Illustrated by Greg Swearingen
Cover design or artwork by Greg Swearingen
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Quinny has one speed: very, very, extra-very fast. Hopper proceeds with caution.
Quinny has big ideas. Hopper has smart solutions.
Quinny and Hopper couldn’t be more different. They are an unstoppable team.
But when summer ends, things suddenly aren’t the same. Can Quinny and Hopper stick together in the face of stylish bullies, a killer chicken, and the brand-new Third Grade Rules-especially the one that says they aren’t allowed to be friends anymore?
Praise for Quinny & Hopper:
“First-time children’s author Schanen skillfully captures Quinny’s zest and Hopper’s timidity through their interactions and alternating narratives, and Swearingen’s smudgy spot illustrations amplify the lively tone. The story’s best moments showcase the spirited friendship between Quinny and Hopper, but there’s much to appreciate throughout this exuberant debut.” — Publishers Weekly
“The book is engrossing, and the likable duo change and grow in believable ways. Quinny and Hopper, who take turns narrating, have distinct, well-differentiated voices, and Schanen makes good use of her individuated secondary characters as well. Swearingen’s black-and-white drawings both capture the spirit of the characters and enhance the narrative. This endearing story about true friendship should appeal equally to boys and girls.” — Kirkus Reviews
Text copyright © 2014 by Adriana Brad Schanen
Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Greg Swearingen
Cover design by Tyler Nevins
Cover art © 2014 by Greg Swearingen
All rights reserved. Published by Disney • Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information address Disney • Hyperion Books, 125 West End Avenue, New York, New York 10023.
For Glen, Madeline, and Julia. And for my parents, whose big dreams paved the way for mine. I love you.
The moving truck is so tall that you have to climb up stairs to get into it. So I do.
Inside it's got a steering wheel as big as a hula hoop and tons of rocket-ship control panels and a bouncy driver's seat that's a trampoline just for my bottom. Plus the air in here smells warm and gooey, like pizza and cinnamon buns all squished together.
"Quinny Bumble, get down from there!" calls Mom from the sidewalk.
The good news is, in eight years I'll be old enough to drive this thing.
The grumpy news is, today we're moving.
We = me + Mom + Daddy + Pee-U Piper + icky-sticky-screamy Cleo + 147 boxes of all our stuff.
Good-bye, New York City. Hello, some other place in the middle of nowhere that we have to go live for Mom's new job.
The list of things I'm going to miss about my city is very, very, extra-very long.
I'll miss climbing the wall of bookshelves in our apartment and saving Central Park snowballs in our freezer. I'll miss digging for buried treasure in the recycling closet down the hall and chatting in the lobby with our doorman, Paco. I'll miss riding my scooter through goopy green puddles at the curb and taking the train to school—underground!
I'll miss my friends the most. I've got friends from all nine floors of my building, from all three floors of my school, from theater camp, tap dance, tae kwon do, and accordion lessons. I've got friends from the farmers' market, the bagel store, the bookstore, the thrift store, and from just walking through Central Park.
"You'll make new friends and new lists when we get to our new town," says Mom.
Baking cookies from scratch = fun.
Starting life from scratch = no fun.
Daddy won't even let me ride in the giant moving truck. He makes me squeeze into the backseat of our tiny car between Pee-U Piper, who's four and licks, and icky-sticky-screamy Cleo, who's one and bites. There's barely enough room back here for my mini-cooler, which fits just one precious Central Park snowball from our freezer. Plus did I mention that Piper picks her nose and Cleo farts so loud it sounds like she's got a tuba in her diaper?
We speed up onto the West Side Highway, zooming away from my fabulous city. We cross the George Washington Bridge, probably for the last time ever. I'm so sad thinking about it that I fall asleep. But
in the middle of my nap, Piper sticks a licky-wet finger in my ear. Deep, deep, deep into my warm, dry, sleepy ear. I wake up and howl, which makes Cleo wake up and howl, which makes Mom howl from the front seat: "Quinny, please!"
"Please what? She licked me again!"
But spit is see-through, so I never have any proof.
"Honey, she's just four," says Mom.
"When she's five, you'll say, 'She's just five.' When she's six, you'll say, 'She's just six.'"
I put my hand over Piper's face and squeeze, as a consequence for her inappropriate behavior.
"Quinny Bumble, that's enough!" Mom howls again.
"She started it!"
"Then be the one to finish it. You're the oldest, so set a good example."
Mom is always going on about this setting an example stuff. I'm sick of it. Just because I'm almost nine (which is the age in between eight-and-a-half and really, truly, absolutely nine) she expects me to be perfect. Why doesn't Mom make Piper set an example for Cleo? She's older than Cleo, after all!
It's going to be a long ride. Hours and hours long…hours of trying to stop Cleo from biting my hair…hours of playing Crazy Eights with Piper (who cheats)…hours of holding it in till the next gas station and belting it out to "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by the Beatles (the most awesome band ever invented)…hours of staring out at nature, nature, and more nature…
I wait for all this nature to turn back into something interesting, like a subway stop or a skyscraper, but it doesn't. Finally, we pass a sign: WELCOME TO WHISPER VALLEY.
