid crosswise between two rows of those stuck upright into the sand.No offense, Kitty, Sophie thought, but we've been making it since lunch. Hello?

Genevieve hadn't let them go back into the water after they'd eaten their sandwiches because she'd spotted jags of lightning so far away that Fiona said the rest of them would need the Hubble Telescope to see them. But when Genevieve had shown them how to make exotic-looking buildings, their claims that they were going to "go mental" if they couldn't go swimming had faded.

"It isn't rocket science," Fiona said to Kitty. "Just put them in there."

"I'm not stupid, Fiona!" Kitty said. "You always make me feel stupid!"

Sophie could hear the Kitty-tears getting closer, and she crawled over to Kitty and put her arm around her. Kitty usually put her head on Sophie's shoulder when she did that, but Sophie could feel her cringing.

"What's wrong?" Sophie said.

"Is it a sand issue?" Darbie said. "I hate when it gets in my bathing suit - especially right where it's sunburned at the edges."

"No!" Kitty said. "It's everybody being mean to me!"

Dr. Bunting toyed with a gold hoop earring as she studied Kitty. "Define 'mean,'" she said.

"I can't!" Kitty said - and she pulled her sandy hands over her eyes and burst into tears.

Dr. Bunting looked at Genevieve. "Oh, those preadolescent hormones," she said.

Genevieve lifted her chin - chiseled out of pure marble, Sophie was sure - as if she were listening to something.

"Thunder," she said. "Time to move indoors."

"No!" Rory said.

"Yes," Genevieve said.

"Okay," Rory said.

"If you can do that, you can stop a storm, Genevieve," Dr. Bunting said.

"What storm?" Fiona said.

Sophie looked up. The sky was like a moving watercolor picture, all in grays, and the wind was delivering karate chops to the water.

"I felt a raindrop," Maggie said.

"Wasn't that just spray from the ocean?" Darbie said. "Isn't that what it was, Fiona?"

"No," Maggie said. "It's rain."

"Thanks, Mags," Fiona said, grinning. "You're tons of help."

"Everyone pack up what you carried down, and let's head to the house," Genevieve said.

"Can somebody else do mine?" Kitty said. "I'm too tired - I can't."

"I will," Sophie said - before Fiona could set her sobbing again.

"You're barely big enough to carry your own stuff, Little Bit," Fiona's mom said to Sophie. "What's the deal, Kitty?"

Kitty dropped onto a cooler and put her face in her hands again. By then, the wind was scattering the beach hut and kicking sand over Kitty's beach tote.

"I'll get that," Darbie said.

Maggie didn't say anything. She just knelt down with her back to Kitty, and Kitty climbed on. Plodding through the sand, Maggie headed up the beach.

"You go ahead with her," Genevieve said to the rest of them.

Genevieve rolled Izzy into a towel like a burrito, handed her to Dr. Bunting, and then put Rory up on her shoulders. Darbie, Sophie, and Fiona hoisted their own burdens on themselves like pack mules and started for the big wooden house. Its wide windows looked sightlessly down at them as the rain began to slash against the glass.

Sophie had to take off her hat so it wouldn't get blown away, and her hair whipped across her face. A pair of windshield wipers for her glasses would have been nice. But there was something about the sudden storm that prickled her skin with excitement.

"Let's pretend we've been shipwrecked!" she shouted to the girls.

"And that house is our only refuge!" Darbie shouted back.

"The only problem," Fiona cried over the wind-howl, "is that the place is full of pirates!"

Sophie raised a fist above her head. "We have no other choice! We must survive!"

"Help, Kitty!" Maggie cried out. "Help her!"

Kitty's finally getting into it, Sophie thought. Kitty was sprawled out in the sand, and Maggie threw herself down beside her.

"Now is NOT a good time to start acting it out!" Darbie called to Maggie.

"I'm not acting! There's something wrong with her!"

