Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (The Millicent Min Trilogy, Book 2)

Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (The Millicent Min Trilogy, Book 2)


320 pages


Stanford Wong is in big trouble--or as he would spell it, "trubble"--in this laugh-out-loud companion to the award-winning MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS and this season's SO TOTALLY EMILY EBERS.
Stanford Wong is having a bad summer. If he flunks his summer-school English class, he won't pass sixth grade. If that happens, he won't start on the A-team. If *that* happens, his friends will abandon him and Emily Ebers won't like him anymore. And if THAT happens, his life will be over. Soon his parents are fighting, his grandmother Yin-Yin hates her new nursing home, he's being "tutored" by the world's biggest nerdball Millicent Min--and he's not sure his ballpoint "Emily" tattoo is ever going to wash off.



Publié par
Date de parution 28 avril 2015
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780545281508
Licence : Tous droits réservés
Langue English

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JUNE 7, 1:40 P.M.
Today’s the last day of school, the only school day that I look forward to. I grab my basketball and head to Mr. Glick’s class. Once I ma ke it through that I’mfreefor the entire summer. Good-bye, school —hello,camp!!! It takes a while to make it down the hallway. “Stanford, way to go!” “Congratulations, Stanford!” “Have a great summer, Stanford!” “Stanford, send me a postcard!” I’m grinning and waving andcrash! “You okay?” I ask.Star Trekaction figures lay scattered on the ground. “I’m fine,” the boy sputters. We face each other. It’s Marley. We both redden. I step on Captain Jean-Luc Picard as I back away. Marley raises his hand to me and parts his middle and ring fingers in the Vulcan salute.Gotta get out of here.I take off running. I spot Stretch heading toward me and slow down. He doesn’t say anything, but from the way he’s drumming every locker I can tell he’s happy school will be over soon. We take our seats in the back of the room and I brace myself for my final boring day of sixth-grade English. As Mr. Glick blabbers on, my eyelids get heavy. Soo n I’m seeing myself, Stanford Andrew Wong, as a starter on the Rancho Ro setta Middle School Basketball A-Team. I flash forward two weeks when I’ll be on center court at Alan Scott’s Basketball Camp in the San Gabriel Mountain s, “Where basketball is not just a game, it’s a way of life.” I get chills every tim e I read the brochure. During the last three days of camp, Alan Scott hims elf comes in to coach. He’s this season’s top NBA scorer. Everything about him is cool, from his spiked hair right down to his Alan Scott BK620 basketball shoes. At the end of camp he presents each basketball player with his own personally auto graphed pair of BK620s. I can’t wait to get mine. I close my eyes and imagine me an d the man shooting hoops. I can hear Alan Scott now: “Hey, Stanford, great layup!” Or, “Stanford, a one-handed reverse triple-loop crosscourt slam dunk? You’re am azing!” Or, “Stanford Wong, snap out of it!!!” Huh? What’s that? Why is Mr. Glick glaring at me? “Stanford Wong, snap out of it!” he booms. Does he have to be so loud? “Put the basketball down. I’d like you to stay after class. There’s something important we need to discuss.” Uh-oh. He’s holding my final book report and he doe sn’t look happy. The bell rings. Mr. Glick makes his way toward me a s kids stream in the opposite direction, pushing toward the door. Toward summer. Toward freedom. Why am I still here? The room clears out fast. My desk feels like an anc hor wrapped around me. I am sinking. Mr. Glick slides the report toward me, fac edown. I lift up the corner, then slowly turn it over. All I see is red, like the pap er is bleeding. “An F,” Mr. Glick says. “Not a C, not a D — you got an F. Stanford, I expect you to show this to your parents. They need to sign it and get it back to me within three days.”
