G’DAY: Moment 1

This complimentary excerpt from G’DAY: Aints. Read the The Magic Man and Family Roots also.

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MOMENT ONE

COFFIN

Driew had never known anyone to die, and he wouldn’t let today be that day.

Driew fought! Bound and gagged inside the suffocating supply box, his sing-song voice now restrained by his bindings remained unable to save him. Driew feverishly peeked through the cracks of his locked wooden coffin of doom. His eyes burned with pain from the sliver of sunlight upon the horizon.

His Tasmanian Tiger joey, squealed from the tormenting blows of two masked teens. Dingo hung from the rusty wire clothesline bagged like a papoose in a sinister’s dress—Gayle’s. With two wooden baccastix, the teens walloped Dingo like a celebratory piñata.

Disguised in a black hooded sweatshirt, the boy tormentor commanded the girl, “Let’s take the mongrel to the river.”

“You never mentioned drownin’ it,” the girl tormentor said, wearing a matching disguise.

“If it swims, it won’t drown. If it drowns, then it would’ve died sooner or later,” the boy said.

Fraught with urgency, Driew wriggled against his painful confines.

“I’ve never seen claws on a dog before. I’m not touchin’ it,” the girl said.

“We’ll use this stick for totin’ the mongrel down to the river,” he said, handing the girl a wooden baccastix, normally used for firing dark tobacco.

Driew rubbed his cheek against the wooden floor, snagging the gag cloth on a splintered board. Nostrils flaring in anger, he peered through the cracks of the box as Dingo slid off the clothesline onto the baccastix carrying pole.

Driew pressed hard against the splintered board, grimacing as it pierced his cheek. With a fitful yank, the gag ripped but remained cinched.

The tormentors dragged Dingo to the supply box where Driew struggled. The boy tormentor kicked the box near Driew’s head. The forceful kick cracked the board against Driew’s temple. He winced, knocking back urges to cry out his pain. The bully stole Driew’s happiness but he wouldn’t find satisfaction in Driew’s pain.

Dingo’s marsupial cries subsided into low, fearful whimpers. He, like Driew, sensed potential danger.

“There’s no family crueler than ours,” the boy said.

This all too familiar phrase Driew learned and understood bloody quick. He pulled at the slobbery gag a third time, freeing his clenched jaw. Inhaling a much needed breath, he was able to sing-song, bellowing to the baccastix supporting Dingo.

The baccastix ignited, engulfing stick and dress with teal blue flames. Startled by the sudden fire, the tormentors dropped the flaming stick and cargo onto the unforgiving soil.

Ripping through the dress with his cat-like claws, Dingo escaped, scurrying to a nearby tree for safety.

“You’re full of bad ideas! The dog is loose and mad!” The girl yelled as she ran from the flaming baccastix out of Driew’s sight.

“Come back you big sissy. We’re not done with him!” The boy hollered, chasing behind the girl.

Driew rolled onto his back and sighed, “As always, left like a magician to free myself.”

Lured by his curiosity to the opened yard supply box, Driew had spent nearly an hour locked away in solitary confinement. While peering into the box, his twin tormentors wrangled him like a rodeo calf, locking him inside.

When faced with difficult situations, Driew sought out his own solutions to problems. This meant not asking others to do something he wouldn’t. He calmed himself rather than bellyaching and calling for help.

His oldest sister and brother, Killiope and Pester, both graduated and moved away. Killiope served in the US military, and Pester played college lacrosse. Their absence offered no comfort as Driew’s twin siblings sealed his little bother fate on the farm.

Driew lay staring through the darkness of the confining coffin, focusing on the wooden box lid.

“Torments must be what the last born deserves,” he said to himself.

Sing-song, a spooking voice called from the familiar spook, finding Driew once again in despair.

Hopeful his sing-song controlled this wooden box as it had many other wooden objects on the farm like the baccastix, Driew sang. The supply box lid rattled against the lock outside. Driew turned his song’s focus toward the end of the box at his feet and sang his sing-song intently. The end fell open and a joyful tiger-striped flash bounded into the box over his feet and onto his chest. Dingo’s joyous licks showed Driew his parents weren’t the only ones who loved him unconditionally.

Shuffling feet first from the box, Driew scooted outside in the sunlight’s freedom.

