Within the sports mystery, Something’s Missing, three children unite to solve a mystery, but in addition, each one has a problem to solve. This is Rebecca’s problem:
A Snippet from Chapter Six:
There was a knock at the bedroom door, and Rebecca came back to reality with a jolt and opened her eyes as her mother walked into the room.
“I’ve brought you another ice pack,” Mother smiled. “Is your side starting to feel any better?”
Rebecca shook her head numbly, and unwrapped the ice pack from the towel as her mother handed her the replacement and gathered up the old pack. Wrapping the towel around the fresh ice pack, Rebecca pressed it against her side. Mother sat down on the side of the bed.
“I know how upset you must be with Marion,” Mother said quietly, “but surely she doesn’t realize how much she hurt you. Maybe you should give her the benefit of the doubt.”
Tears welled up in Rebecca’s eyes again. “She knew,” Rebecca said, blinking hard, and giving her long blond hair a toss. “She crosschecked me. The referee didn’t see it but might have if I had fallen. I should have faked it. I should have fallen, but all I could think about was trying to get the puck back.”
Mother shook her head. “I’m glad you didn’t fake anything. You mustn’t let anyone who does something wrong affect the way you play the game. Why weren’t you on the same team as Marion as you usually are? You never explained that. In any case, I just don’t understand why she would have purposely done something to hurt you.”
“She wants to make the All Star Team as much as I do,” Rebecca said earnestly, “and we are two of the best players on the team. There are still three positions available and the scouts for the Valley All Star Team will be at our tournament next week when the Vikings play the Pirates in the final games and the scouts will make their last selections from the Pirates’ team and our team. In the meantime, they asked our coach to arrange a scrimmage between the players on our team today at the practice so they could see us ahead of time to help narrow down their choices.
So, there we were: Marion – who usually plays left wing with Renée centering and me on right wing – was on a different team for the scrimmage. I had the puck and Marion came up on my right side. I guess she didn’t think she could get the puck any other way than by banging her stick across me.”
Rebecca was suddenly fighting back the tears again. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if she pushed up against me to move me off the puck even though we aren’t allowed to body check, or even if she reached out and grabbed my stick, which also isn’t allowed. But she gave me a hard check and hurt me. How could she do that? I never want to speak to her again.”
Betrayal by a Friend is a Difficult Learning Experience
Nothing is much more hurtful than to be betrayed by a trusted friend or family member. It’s difficult to cope with these situations at any age, and particularly tough when you are young and inexperienced. Playing sports helps teach life lessons, and learning how to handle negative emotions and learning how to accept imperfection in others is an important aspect.
Young Readers Relate to Kids’ Problems
When children become involved in story, fictional or real, they want to know what happens: How did they solve the mystery? What did Rebecca do about her friend? Wanting to know what happens is what drives a child to go on to reach the end of the story and find solutions to all the puzzles that are presented. That’s what makes reading fun, and when reading is fun, a child will read more, read faster, and read better, which makes schoolwork easier and everything in life easier.
Something’s Missing is for sale in paperback at this link to Amazon.com, or by clicking on this Amazon.ca link, and at Barnes and Noble, and independent bookstores. If your child enjoys e-book reading, watch for the Kindle version, coming soon.
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