I try to leave, but Mr. Glick is not finished with me yet. “Young man, wait one minute. This is not something you can shrug off. Th is is serious business. If you don’t do something about your grade this summer, yo u won’t make it to the seventh grade. Do you understand?” Mr. Glick is staring at me. We are standing face-to -face. He’s not that much taller than I am. I’ll bet I could take him down. “Stanford,” Mr. Glick says, unblinking. “Do you und erstand?” “An F.” My voice is flat. “I get it.” I grab my book report and tear out of the room. I’m supposed to meet the Roadrunners at Burger Barn, but I run in the opposite direction. I run past the park and through the empty lot. I run over the bridge an d toward the train tracks. I run as far away from school as I can and only stop when my lungs are about to explode. Panting, I drop to my knees and uncrumple my report. The paper looks blurry, yet one thing is clear — the big fat F scrawled on the page.
JUNE9, 7:16 P.M.
These past couple of days I’ve been at the top of my game. All the Roadrunners say so. I hope they remember that when I’m dead, becaus e in about two minutes my father’s going to kill me. I can already see my tom bstone:
STANFORD A. WONG Loving Son Great Basketball Player Rotten Student
My parents are in the kitchen. Mom’s rearranging th e utensils as Dad talks about work. Here goes nothing. I rush in, hand my father my book report, and pivot around to make a fast exit. “Stanford, come back here this instant! Dad is gripping my paper. “An F? Stanford, you got an F? This is not acceptable! I am frozen and on fire at the same time. “What’s the matter with you? Do you want to e xplain to me why you got an F? I don’t want to explain anything. I want out of here. “I’ve put up with a lot from you, Stanford, but an F crosses the line. I glance at my mom. She looks as upset as I am. I s tare at the floor as my dad goes on and on and, “… now that you won’t be going to basketball camp, you’ll have the whole summer to raise your grade. What???!!!I jerk my head up. “No fair! Coach had to pull strings to get me a spot. Only the top players go to Alan Scott’s Baske tball Camp. “Flunking this class means you could flunk sixth grade. “If I go to camp I’ll be the best player Rancho Ros etta’s ever seen. “You need to study more. “Basketball camp is the only thing I’ve ever wanted . “If you had studied, this wouldn’t have happened. “I have to go to camp! I insist. “Stanford, listen to me: You are not going to baske tball camp and that’s final! “Mommm! My mother knows how much this camp means t o me. She’s been to my games. She’s heard the cheers. Mom just shakes h er head. As my dad continues to shout, my grandmother, Yin-Y in, peeks in from behind the door and then disappears. I look at Mom as she turns away from Dad. My mother hates it when my father yells. I’ve heard him tell her, “Raising my voice is the only way I can get that boy to pay attention to me. He’s wrong about that. “I have to go to camp, I plead. “I’m on the A-Team . Everyone’s counting on me! “Well, they can stop counting, Dad says. “I’m goin g to call your English teacher and get to the bottom of this. My father leaves the room. My mother puts dinner in front of me. Fried chicken, my third-favorite food. I can’t eat, so instead I try to listen to my dad yelling at Mr. Glick. All I hear is a lot of nothing. Maybe Dad’s using his low voice on him. His low voice is even scarier than his yelling. Wait! He’s coming back and he looks pleased. I wond er if Mr. Glick changed his mind about flunking me. Or maybe Mr. Glick made a m istake and I didn’t flunk after all.
“It’s settled, my father says, smiling. Suddenly I am starving. I pick up a drumstick and tear into it. “Well, I’m glad that’s over, I tell him. “Thanks, Dad. “Stanford. His voice is serious. “I talked Mr. Glick into taking you in his summer-school class. You’ll start on Wednesday. “Summer school? I try not to choke on my chicken. “Summer school? “Mr. Glick said you hardly ever handed in your home work and that you never paid attention in class. “And you believed him? “Yes. My dad believes everything teachers tell him. “Wha … what about basketball camp? “I told you. There isn’t going to be any basketball camp. You’re lucky Mr. Glick agreed to take you for summer school. Dad picks up a piece of chicken and salts it. “I hope it’s not too late to get a refund from camp . Then it hits me. No camp? School all summer long? W hoaaa … this is way, way too much to take in. “Mommmmm, I yell. “Mom! My mother rushes to my side. “Dad says I have to go to summer school. He says there’s not going to be any basketball camp. She looks at Dad. He gives her a little nod. He’s trying to hypnotize her! “Stanford, your father is right, she says. “I’m so rry, but school comes first. Maybe you can go to camp next year. He did hypnotize her! They never see things the sam e way, and suddenly they’re ganging up on me. I push my chair away from the tab le, grab my basketball, and run out, slamming the door behind me.
