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Out of Order

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232 pages
Fifteen-year-old Sophie sees her move to Victoria as a chance to start over and leave her old self behind. She is soon drawn into the orbit of the charismatic but troubled Zelia. As their friendship develops, and Zelia's behavior becomes increasingly self-destructive, Sophie struggles to maintain both the friendship and her own sense of self. Then Sophie meets Max. At first, Max seems to be Zelia's opposite: direct, straightforward and sure of herself. But this new friendship brings its own unexpected challenges and confusion, and Sophie slowly starts to realize that friendships are a place in which one can both lose and discover oneself.
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Out of Order
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Out of Order
Robin Stevenson
Orca Book Publishers
Text copyright ©2007Robin Stevenson
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
Stevenson, Robin H. (Robin Hjørdis), 1968  Out of order / written by Robin Stevenson.
ISBN 9781551436937
I. Title.
PS8637.T487O98 2007 jC813’.6 C20079027717
First published in the United States,2007
Library of Congress Control Number:2007927584
Summary:Sophie sees her move to Victoria as a chance to start over and leave her old self behind.
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 Margaret Lee Author photo by David Lowes
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
For Ilse and Giles, with love and gratitude.
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Acknowledgments
thank you toRamona, Lynne, Barb and Bird for Maggie, reading and sharing their thoughts on various versions of this story. Thanks especially to Pat Schmatz, whoWrst read it as a short story, who kept on reading as it grew into a novel, and whose insightful comments and questions helped it take shape. Thanks to Sarah Harvey and to everyone at Orca Books for being such a pleasure to work with. And most of all, thanks to Cheryl May for making it all possible.
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Prologue
tomorrow will bemyWrst day at my new school. Tomorrow will be the test. No one in Victoria knows what I was like before. This is the way I want it. Maybe, if no one everWnds out about the things that happened in Ontario, I will be able to forget about them myself. Maybe the memories will become noth ing more than ghosts drifting down the lockerlined halls of Georgetown Middle School. Keltie shies, dancing sideways, frightened by something only she can see. I sink my weight into the saddle and steady her with my hands and legs. “Easy, girl,” I whisper, and she settles and drops back into a trot. I run my hand over the wet silk of her neck. The leather reins are slippery between myWngers. My face is wet from the rain, but the water trickling across my lips tastes of salt, and I realize I am crying. I shift forward slightly and open myWngers on the reins, letting Keltie increase her pace as we disappear into the trees. The sodden leaves muZe the sound of her hooves. Out here in the woods, I feel safe.