a novel by Joe Cottonwood
Copyright © 2009 by Joe Cottonwood.
Previously published in 1990 by Scholastic, Inc. as The Adventures of Boone Barnaby. For this current edition the author has corrected a few errors in the text.
Chapter One: Babcock
I live in San Puerco, California. It's a little town in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There are just a few people and a whole mess of big trees tall enough to trap the fog blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. It's so quiet here, ducks sleep on the street. Banana slugs suck on our windows. Just about everybody has a wood stove and a pickup truck — except my dad. He has a computer and a Volkswagen bus.
The day after Labor Day, the morning of the first day of the new school year, I had just one thought on my mind: soccer. We had a team; we had a coach, an assistant coach, a league to play in; but we only had ten players. First day of school, I might find a new kid, a speedy kid, a strong kid who could run like lightning and kick like thunder. Our team is The San Puerco Thunderbolts. Last year, we never won a game. We were always playing ten against eleven. My dad said maybe we should pick a new name: The San Puerco Doormats. He was joking.