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Danny Ain’t


a novel by Joe Cottonwood



Copyright © 2012 by Joe Cottonwood

Previously published in 1992 by Scholastic, Inc. For this current edition the author has corrected a few errors in the text.

Cover painting by Melody Pilotte.


A note on pronunciation: the word “dsh” is pronounced nnndush, with minimal sound on the vowel and heavy sound on the “d” and the “sh.” If a prefix is attached to dsh, then there is no “nnn” sound.


Chapter One

The Choice of Life


Pop tells me when I was a baby, my mother gave me a test. She called it the Choice of Life. She lay me down on the floor and spread out in front of me a spoon, a deck of cards, a dollar bill, a book, a Bible, a ball. She said whatever I reached for first would be my Choice of Life. If I reached for the dollar, I would grow up to be rich. If I reached for the cards, I’d be a gambler; the book, a teacher; the Bible, a preacher; the ball, an athlete.

She was hoping I’d reach for the Bible.

Pop says he was hoping I’d reach for the dollar, and maybe then for the cards.

If you gave me the test today, I’d reach for the ball. But it’s too late, now. You only get one Choice of Life.

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