Excerpt of See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
(Page 4 of 6)
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Yay! Charlie yells, and runs over to hug Erics
We all look at my mom. Um, wow, honey! she
says. I had no idea! She makes an apologetic face
at us, but she knows very well there is no amount of
money that is going to make us be OK with this plan.
Thats why its a surprise! my dad says. Hes
beaming, as if this is the best idea he has ever had. OK,
OK. Lets get set up. He puts his hands on my shoulders
and walks me backward so Im standing under the
huge sign in front of the restaurant. You look terrific,
sweetheart! he says in my ear. His stale coffee breath is
Holden? You next. Right here beside Ferny.
I want Ferny! Charlie whines. He grabs hold of
my legs so tightly, I almost fall over.
Watch it! I yell. And dont call me Ferny! I
hate that name.
Daddy said it first!
Youre not Dad!
Stop it, Fern, my mom says. Hes paying you
a compliment. Any time Charlie bugs me and I complain
about it, my mom tells me I should be flattered.
Flattered because hes the only one in this family who
ever pays any attention to me? I dont think she gets
how insulting that is.
My dad continues to line us up so that finally Sara,
Holden, and I are squeezed in between my mom and
dad. My dad picks up Charlie and perches him on his
Im not doing this, Sara says, stepping out of line.
Now, look, honey, my dad says. Im paying these
people a lot of money. And with any luck, well get it
back tenfold when the business starts booming.
I dont want business to boom. Thats just more
work for me.
More money for you, sweetheart, my dad says
through gritted teeth. You want your own car to take
with you to college next year?
My sister perks right up. Seriously?
My dad nods. Now try to look happy.
Sara gets back in line, and we all plaster on our
Just try to act normal, Eric says, fiddling with the
Thatll be a first, Holden mumbles.
Thats us, one big normal family, I whisper back.
Hush, you two, my mom hisses.
Harry, you ready?
We all look at my dad. His name is George.
Ready when you are! my dad says.
Eric holds up his hand and counts silently on his fingers.
Five, four, three, two, one, then points to my dad.
WELCOME TO HARRYS! my dad booms.
Holdens sweaty arm rubs against mine. My mom is
stiff behind me. I hope the camera is zoomed in on my
dad because I think I cringed when he started talking. I
try to smile as he lists off the most popular flavors of ice
cream we sell.
. . . and our most popular, Dinosaur Crunch!
I hear Charlie chomp like a dinosaur. My dad
laughs way too loud, then clears his throat. IF YOU
HAVENT BEEN TO HARRYS, YOU HAVENT
BEEN TO HEAVEN! he yells.
Sky motions for all of us to wave. Charlie flaps his
arm frantically and shouts, See you at Hawees! in his
worst baby voice yet.
I think my ears are bleeding.
Aaaaand cut, Eric says.
My dad tosses Charlie in the air. Great line,
buddy! he yells. Should we do another take, Eric? Im
not sure how that came out.
Nah, Harry. It was perfect. Well cut anything that
doesnt look quite right and pan in on some scenes Ill
take inside. Id like to film some customers eating cones,
sundaes stuff like that.
Excerpted from See You at Harry's
by Jo Knowles. Copyright © 2012 by Jo Knowles.
Excerpted by permission of Candlewick Press. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.