"This is it!" says Daddy.
"This is what?" I ask.
"Our new town," says Mom.
I look around. Whisper Valley has a million trees but no people. The houses don't even touch each other—no wonder they look so bored. I lower the car window. It's quiet out here, way too quiet. I sniff the air, which has exactly zero flavor.
"Look, here's the downtown!" says Mom. "Isn't it charming?"
There's not much town in Whisper Valley's downtown. You can practically see the whole thing with one eyeball.
Hardware store + deli + dry cleaners + pizza place < downtown.
"Where's the bagel store?"
"Not every town has a bagel store," says Daddy. "The deli here sells bagels."
"Where's the bookstore?"
The sidewalk here looks so clean I don't think anyone ever walks on it. We drive by an empty train station. We drive by an empty playground. Where is everybody?
Finally the car stops—in front of a barn.
"This is it!" says Daddy.
"This is what?" I ask.
"Our new home," says Mom.
"We're moving into a barn?"
"It's not a barn," says Mom. "It's a house. It's called a Dutch Colonial. Isn't it lovely?"
I take another look. It's the shape of a barn. The color of a barn. "Are there cows and pigs inside?" I ask.
Mom rolls her eyes. She learned that from me.
Our new barn-house comes with new rules.
"No touching the rosebushes out front," says Daddy.
Ouch! Now I know why.
"No swinging on the porch swing," says Mom.
No fair. It's not called a porch sit-still-and-be-bored, is it?
"No riding your scooter around the living room," says Daddy.
Why not? This place is huge.
"We finally have room for a dog!" I call out. "Let's go to the shelter and pick one out!"
"Quinny, please," answers more grown-up groaning. "Go check out your new room."
My new room is up eleven creaky stairs and down an ultralong hallway that's perfect for bowling. It's got one squeaky door, two sunny windows, a closet that smells like Grandma's hugs, and a ceiling that looks like coconut frosting. (I don't know if it tastes like coconut frosting, because it's too high up to lick. I'm going to need a ladder.)
The good news about having my own room is I won't have to smell Piper's pee-u when she doesn't wake up in time to run to the bathroom at night. Plus I can decorate this place any way I want. My favorite paint color is a tie between green with orange polka dots and orange with green polka dots. Maybe I'll even put in a porch swing.
The grumpy news about having my own room is it's kind of lonely in here. How will I fall asleep at night without Piper's snoring? How will I wake up without her hunting for boogers up my nose with a flashlight?
"Time for lunch," Daddy calls from outside.
My parents unpack a picnic in our new backyard. Mom hands out sandwiches to everyone except Cleo (who has to eat soft-serve peas because she doesn't have any teeth yet).
"Isn't this beautiful?" says Daddy.
"I guess. If you like trees."
"Quinny, what's gotten into you? You loved Central Park, and it was full of trees."
"But Central Park had other stuff, too."
It had crazy-bright Rollerbladers and freaky-fast bikers and zoomy runners. It had singers and guitar players and picture-painters in wacky outfits. It had dogs galore and a whole zoo, even, plus a skating rink, a puppet theater, and a giant pond. Our new yard has just us in it. And all the yards around us are empty. Where is everybody?
Finally something happens. A chicken hops by. A real, live chicken, just like the kind you hear about in books. Except this one's stylish—it's got black and white stripes, like a zebra.
I knew this house was really a barn!
"Mom, Daddy, look!"
But Mom's busy trying to get Piper down from a tree. Daddy's busy changing Cleo's stinky diaper and wiping her screamy spit-up from his glasses at the same time.
If I'm going to catch us a pet, I've got to think fast. So I follow that zebra-chicken and try to introduce myself. It hops over to the back of my house and BOCK BOCK BOCKs at the kitchen door, like it's angry about something.
"Hi there, chicken, I'm Quinny. Come inside and make yourself at home!"
The chicken turns and glare-stares at me, like I've done something wrong. Then it runs off.
"Hey, chicken! Come back, I don't bite!"
It races into another yard. I keep following it. And following it. Until it's gone.
Now, where am I? And what's that over there—a swing set? And who's on it? I can't see through all this nature. Maybe it's a girl. Maybe she's almost nine, too. Or maybe it's a boy. A friendly boy who likes to climb bookshelves and collect snowballs. I run over to find out.
Uh-oh again. That's not a swing set—it's a fence around a garden. A garden full of strange tomatoes. Yellow, orange, purple, green tomatoes…big and small and smooth and lumpy-bumpy tomatoes…even heart-shaped tomatoes, which I've never seen before in my life.
And the person inside this garden is definitely not a kid.
"Excuse me, young lady!" says an old lady, crouching and digging in the dirt.
"You are excused," I say. "Did you happen to see a chicken run by here?"
