WHEN 15-YEAR-OLD MICK Nichols opens the wrong e-mail, he learns a terrible secret: His stepmother is having an affair with a man named Alexander Selkirk. Mick is stunned. Should he tell his father, confront his stepmother, or keep it all to himself? And who, exactly, is Alexander Selkirk? Mick becomes obsessed with the infidelity, in spite of some serious distractions. Distractions like Lisa Doyle, the religious field-hockey player with the coppery red hair. Like the surprising (but appreciated) affections of Myra Vidal, a famously gorgeous college freshman with a secret of her own. And at the moment Mick discovers Selkirk’s true identity, he realizes his problems are all zipped up together—and that he may have to go to drastic lengths to untangle them.
“The McNeals spin a wonderfully rich story.”— Kirkus Reviews
“A well-honed novel. . . . Readers will be sucked in.”— Publishers Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Zipped|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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Baked in a Pie
It wasn't a normal Thursday, but all day long it had seemed like one, so when the final bell rang, Mick Nichols did what he normally did. He walked from Jemison High to Melville Junior High by way of the athletic fields, fast-walking at first, but then, as he neared the muddy grass where the girls' field hockey team was collecting for spring practice, he settled into something closer to a purposeful stroll.
He hoped he wasn't too early, and he wasn't. Lisa Doyle was there--he caught a flash of her coppery red hair through the shifting shoulders and sticks, and suddenly everywhere and all at once a strange prickling sensation began spreading across his skin. She bent down to pick up her stick, and when she happened to flick a glance in his general direction, Mick's face went wooden. He kept his eyes directly forward and walked stiffly on without another look her way. Beneath his old bomber jacket, beneath his khaki T-shirt, a cool bead of sweat coursed down his rib cage. Dink, he thought as he reached the chain-link fence that marked the boundary of the high school. Dink dink dink.
Melville Junior High was located just across the street to the east of Jemison High, so by this time of day Jemison's shadow already reached across Melville's front lawn. Mick cut through Melville's parking lot and wandered down to the art room, where his stepmother, Nora Mercer-Nichols, was cleaning up after a day of what she liked jokingly to call "teaching art to the artless." She was stuffing dirty wool into black Hefty bags. When she saw Mick she pushed her sandy blond hair up with the back of her hand and said, "Hello, Maestro!" Then, "Hi, Mick."