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Agents of the Glass: A New Recruit

  • Livre Relié
  • 400 Nombre de pages
Michael D. Beil is the author of the Edgar Allan Poe Award–nominated Red Blazer Girls mystery series, as well as Summer at F... Lire la suite
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Description

Auteur
Michael D. Beil is the author of the Edgar Allan Poe Award–nominated Red Blazer Girls mystery series, as well as Summer at Forsaken Lake and Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits. Beil spent his childhood with his nose firmly planted in a book and now teaches English. He lives in Manhattan and Connecticut with his wife, two dogs, and two cats. For more on the author and his books, visit him online at michaeldbeil.com.

Résumé

"With topical themes, high-speed action, and a neat resolution, this is likely to be a popular read. The emphasis on good character—especially compassion, courage, integrity, and discipline—is nice to see." --Kirkus

"Quick and pulsepounding and the stakes are high." --Booklist

The Agents of the Glass are at the front lines of the fight between good and evil, and they have a new recruit. But is he up to the task?

 
Andover James Llewellyn, aka Andy, did the unthinkable: he turned in a bag of money he found on the street after a bank robbery. His selfless action caught the attention of the Agents of the Glass. Now, as one of the agency’s newest recruits, Andy is tasked with following the actions of a dangerous student at this new school, only he doesn’t know which student.
 
Is it Winter Neale, model student with countless extracurricular activities? Or could it be Jensen Huntley, an antagonistic, angry kid whose blog has angered the wrong people? Andy must determine his target quick, before the evil organization known at NTRP catches on to him.
 
Will Andy succeed in his mission or will the Agents of the Glass have to find another recruit?


From the Hardcover edition.

Échantillon de lecture

1

 

 

There’s no doubt about it--Andy’s full name sounds a bit stuffy: Andover James Llewellyn. His story, however, starts with an ordinary pickle, the kind that fast-food joints put on their burgers.

 

“It wasn’t even supposed to be on the hamburger,” he told Silas at their first meeting. “I told the guy: no pickles. When I opened the wrapper and saw that slimy thing staring at me from beneath those sesame seeds, I thought seriously about taking it back. And I would have if there hadn’t been a long line at the counter. I really hate pickles. So I used a French fry to push it onto a napkin and wadded it up. I had to throw away that fry, too, because it had touched the pickle.”

 

Five minutes later, he was on his way home, ready to face the fact that it was the Friday before Labor Day, with school starting in five days, and he had precisely zero plans for the long holiday weekend.

 

“All that changed in a hurry,” said Andy. “My mom is always telling me that life is like that. It just . . . happens.”

 

He made the turn from Seventy-Seventh onto York Avenue and was walking north, a few steps behind a guy pushing a shopping cart full of bags of cans and bottles. The latest album from Karina Jellyby, his favorite singer, was pouring into his head through his earbuds when the blast hit him. According to the laws of physics, there could only have been a fraction of a second between the time he saw the flash and flying glass and heard the explosion, but Andy insists that, in his memory, they are two distinct events.

 

“When I close my eyes, I still see the poor guy with the shopping cart flying sideways and slamming into a parked car, and all those cans and bottles being blown clear across the street,” he said. “A blizzard of glass and aluminum. And I hear Karina Jellyby’s song ‘Don’t Blame Me,’ the part where there’s just the piano at the beginning.”

 

The explosion knocked Andy’s feet out from under him and rolled him between the front and rear wheels of a delivery truck that was screeching to a stop.

 

“The way I see it, that pickle saved my life,” Andy insisted. “If they had made the burger the way I wanted it, I would have finished eating a few seconds earlier and would have been a few steps ahead of where I was, and instead of a cut on the forehead from a chunk of flying glass and some bruises from bouncing off the street, I would have ended up exactly like the guy with the shopping cart--dead.”

 

Instead, Andy was alive. Disoriented, confused, and bleeding a little--actually, a lot--but definitely alive. He was lying under the truck, curled up into a ball and waiting for the next explosion, when he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a voice that sounded miles and miles away.

 

“Hey, kid, are you okay? Kid?”

 

Andy lifted his head from the hot, greasy pavement. “Unh.”

 

“He’s alive!” shouted the man.

 

A woman asked, “Are you hurt?”

 

“I don’t think so. Maybe. I can’t tell.”

 

“Can you move?”

 

He wiggled his toes, then clenched his hands into fists as he became aware of sirens blaring all around him. “Yeah. Everything works.”

 

“Good. We’re going to get you out of there, but we have to be careful because there’s broken glass everywhere,” the woman said. “You’re going to be all right.”

 

“Yeah, I know,” Andy said. He admitted later that he had no idea why he said that; at that moment, he didn’t know anything. “What happened?”

 

“There was an explosion in the bank. The whole front of the building is gone.”

 

Just then someone came with a push broom and swept all the broken glass aside, clearing a path for his escape. He commando-crawled in reverse, then, once his head was clear of the truck, stood and turned to face those who had helped him.

 

Two sets of hands immediately pushed him back down onto the ground. “The way they looked at me, I knew something was wrong with my face, and when the blood started getting into my eyes, I got a little worried. But it was just a cut from some flying glass. I guess I was lucky--if it had been an inch lower, I would have lost an eye.”

 

Five minutes later, after wrapping his head almost completely in gauze, the paramedics loaded him into the back of an ambulance. They were just about to shut the door when the woman who had assured him that he would be all right shouted at them, “Wait! I have his backpack! It was under the truck.”

