Fifteen-year-old Mike McGill has been living with his Uncle Billy since his mother's death. Only ten years older than Mike, Billy loves to party, and doesn't pay much attention when Mike starts getting in trouble. But Mike's history teacher, an ex-cop name Riel, does pay attention. Especially when long-hidden information starts coming to light that makes it seem that the death of Mike's mother might not have been an accident after all!
"McClintock delivers the goods."
— Quill and Quire
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 0-439-97418-6 PBK
Ages 12 to 14
Billy was sitting on the porch drinking a beer when I got home. Billy's on the small side, and skinny — mostly from not eating properly. His straw-coloured hair was always flopping into his eyes. He had to shove it aside every few minutes with an almost permanently grease-blackened hand. The front of his jeans was also streaked with black and there were black smudges on his T-shirt. The first time people met Billy, they always thought he was my big brother, not my uncle. He's only ten years older than me. He had been living with us until he turned eighteen, three years before Mom died. Mostly I thought of Billy as a brother, too — a big, messy, spoiled one. He was too lazy to bother much with being an authority figure.
I counted the empty beer bottles under his chair. "Tough day at the garage?" I said.
Billy's eyes were watery as he turned to look at me.
"You got that right, Mikey."
My stomach rumbled. I'd had a doughnut and a carton of chocolate milk for breakfast, and grabbed a burger and fries at Square Boy for lunch. But that was hours ago.
"Did you go grocery shopping, Billy?"
He gave me a look that said, are you crazy?
"You're the one working at a grocery store, Mikey."
"Yeah, but you're the one with the money."
Billy shot me another look. "I wish!"
I sighed. Things weren't looking promising, supperwise. Again.
"So, you eaten or what?"
"I'm not hungry," Billy said. "Besides, I'm going out. I'll grab something later."
Great. My stomach was growling. And if Billy hadn't picked up any food and if he was going out anyway, that meant I was looking at a can of Beefaroni or some soup for supper, or, if I wanted to venture beyond heating and into cooking, scambled eggs. I went inside, remembering how it used to be on Saturday nights, or even better, on Sunday nights when I'd blow into the house after a day of football or road hockey or bike riding with Vin. I'd barrel into the front hall and my mouth would start watering as I inhaled the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven or pork chops simmering in a pan or a pie or cupcakes cooling on a rack on the kitchen counter.
From Hit and Run. Copyright © 2003 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved.
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