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224 pages, Paperback
First published October 28, 1999
On the morning of the first day Marie Prbyczka came to our school, the dawn's early light slipped softly into the bedroom where my sister, Chrisanne, and I lay sleeping. We floated through our sleep peacefully, like two pearls sinking through Prell, until the alarm clock ripped the quiet into two pieces, and the first piece fluttered out of sight forever. I pried one eye open so I could watch Chrisanne as she flung herself headfirst out over the foot of her bed and, tethered there by two fingertips, reached out with the fingertips of her other hand to plug in her electric curlers. Then she flopped back in a 180-degree arc onto her pillow and fell into solid, heavy sleep for ten more minutes. It was amazing and impressive. Especially since Chrisanne isn't very flexible. On most days she can hardly do a forward roll. It reminded me of dolphins leaping completely out of the water and flipping over in the air. You watch them and wonder, How is that even possible?