11:57 P.M. I’m drenched. I am at the park playing hard, weavin g in and out of the twenty guys guarding me from every angle. Only there’s no one o n the court but me. Water is pouring down my face, but it’s not tears, it’s just sweat. Athletes don’t cry. When I was little I used to cry a lot. I wasn’t goo d at anything. I couldn’t even spell my own name. I was always in the lowest reading group, and whenever we had partners on class projects I’d hear: “Aw, why do I have to be stuck with Stanford? Basketball saved me. No matter what else was happening at recess, I was always drawn to the basketball court. Different groups of guys played a ll the time. Every morning I went to school praying I’d be invited to join them. Every a fternoon I went home depressed. Finally one day I took a giant gulp of air, then as ked, “Can I play? The world stopped until Trevor, the best player on the playground, spoke up: “Sorry, loser, but you have to be good to play on this court. Laughing, the boys gave each other high fives and went back to their game. I started running and swore never ever, ever, to go back. But I couldn’t stay away. It was as if basketball was in my blood. One week later, there I was, first watching from a distance, each d ay getting closer and closer. I watched how the guys shot the ball. I studied how they guarded each other. I memorized the moves.
At night my mom would quiz me, “How’s school? “Fine, I’d mumble. “Not so fine according to your grades, my father would say. I couldn’t win. Not at home. Not in class. Not on the court. “Can I play? “No. “Can I play? “No. “Can I play? “Give up. Marley was standing next to me. “They’re never going to let you in. Marley and I were friends by default since we both sat at the reject table in the cafeteria. He was wearing his Mr. Spock shirt. Marley always wore Spock on Tuesdays and Scotty on Wednesdays. Just the week be fore I had buried all myStar TrekT-shirts in a bottom drawer along with my Trekkie trading cards and Klingon Battle Cruiser. The only thing I couldn’t bear to h ide was my 1988Next Generation Galoob Phaser. I still have it. “Do you want to come over after school? Marley ask ed. “I’m still working on my model of theVoyager.Did you ever finish your Stargazer? Trevor glanced our way and snickered. I braced myse lf and then said in a loud voice, “Star Trek? Are you still playing withStar Trekstuff? That’s only for geeks! Marley looked right at me. “What’s going on, Stanfo rd? Why are you acting like this? I turned away, unable to face him. “This is mutiny, mister, he muttered, quoting epis ode twenty-five of the original series. After that I wasn’t welcome at the reject table. I wasn’t welcome anywhere. A few days later my grandmother asked me to come ov er to her house. “Stanford, she said as we ateshu maiin her kitchen, “I know you’re having a hard time at school, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here. She held up a black leather cord with a bright green stone dangling from it. “T his is for you. For good luck. Yin-Yin explained that the stone was from the fable d Hengshang Mountain, one of China’s Five Famous Mountains. A group of monks trekked there to fetch the jade, and the eldest monk carved it under the moonlight s o that it would be infused with the magical rays. “Then, she said, “while I was visiting the Great Wall, the eldest monk personally presented the pendant to me. I protested. What kind of boy wears a necklace? “We ar it for a week, Yin-Yin insisted. “After that, if it doesn’t change your lu ck, you can do with it what you want. The next day, I went out to the court again. There was a new group playing basketball. “Can I play? I asked, already turning around to le ave. To my surprise, a freckle-faced kid said, “Give him the ball. Let’s see if he can even get it near the hoop. It’ll be good for a laug h. “Jeez, he’s a waste of time, Trevor groaned. “He’s just a dork. Someone handed me the ball anyway. “Good luck, a b oy with dark curly hair whispered. Jaws dropped when I shot the basketball. It sailed through the hoop and I heard the most beautiful sound in the world:whoosh. “Bet you can’t do that again!