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Fourteen-year-old Simone is having trouble making friends at her new school when her leadership studies class is paired with kindergarten students to mentor throughout the school year. To her surprise, Simone enjoys the Kinderbuddy Project, and she develops a special friendship with her Kinderbuddy, Lily. But as the bond between Simone and her Kinderbuddy grows, she realizes that a crisis is looming in Lily's family. Simone calls upon Aaron, the reluctant heartthrob of the class, for help, and they become key witnesses to events neither of them could have predicted.
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Vanish
Karen Spafford-Fitz
Vanish
Karen Spafford-Fitz
Copyright ©2013Karen SpaffordFitz
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
SpaffordFitz, Karen,1963 Vanish [electronic resource] / Karen SpaffordFitz. (Orca currents)
Electronic monograph. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781459803503 (pdf).isbn 9781459803510 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca currents (Online) ps8637.p33v35 2013jc813’.6 c20129073008
First published in the United States,2013 Library of Congress Control Number:2012952474
Summary:Fourteenyearold Simone is a key witness in a parental abduction investigation.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund 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 photography by Getty Images
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria, bcCanadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer, wa usa 982400468
www.orcabook.com
161514134321
To those who look out for their buddies and especially to Ken, Anna and Shannon.
C h a p t e r O n e
For the hundredth time, I wish I had never moved to this school. I especially wish I hadn’t moved here îve minutes before the school year started. That’s how I ended up in this crappy class. Leadership studies was the only option class that had spaces left when I regis-tered. Trust me, nothing else would make me take grade-eight leadership studies.
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At my last school, the leadership study kids had to deliver speeches about bullying or school spirit to classes of bored students. Usually one kid in a presentation group does most of the talking. I have a quiet voice and a major phobia about speaking in front of other people. I plan to become an expert at making posters this year. Right now, the leadership class is standing in the hall, waiting to start a Kinderbuddy program. We’re going to be working with the kindergarten class. “I’m stepping inside to help out,” says Ms. Boyd. She gives our class a deadly glare. “And in case anyone feels like talking, I’ve got a big stack of caution cards.” Her hand twitches toward her pocket. If you get a caution card, you have to write out what you did, why you did it and your plan for avoiding that behavior in the future. You also have to
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do volunteer work around the school. Apparently, scrubbing the goop from kids’ spaghetti lunches out of the school microwave is the best way to ponder your lapse of judgment. I glance through the window into the kindergarten classroom. Little girls with pigtails and little boys in super-hero T-shirts scramble to put away storybooks. Ms. Boyd is directing trafîc. This might take awhile. And, unfortunately, I’m standing right beside the richest, most spoiled teenagers in the history of forever. Their names are Stacy, Miranda and Tessa, but I think of them as the Runway Girls. As usual, they are working through their three favorite topics of discussion. The îrst topic is fashion. I buy all my clothes at the thrift store. These girls spend every weekend buying the latest styles at the mall. I bet even their
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underwear has designer labels. They were born with mascara wands and eyeliner pencils in their hands too. The second topic is all the trips their rich mommies and daddies take them on. Maui, Malibu Beach and Mexico are at the top of their lists. This is another sore point for me. My dad took off before I was born. We haven’t heard from him since. It’s always been just Mom and me. Her jobs never pay well, and we’re always struggling to make ends meet. Holidays are out of the question. Their third favorite topic is guys. Apparently, no guy here in Edmonton compares to the celebrity look-alikes they see on their spectacular holidays. That doesn’t stop the Runway Girls from constantly crushing on Aaron. As usual, they have squeezed in as closeas possible to him.
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Stacy bumps into me as she spins around. “I hate this top. I’m gonna ditch it when I get home.” “But it’s totally cute on you,” Tessa says. “You’ve gotta wear it again. Please?” I roll my eyes. Why does it matter to Tessa if Stacy wears that shirt again? “It is seriously cute,” Miranda says. “Don’t you think so, Aaron?” I take in Aaron’s messy brown hair and the gray skulls on his black hoodie. He shrugs, then looks away. Strange. At my last school, the guys practically beat their chests with excitement when the popular girls talked to them. But Aaron seems baffled by the attention of the Runway Girls. “Ooh, look at Simone.” Stacy points a manicured înger at me. “She’s checking Aaron out.” My face burns and my throat clenches. It would be nice to have some
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friends to hide behind. But I haven’t made any friends here. Everyone at my old school seems to have forgotten about me too. None of my so-called friends from my last school has messaged me on Facebook for months. For all they care, I might as well vanish into thin air. Ms. Boyd steps into the hall and clears her throat. “We’re heading into the kindergarten class in one minute.” Fake squeals of glee drift forward. Ms. Boyd’s hand its toward her over-stuffed caution-card pocket. “Keep this up, and some of you will miss the pizza lunch on Friday.” Ms. Boyd delivers one more menacing glare before she disappears back into the kindergarten room. “She can’t do that.” Stacy pouts. “It’s none of her business what we eat for lunch.” Tessa pouts too. “Anyway, this Kinderbuddy project sucks.”
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