When Miss Baker walk in class smiling—like reading is fun—I pick up my pencil and draw two hearts.
We gonna read a play today, she saying. "Open your books." She walk over to me, squeezing my shoulder. "Autumn. Read the part of Kayla."
I tap my pencil on my book.
She winks. "I know you can do it."
I don't like to read. It's boring. I tell Miss Baker this all the time. She say not to give up. She gonna help me read better. That ain't gonna happen. Teachers tried before. I'm still reading three grades behind....
My goal is to be the best wrestler ever. Not the best reader.
I try to keep Autumn out, but she chases me. I have to run fast to get away.
Autumn is wearing track shoes. She says they are magic, superfast. Now she is ahead of me, staring back at my legs.
"Where your wheels at?" she wants to know.
"I have legs. See." I stop to give her a better look.
"Those are just pretend. I got real ones. Wanna wrestle?"
Poof! My legs disappear.
Excerpted from Takedown by Sharon G. Flake
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.