“I must be a magic man to escape their box of doom.”

—•—

G'DAY-Aints-www.mwa.company-Flat Book
Text and illustrations copyright © 2018 by Mark Wayne Adams. All rights reserved. Family Tree Novel is a SYP Kids imprint.

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Language of DOWN UNDER by Moment

Language of DOWN UNDER by Moment

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This list is for teachers and parents. Discuss these words with readers before they read each chapter. Readers may have difficulty with words that don’t appear in everyday discussion. Adopting new words and terms builds a better vocabulary to describe reading experiences.

MOMENT ONE: lacrosse

MOMENT TWO: blue, larrikin, tallo, tobacco, water well

MOMENT THREE: bluey, fossick, furphy, mate, stuffed, I’ll be

MOMENT FOUR: Pennyrile

MOMENT FIVE: barbecue, cicada, fella, mob, moolah, Victoria

MOMENT SIX: down under, platypus, puddle-snorts, ta

MOMENT SEVEN: caddywompus, cricket, Darwin, fella, galah, poa, vegemite

MOMENT EIGHT: coydog, digger, galah, malle, Willy Willy, Wolle paper

MOMENT NINE: billa bong, bourbon, mozzie

MOMENT TEN: doovalacky

MOMENT ELEVEN: dingo, marsupial, pig-footed bandicoot

MOMENT THIRTEEN: candlestix, stalactite

MOMENT FOURTEEN: cassowary, joey, Tasmanian tiger

MOMENT SIXTEEN: opal, noodling, stalagmite

MOMENT NINETEEN: noodling

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For more resources using the Language of the Outback or discussion of Family Tree Novel series, choose these helpful links:

Summer Reading List: “Ghosts on the Coast: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country”

It seems wherever they go, adventure follows the Johnson family. This time it comes while they tour the historic cities of Savannah and Charleston. In addition to learning about the challenges of the early settlers, the boldness of the greedy pirates, and the determination of feisty women who helped save the heritage of these historic cities, Joey, Bobby and Katy encounter numerous ghost stories. When 10-year-old Bobby finds himself in a dangerous situation on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, he looks to a legendary ghost for help. Young readers won’t know they’re learning history; they’ll only know they’re having fun as they follow these kids on their latest adventure.

Ghosts on the Coast: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Ghosts on the Coast: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country is written by Jane R. Wood. This is one of five books in her award-winning series of chapter books:  Voices in St. Augustine,  Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, a Princess, and Buried TreasureTrouble on the St. Johns River, and Lost in Boston.

Summer Reading List: “Trouble on the St. Johns River”

In Trouble on the St. Johns River, the Johnson kids Joey, Bobby and Katy are up to their adventurous ways again. But this time, instead of exploring history, they’re making it! Joey and Bobby start their summer vacation by setting out for their favorite fishing pond, but end up leading a crusade to clean up the environment instead. Finding the pond covered with green muck and dead fish, the brothers decide to do something about it. That leads to a close encounter with a manatee, a visit to a center that rehabilitates injured sea turtles, and a boat tour on the St. Johns River. What they learn through these experiences inspires them to create The Greenies and chart a course of action that captures the attention of many, including a local TV station. By the end of the story, Joey, who thought there was nothing kids could do to make a difference, realizes that perhaps they are the very ones who can. It’s a story of awakening that will inspire young readers to become more aware of their environment and give them some ideas on how to preserve it.

Trouble on the St. Johns River is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Trouble on the St. Johns River is written by Jane R. Wood. This is one of five books in her award-winning series of chapter books:  Voices in St. Augustine,  Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, a Princess, and Buried TreasureGhosts on the Coast, and Lost in Boston.

Summer Reading List: “Voices in St. Augustine”

Thirteen-year-old Joey Johnson hears voices. Only he can’t find the people who belong to them. His curiosity leads him on a quest where he learns more than just history about the Nation’s Oldest City. He discovers he has a special connection to the past—something that changes his life forever.

Voices in St. Augustine is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.

Voices in St. Augustine is written by Jane R. Wood. This is one of five books in her award-winning series of chapter books:  Adventures on Amelia Island, Trouble on the St. John’s River, Ghosts on the Coast, and Lost in Boston.