"This is Major Tom to ground control;
I'm stepping thro' the door,
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way.
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in a tin can far above the
Ben heard footsteps. He turned his good ear toward the direction he thought the sound was coming from ... somewhere near his mother's room, he guessed.
Ben had never really believed in ghosts, although some of the stories his mom had read to him when he was younger had kept him up at night. He tiptoed slowly down the hall to his mom's room, the blood pounding in his head. A faint smell of cigarette smoke grew stronger as he got closer.
Ben paused in the hallway, dizzy with fear. "You shouldn't be such a turtle."
He inched closer until he was right outside her door. He turned off the flashlight and put it in his back pocket.
The door was open a crack, and he could see the framed Van Gogh print a big black tree and a swirling night sky with golden stars. A shadow moved across the room.
Ben thought about the shooting star and the impossible wish he'd made. With a trembling hand, he slowly pushed open the door.
Excerpted from Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. Copyright 2011 by Brian Selznick. Excerpted by permission of Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Press. Illustrations from Wonderstruck. Copyright 2011 by Brian Selznick. Used with permission from Scholastic Press. All rights reserved.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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