Summer Reading Excerpt #4

From Seven Clues, the first in a 3-book series of early chapter book summer adventures —

Seven Clues
… The wheels of Matt’s plain, old bike and David’s new BMX spun freely along the pavement. The breeze cooled the boys’ faces and necks. But they had not gone far when Matt’s bicycle ground to a stop. “Oh, not now,” he groaned.

As he kneeled to reattach the chain, David crowed, “I’d better lead.” And he flashed past Matt in a blur of red.

“That little . . .!” Matt put on a burst of speed to catch up. Above the north wall of the quarry he slowed down just enough to casually pedal past David.


Before Matt could pass him again, Matt veered left, his tires thunking off the main path to a dirt path below. We’ll see how smart you are now, he thought.

Matt led David on a meandering route among clumps of clay and rock to the quarry floor below. He bumped over large stones and made sudden turns at odd angles to avoid holes and clumps of boulder. Where he was leading David wasn’t really a path at all, and he expected at any moment to hear David’s BMX cracking up behind him.

But soon, with both bicycles still intact, the two boys stood on the quarry floor. Matt shaded his eyes and gazed up the steep walls at the zigzagging route they had taken down. He huffed to catch his breath. “I guess you’re good at more than just reading,” he said.

David beamed. “Did I surprise you?”


David might be a pain, but he could sure ride a mean bike. There were a couple of spots where Matt had wondered if he’d make it down in one piece himself. “That was a pretty rough ride,” he said.

“Are you kidding?” David answered. “It was nothing.”

“Oh, you think so?” Beside the route the boys had just taken was a sheer cliff of smooth sand. “Then I guess you could ride down there easy, too, eh?”

Happy summer reading! And safe riding!!

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson

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