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Excerpt from King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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King of the Armadillos

by Wendy Chin-Tanner

King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner X
King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2023, 336 pages

    Paperback:
    Sep 17, 2024, 336 pages

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Print Excerpt


"This way," she said, and gestured for him to follow her. She seemed to glide as if she were on wheels, her skirt so long that he couldn't see her feet.

"Are you taking me to my room?" After the long trip, he was a bit light-headed and his whole body ached.

"In time, when you're up to it. But first you'll need to be admitted, and I expect you'll stay at the infirmary for a spell."

Victor wasn't familiar with the term "infirmary," but since "infirm" meant sick, he figured it was what they called the hospital.

"Look, Ma, no fingers!" a raspy voice bellowed. An old Chinese-looking man rounded the corner in a wheelchair, cranking furiously with a pair of oddly crooked hands on pedals attached to the wheels with bicycle chains. With one eye almost entirely fused shut and a single leg, he was like a real-life Long John Silver barreling toward them so fast that they had to leap apart to get out of his way.

"Mr. Wang, honestly!" Sister Laura called after him as he pedaled off, laughing, and to Victor, she said, "Don't mind him. That's just his idea of a joke."

"But what's wrong with him?" Victor said, unable to keep the horror out of his voice.

"Nothing you have to worry about. He went without treatment for so long that some of his nerves were destroyed. Doesn't stop him from getting around, though, as you can see."

Victor managed a small, polite smile as they continued to walk, but in his pockets, he balled his hands into fists. Even though it hurt to close them all the way, he clenched and unclenched them while he still could.

Excerpted from King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner. Copyright © 2023 by Wendy Chin-Tanner. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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