Sophie only stared for a second before she dumped her tote and the basket of chip bags and churned her feet in the sand to get to Kitty. She fell on her knees next to her and let her breath go with the wind.

Kitty lay on her back; face gray like ashes. Sophie put her hand on her arm, and Kitty winced and her face twisted into a knot, but she didn't pull away.

It was as if she couldn't.

"Please don't touch me," Kitty said. "It hurts. It hurts."

Chapter Two

Fiona was suddenly holding her rolled-up little sister, and Dr. Bunting was on the sand beside Kitty, her white beach top whipping around her body like a flag. Sophie felt Darbie leaning against her, their swimsuits plastered together in the rain as they watched Dr. Bunting run her expert hands over Kitty.

But Maggie didn't move from Kitty's side. The wind flapped her hair against the side of her face, and yet she stayed still as a stone.

"Let's get you into the house, Kitty-Cat," Dr. Bunting finally shouted to Kitty.

"It hurts to move!"

"That's why I'm going to carry you. Up we go."

Dr. Bunting was as lean as runners Sophie had seen on the sports channel, but she stood up with Kitty in her arms as if she were lifting a bag of sponges. Genevieve shifted Rory onto one hip and took Izzy from Fiona and planted her on the other.

"Heads down, everyone!" Genevieve called out. "Plow right through!"

The two little ones squealed happily. But the Corn Flakes were a solemn group as they plodded after them, faces cowering from the bite of the storm.

When they got to the house, Dr. Bunting and Kitty disappeared. Genevieve led the group inside. "Showers, ladies," she said over her shoulder.

"I want to see Kitty," Maggie said. Her voice was thudding.

Genevieve turned and walked backward. "I know you do. Get showered and I'll find out from the doctor when you can see her."

"I want to see her now," Maggie said.

"Just give it a few - "

"I have to make sure she's okay."

"My mom's a doctor, Mags!" Fiona said. "Of course she's okay."

"I don't think it's as bad as it looks." Genevieve continued to back toward the downstairs hall. "You know our Kitty has a strong sense of the dramatic."

"What does that mean?" Maggie said as the Corn Flakes climbed the stairs to their suite.

"It means Kitty's a drama queen," Fiona said. "Which is our own fault. We made her that way."

"She'll be up making our film with us before supper," Sophie said to Maggie. "You know she will."

"No, I don't," Maggie said. "And neither do you. You didn't see her when she fell down. She went limp - like this."

Maggie demonstrated on the stair landing. We made HER a drama queen too, Sophie thought.

"I did that when I had a bad dose of flu," Darbie said.

"Yeah, I bet she's got the flu," Fiona said.



Also in "Faithgirlz!: Sophie" Series

Sophie Steps Up [Paperback] (Apr 2013) $9.99
Sophie Flakes Out [Paperback] (Apr 2013) $9.99
Sophie's Drama [Paperback] (Apr 2013) $9.99
Sophie's Friendship Fiasco [Paperback] (Apr 2013) $9.99
Sophie and Friends [Paperback] (Apr 2013) $9.99
Meet Sophie [Paperback] (Apr 2013) $9.99
Sophie's Drama [Paperback] (May 2009) $6.99
Sophie's Friendship Fiasco [Paperback] (May 2009) $6.99
Sophie and the New Girl [Paperback] (May 2009) $6.99
Sophie Gets Real [Paperback] (May 2009) $6.99
Sophie Under Pressure [Paperback] (Apr 2009) $6.99
Sophie Steps Up [Paperback] (Apr 2009) $6.99
Sophie Loves Jimmy [Paperback] (Apr 2006) $6.99
Sophie's First Dance [Paperback] (Mar 2005) $6.99
Sophie's World [Paperback] (Aug 2004) $6.99
Sophie's Secret [Paperback] (Aug 2004) $6.99

Look for similar products by Subject

>> Books >> Kids >> Fiction
>> Kids >> Books >> Fiction