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Klutzhood

De
168 pages
Arlo thinks his mother is crazy for taking a job in a small town, far away from his old home and his good friends. And to make matters worse, the students at his new school are crazy, hockey crazy. Arlo has never laced up a pair of skates in his life, and he's not about to start. To avoid making a complete fool of himself in front of his classmates, Arlo joins a group of misfits called the Dumpster Dudes, who set him a series of wild initiation tests that unleash mayhem on the school. Broken windows in the classrooms, angry ants in the hallways, bicycles in the library and monsters in the air ducts, can East Bend Elementary survive Arlo? And will Arlo survive East Bend?
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L KUTZ HoOD
C H R I S M c M A H E N
. o E N d wA S t E C S t b A R t y o f E p R o p E
KlUTZHoOd
L KUTZ HoOD
A H E N C H R I S M c M
Orca Book Publishers
Text copyright ©2007Chris McMahen
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
McMahen, Chris  Klutzhood / written by Chris McMahen. ISBN 9781551437101  I. Title.
PS8575.M24K58 2007 jC813’.54 C20079027687
First published in the United States,2007
Library of Congress Control Number:2007927449
Summary:Arlo is the new kid in town—and he’s not about to blend in just to make his mother happy.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit. Cover and text design by Teresa Bubela Cover artwork by Monika Melnychuk Author photo by Ben McMahen
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Stn. B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on 100% PCW paper. 10 09 08 07 • 4 3 21
To the staff, students and parents at Highland Park Elementary School in Armstrong, British Columbia, and to the Golden Agers Hockey Sanatorium for their inspiration and perspiration.
Ack nowledgments
I was once told that a writer trying to get a manuscript published is like a centipede attempting to cross a sixlane freeway. I’d like to thank my wife, Heather, for diverting traffic, helping me tie up all those pairs of laces, and stand ing on the far side of the road waving encouragement. Thanks also to Emily and Ben for watching out for centi pedes as they cruise down life’s highway. I’d also like to thank fellow centipedes Margriet Ruurs, John Lent and the Long Lake Writers for their expertise and unwavering enthusiasm. Finally, my thanks to Sarah Harvey, editor extraordinaire, for giving this centipede flying lessons.
Chapter 1
hadn’t had so much fun since the time I got locked out I of the house in my underwear. Today was my first day at a brandnew school in a brandnew town. I arrived at the dropoff area in front of the school in a rusty old pickup truck withFast Eddy’s Manure Saleswritten across both doors and a load of guesswhat in the back. A crowd of people lined the sidewalk, staring at the heap of a pickup: one headlight missing, the front bumper held on with twisted wire, and an engine that backfired so often it sounded like a fireworks display on wheels.  The driver of the truck—my mom—didn’t help make my arrival exactly smooth. She wasn’t used to the gear shift, so every time she tried to shift gears it sounded like an outofwhack dentist’s drill, and the truck would lurch forward, hopping like a gigantic, manurefilled, metal Easter bunny. When we finally pulled up to the curb, the engine let off a final earsplittingBANG! before it died.