The Boys From Clarey Avenue by Michelle Batson

“The protagonist, Lucas Reed, is a military brat facing life in not only another new school, but in a civilian school.  I picked this small portion because it is a scene that we are all too familiar with.”  —Michelle Batson

Chapter One

At lunch time he took his brown paper sack and went straight to a table he noticed was empty.  It was day four in the new school, and still no one had spoken to him.  He looked into the sack to see what his mother had sent with him, but only took out one item at a time in case anyone told him to move, or worse came over to bully him for his lunch.  He had learned the hard way in first grade not to display your lunch when you are the new kid.

He pulled out his jelly sandwich from its plastic entrapment and took a bite.  Still very nervous he sat timidly, struck with the notion that all eyes were on the ‘new kid.’  Three bites into his sandwich, he felt a presence walk up behind him.  Oh Crap, he thought.  Lucas stopped chewing as he braced for what could very well be a shove from behind.  Instead, the person set their metal lunch box down on the white table top and straddled the bench next to him.  “Hey.”

Lucas looked at the blue lunch box with Batman on the front, then moved his eyes to the person sitting to his right.  Once again, it was the red haired boy.  Lucas gave a closed lipped smiled since the jelly soaked bread was stuck firmly to the roof of his mouth.
“Brett,” the kid said as he stuck out his right hand.

Lucas grabbed on and pumped it twice as he tried to swallow, “ucas,” he said with a full mouth.

“What?” the boy laughed.

“Oh sorry.  Lucas.  Lucas Reed.”

“Good to meet ya.”

He was Brett Wilson – the tallest kid in the whole fifth grade.  He was skinny as a rail, with Irish pale skin chocked full of freckles.  His hair was wildly curly and always scattered carelessly about.  The red mess seemed to somehow grow upwards rather then down like most peoples hair, making him seem even taller then he actually was.

Brett looked at the sack lunch, “what’cha eatin’?”

Lucas shrugged it off, “nothing.”  He hated peanut butter with his jelly, but thought that made him weird, so he never told anyone it was just jelly.

“After lunch we play dodge ball, you wanna come?” he asked.

“Yeah.  Thanks,” he responded as coolly as he could.  Lucas was thrilled and ready to toss his whole lunch to run outside right away, but he had been working hard to master the cool, uninterested approach for this new school.  Every time the Reed family moved and he changed schools, he fully took advantage of the opportunity to reinvent himself.  This Cool Lucas was maybe starting to work.  Not only had someone spoken to him, but he actually asked him to hangout with him and his friends.

The friendly kid tore into his lunchbox, the lid clinking against the table.  He had a bologna sandwich, potato chips and a giant chocolate chip cookie.  He started with the cookie.

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is reprinted with permission of the author.

The Boys From Clarey Ave is published by, and the book is softbound, 173 pages.

Order this book now from by clicking on this link: The Boys From Clarey Ave

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