 

Maybe it was the loss of blood, or maybe he bumped his head and was suffering from a slight concussion, but Andy swears that right then he absolutely believed it was his backpack: same black-and-silver color scheme, same brand.

 

“Thanks,” he said, never pausing to ask the obvious question: Why would he have been carrying his schoolbag on a Friday in August?

 

The rest of that afternoon was a blur of X-rays, doctors shining lights into his eyes, tetanus shots, and his mother’s tears. By the time the nurse brought her into the treatment room, he was sitting up on the edge of the bed, drinking a ginger ale (they didn’t have root beer, his favorite), and munching on saltines.

 

“Hey, Mom.”

 

Abbey Llewellyn immediately broke down in a flurry of hugging and sobbing.

 

“I’m okay, Mom. Really. It’s just a cut. Eight stitches. D’you want to see the piece of glass they took out? It’s, like, two inches long.”

 

Like most twelve-year-olds, Andy has a habit of saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time, at least where his mother is concerned.

 

The police investigation revealed that a (still-unidentified) man had wrapped himself in dynamite and walked into the bank to rob it. The teller handed over the money, and the robber turned to leave, but just as he reached for the front door, something went horribly wrong. Because the bank’s employees were all on the floor, they had only some cuts and scratches, but the robber and the homeless man pushing the shopping cart weren’t so lucky.

 

The phone was ringing when Andy and his mother walked in the door to their apartment, and it didn’t stop until she finally unplugged it an hour later. Everybody wanted to talk to Andy--the NYPD (super -nice), the FBI (a little scary), and every reporter in the city. Andy’s father let him talk to the cops and the FBI but told all the reporters to . . . Well, let’s just say that he told them that they really needed to stop calling.

 

His father had some typically blunt advice for Andy, who had told him his theory about the pickle saving his life. “You ought to keep that little bit of information to yourself, unless you want to be known as Pickle Boy for the rest of your life. Because that’s what the newspapers and the TV reporters will call you.”

 

Howard Llewellyn was right. The editors at the Daily Torch, New York’s most notorious tabloid, lived for “pickle boy” opportunities. Not that Howard was above a little name-calling himself. As the host of the nightly radio show Tellin’ It Like It Is (where he went by the name Howard Twopenny), he spent his fair share of time in the gutter on his never-ending search for what he called the LHD--the lowest human denominator.

 

Andy slept on the top bunk of a set of bunk beds; the lower one had long ago been replaced by a desk and a small bookcase. After all the day’s excitement, however, sleep was impossible. For a long time, he lay there while a steady stream of pictures of a shopping cart tumbling through the air, followed by a million cans and bottles and an innocent bystander, played in an endless loop on the ceiling above him. It was the image of that man pushing the cart that haunted him, and the more he thought about him, the clearer the man’s face became. He had seen him before around the neighborhood, going through trash cans on Tuesdays, which was the trash pickup day on his street. He was angry with himself for never paying attention to him or being even the slightest bit curious about his life. What had happened, he wondered, to lead the man to a life on the streets of New York--certainly not a conscious choice anyone would make. He had been a teenager once, just like Andy, with friends and dreams, going off to school with his backpack, and—

 

A backpack! Andy sat up in bed so quickly that he slammed his head on the ceiling--luckily, not the spot where his stitches were. Rubbing his forehead, he jumped to the floor and turned on the light. Hanging from his chair was his backpack, but his eyes soon landed on another identical pack parked in its usual spot next to the door.

 

“A lot of things went through my mind at that moment,” he explained later. “Mostly, I was imagining how many pieces I was going to be blown into if it was another bomb. I didn’t know what to do, so I just got back in bed and stared at that backpack. My mom must have heard my head hit the ceiling, because in a few minutes she came in to check on me. I think she was feeling a little guilty about leaving. She’s a scientist and works for Concern Worldwide, this big international organization—you know, like the Red Cross--and she was flying to Tanzania first thing in the morning. I know I should have just told her about the pack right then, but she started talking about her trip to Africa, telling me that she would call me every day, and how everything was going to be all right, and to listen to my dad while she was gone, even if he was acting like, well, the guy I call Radio Dad. Sometimes, when he’s talking to me, it’s like he’s still on the air, saying the craziest things you ever heard. And Mom will always remind me, ‘Take your father with a grain of salt, Andover.’ Sometimes, I think I need a whole saltshaker. Anyway, when she left my room, I hopped down from the bed and stared at that backpack, pacing back and forth and trying to work up the nerve to open it up. I finally kneeled down next to it, took a deep breath, slid the zipper a few inches, and peeked inside. And then . . . wow.”

 

Wow, indeed. Two hundred and ten thousand, seven hundred and forty dollars’ worth of wow, to be exact, in crisp new twenty- and fifty-dollar bills.

 

 

I knew the two hundred grand would get your attention. Before you read any further, stop a moment and consider this question: What would you do if you were in Andy’s position? Two hundred and ten thousand, seven hundred and forty dollars. In a backpack. In your bedroom. And only you know. If you’re still interested, keep reading.

Détails sur le produit

Titre: Agents of the Glass: A New Recruit
Auteur:
Code EAN: 9780385753227
ISBN: 978-0-385-75322-7
Format: Livre Relié
Age recommandé: 9 à 12 ans
Editeur: Random House N.Y.
Genre: Enfants et adolescents
nombre de pages: 400
Année: 2016