The old lady stands up. Way, way up. I've never seen a person so old and so tall both at the same time. She stares down at me, all serious and suspicious. I wonder if she knows she looks just like that guy on the front of my two-dollar bill.
"What about kids?" I try again, all smiley-polite. "Have you seen any kids around here?"
"I'm looking at one right now, and it's trespassing. This yard is private property."
"Oh. Sorry, I didn't realize. Back home, the outdoors belong to everyone."
"Where exactly do you live, young lady?"
I'm about to say New York City. But then I remember it's not true anymore. So I tell her, "In that house that looks like a barn, I guess."
That's all it takes. The giant old lady starts walking me right back to the big red barn-house.
"Can I ask you a question?" I ask her.
"If you must."
"Does anything exciting ever happen around here?"
"That's what I was afraid of."
"Young lady, didn't anyone ever tell you not to talk to strangers?"
"Then how would I ever meet anyone new?"
All of a sudden I hear some very familiar yelling.
"Quinny! Quinny?" says the yelling. "Quinny Bumble! Where are you?"
"I take it you are Quinny Bumble," says the old lady.
"Well, I'm Mrs. Porridge."
I wonder if she knows she is named after yucky soup.
"And that chicken's name is Freya. Stay away from her. She almost killed my cat."
My ears perk up. A killer chicken? Now, that's exciting! And I didn't know Mrs. Porridge even had a cat. "You're so lucky to have a pet!" I tell her. "I was supposed to get a puppy once, but then I got my baby sister, Cleo, instead. What's your cat's name? Does it do any tricks? Can I come over and play with it? I'm free right now!"
But before Mrs. Porridge can answer me, we're back at the barn-house.
Mom makes a serious-stiff face at me. Daddy looks half carsick and half relieved.
"We were so worried," Mom says.
"Quinny, you know better than to run off by yourself," Daddy says.
I do. But sometimes I forget stuff I already know.
"I'm sorry," I tell them. Very, very, extra-very sorry.
My parents thank Mrs. Porridge. Then they give me a big talk about not running off by myself. Then they send me up to my room. By myself.
I trudge up the stairs, all slumpy and sad. Pee-U Piper is up here in the hall, smirky-smiling. Nothing makes her happier than when I'm in trouble. She's also holding my snowball cooler—which reminds me I forgot to put that snowball in the freezer!
She hands me the cooler and says, "Ha-ha, your snowball gotted all melty."
"Gotted is not a word!" I grab that cooler and slam my door in Piper's face.
Then I sit there, all alone in my lonely new room. No pet chicken, no new friends, no nothing. Just a cooler, dripping dead snowball onto my feet.
Moving here was the grumpiest idea ever.
Making a foot is not easy.
That's because a human foot has twenty-six bones in it. Some are as tiny as a screw. I spread them all out on my bed. I start by connecting the calcaneus to the cuboid.
"Hopper Benjamin Grey!" calls Mom from downstairs. "Let's go!"
I connect the cuboid to the fifth metatarsals.
Our minivan's horn beeps.
"Come on!" calls Dad from the driveway. "We're late."
I put my foot bones back into their box. I slide the box under my bed and walk downstairs.
Aunt LuAnne's barbecue party is today. That means we all have to go to it.
In the front seat of the minivan, my parents joke and laugh.
In the middle seat, my big brothers, Trevor and Ty, shove each other.
In the back, I sit by myself and look out the window. Freya, the stray chicken, is eating from our songbird feeder again. I don't think she knows who she really is.
We get to Aunt LuAnne's party. She pushes her big, mushy face down to mine and kisses me hello with orange lipstink. "Cheer up, Hopper! Your cousins are here!" she booms up my nose.
Dad rubs my hair, hard. "Go on, have fun!"
- "This is a delightful, amusing chapter book with lively, relatable characters. Black-and-white drawings add to the overall mood of the story. Fans of Sara Pennypacker's Clementine and Judy Blume's Super Fudge will flock to this entertaining chapter book."—School Library Journal
"First-time children's author Schanen skillfully captures Quinny's zest and Hopper's timidity through their interactions and alternating narratives, and Swearingen's smudgy spot illustrations amplify the lively tone. The story's best moments showcase the spirited friendship between Quinny and Hopper, but there's much to appreciate throughout this exuberant debut."
- "The book is engrossing, and the likable duo change and grow in believable ways. Quinny and Hopper, who take turns narrating, have distinct, well-differentiated voices, and Schanen makes good use of her individuated secondary characters as well. Swearingen's black-and-white drawings both capture the spirit of the characters and enhance the narrative. This endearing story about true friendship should appeal equally to boys and girls."—Kirkus Reviews
- "Quinny and Hopper narrate alternating chapters, each with a strong voice and spot-on language and emotions. Funny, honest, and fast paced, this book about friendship should have wide appeal." —Booklist
Accolades2016-2017 Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award, selection
- On Sale
- Jun 10, 2014
- Page Count
- 240 pages
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers