Giants and Ogres

Giants and Ogres by Madeline Smoot Read Free Book Online

Book: Giants and Ogres by Madeline Smoot Read Free Book Online
Authors: Madeline Smoot
us.” I could hear my father’s swift intake of breath. “I may never know. But I’m glad you stayed.”
    He took hold of my hand and squeezed it.
    â€œLet’s go home,” he said.
    Laura Ring is an anthropologist and academic librarian living in Chicago. She is the author of
Zenana: Everyday Peace in a Karachi Apartment Building
(Indiana University Press 2006).

What Verity Knew
Justine Cogan Gunn

    â€œO-g-r-e” I re-type.
    Tanner changed the autocorrect on my phone to spell “ogre” as “B-O-O-G-E-R” like a year ago. I need to change it back.
    More than that, I can’t wait to change my last name from “Ogre.” I mean, it’s something my parents should have done 15 years ago when I was born, and they saw that I was ENORMOUS for a preemie. And I had a full head of hair. And my skin was slightly green colored. Yeah. “Patinaed copper.” I guess the only thing worse would have been if they named me Penny. Thank God they didn’t.
    I’m Verity. And I’m an ogre. Actually, to be specific, I’m an “ogress.”
    My brother Tanner is NOTHING like me—something he and everyone else on the planet reminds me of every second. The gene must have skipped him like it skipped everyone else in my family (except some huge ancient guy in a black and white picture so you can’teven tell what color his skin is). No, Tanner’s normal—brown hair, brown eyes. He even has dimples, in case I needed a reminder that the universe is totally unfair.
    He’s a sophomore. And today I’m a freshman. So that should be really fun.
    I finish typing my whole name and send the text to my mom. I’m giving her crap for the whole “not changing our name” thing. She’s worried about me on my first day of high school and … so maybe I mention the last name thing again to bother her. Or maybe I want her to feel bad and baby me just a little when I get home. Maybe.
    I take a deep breath and step into my first official high school class. Geometry. I can handle this.
    â€œHi, you’re one of the freshmen in here, right?”
    A frighteningly normal-looking girl is smiling an equally frighteningly white smile at me.
    I nod.
    â€œI’m Kelsey. You’re Tanner’s sister?”
    I nod again.
    â€œHe and I were in English together last year … Mr. Freidman. Did he … mention that class?
    And it’s begun! The joys of having an insta-popular brother! I’ll be the go-between. Like I’ve always been. Ican handle that.
    â€œUm, I’m not—”
    But she’s one of those girls who likes to talk over you.
    â€œI love your skin, by the way. It’s beautiful. I’m someone who thinks ‘different’ is beautiful.”
    I smile politely and wonder if she thinks my huge teeth are differently beautiful, too. I can see by her tiny wince that she doesn’t.
    â€œThanks. I’m Verity. And, yeah, I’m pretty sure my brother mentioned you. English, right?”
    Her eyes light up, and she squeezes my hand with her tiny fingers.
    â€œYes! Oh, I’m so glad we’re in this class together!”
    She turns to the front as the teacher walks in.
    I slouch down and breathe a sigh of relief. Ok. That conversation was easy. I listen really well. I should be a shrink.
    As I make my way to World History, I think about it a little more seriously. I mean, maybe I should offer up my services. There have been all sorts of traumas at this school. I don’t just mean break-ups at dances, fights at football practice, and that kind of thing. I mean disappearances.
    Last year, Jamie Perkins came early for swim practicebecause he hadn’t been told it was cancelled. Security camera footage showed him going into the school with his swim bag. Two hours later when the gym teacher showed up, a locker was open in the boys’ locker room. Jamie’s bag was flung on the floor. There

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