“Where have you been?!” Drake’s mother asks him.
“This girl was shoved in a trunk and I went to go help her. The guy tried to shoot me but missed, hit a pole and it bounced off and hit him in the head,” Drake told her.
“You did WHAT!! You are grounded! Never do that again.”
“Come on! Oh well. Come on, Topaz!”
He was asleep before he even touched the pillow.
Once again Topaz was his alarm clock. This time, it took a little more than poking and prodding to wake him up.
“WAKE UP!!!” Topaz screams.
“Huh? What’s up?” Drake says groggily.
“Wake up,” Topaz repeats.
He hops out of bed and goes downstairs. “What’s for breakfast, Mom?” he asks.
“Eggs, bacon, and pancakes.” Topaz looks at her with those same twinkling eyes as the day he found her. “Yes there is bacon for you too Topaz,” Drake’s mom says. She smiles.
“Yes!” Topaz’s paw shot in the air. Drake’s mom’s smile falters a bit.
They ate their breakfast and ran to the bus stop in the brisk morning air. They saw Aleea alone at the bus stop.
“Morning Aleea,” greets Drake.
“Hi Drake. Hi Topaz,” she says.
“Hello,” says Topaz. “How are you?”
“Fine. I told my mom about how you came to help me when you didn’t even know me,” Aleea tells them. “She said I found a true friend in one day.” Drake turns cherry red. “I didn’t tell her you were a dragon, though.”
“I didn’t tell my mom either,” said Drake.
Cryst walks over to them, with the rest of the kids trailing behind. “Hey Drake, Aleea, Topaz,” he says.
The bus pulls up and they get in. Aleea and Drake sat together with Cryst in the seat across the aisle. “Hey Aleea, where did you come from?” Drake asked her.
“Me too! I moved along time though,” he says.
“I know you guys think its cool you are from the same state and all, but we’re at school now, so we better beat the rush to get off,” Cryst says.
Aleea went to the office when they got inside. Drake followed her. “Are you Aleea Arrow?” the secretary asks.
“Yes I am. Can I have my schedule please?”
“Sure. Just let me print it off.” Drake hears the whir of the printer. “And here you go.”
“Can I see your schedule?” Drake asked Aleea, causing her to jump.
“Huh? Drake, you scared me! Oh, yeah you can see my schedule.”
“Thanks. Hey that’s cool!”
“We have all the same classes!”
“Yeah that is cool! Now we don’t have to memorize each others schedules.”
“Why would we have to memorize each others schedules?”
“I’ll shut up now.”
“Yeah, you do that.” She raises her hand. “I’m joking. I’m not that mean. Come on, we have math first.”
“Do you want to come to the park with me and Topaz, Aleea?” Drake asked her after school.
“Sure. I got to drop my stuff off at my house first. Want to come with?”
“Sure, why not.”
After a while of walking, they got to her house. “Come on in!” Aleea said. They walked into the kitchen to see her mom.
“Who’s this?” her mom asked.
“This is Drake. He is the boy who saved me.”
Of all the things he could have said hi sheepishly.
“Him! Girl you sure know how to reel ‘em in!” Aleea turns maroon. She looks at Drake. She knew he was uncomfortable. “Thank you for everything you’ve done,” Aleea’s mom went on. “I sure hope you didn’t get hurt.”
“By the man, no. By Aleea, yes,” Drake says. “She kicked me in the sn-nose. I admit it hurt.”
Aleea’s mom laughs.
“We were going to go to the park and play with his pet. Bye mom.”
“I saw you were more embarrassed than I was. It was actually funny looking at you with you looking like that,” said Aleea. Drake smiles.
Topaz pops out of Drake’s pocket and mimics, “Girl, you sure know how to reel them in!” They laugh.
“Can you take me flying?” Aleea asks out of the blue.
“Um…I can try,” Drake said uncertainly. Drake didn’t think he would morph, since it wasn’t dark, but surprisingly he did. Topaz crawls into Aleea’s pocket. After drake was fully morphed, he knelt down, considering he was taller than usual. Aleea climbed on Drake’s back and hung on to one of his spikes. He got a running start and launched up into the air. Aleea’s hair was whipping across her face. She was having the best day of her life.
When they landed and Drake morphed back to normal, they walked around the park a little, and Aleea headed home.
Topaz said, “She’s nice.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask you, why did you talk to Aleea?” Drake asks.
“Dragon instinct. It tells good people from bad people. It’s just like you are a good person.”
“Thanks for the compliment.”
Drake went from class to class to have everyone talking to him, only to stop when Topaz blew smoke. Everyone watched Topaz fly Drake’s Social Studies test to the teacher. The teacher just stared at Topaz a then said thank you. Topaz then went your welcome and the whole room gasped. Topaz casually flew back to Drake and crawled into his pocket.
The teacher tried to act like nothing unusual happened. She was unsuccessful.
After Social Studies was Study Hall/Play Time. Drake asked for a ping pong ball to play with Topaz. He goes to the gym so Topaz could have some room to fly.
He throws the ball high in the air and Topaz launches after it. She catches it and dive-bombs to Drake and drops it like a bomb. Drake caught it and chucked it again. This went on for about forty-five minutes.
After school was out, Drake and Topaz went to Cryst and Nibbles’, his gerbil, house.
Drake and Cryst played video games while Topaz and Nibbles had a stare down, and then leaned forward each other. Finally they started playing with each other.
It was twilight as he left with Topaz and her new ball to go to the park and play. As it started to get dark, that same feeling from the night before appeared. Then he got all tingly again. It didn’t hurt, though. This time he could see what was going on. He was changing. Changing into the wanted humanoid dragon. He had green-blue scales, huge muscles, and from what he saw on the news, a huge set of choppers and a nice set of wings.
“This is weirder than your average weird,” Drake exclaims.
“Yep, you ‘betcha.”
Drake whirls around. There was Cryst, holding Drake’s backpack with his mouth exceeding the natural limit. He shuts his mouth.
“You better not turn me in or I’ll-“ Drake begins
“Why would I? Just to see you go into a zoo? We’re best friends,” Cryst replies.
They turn to see a girl being stuffed into a trunk.
“Help! Helmph!” She was gagged!
Drake sprints to the direction and takes off into the air. Topaz landed on his back and grabbed a spike and hung on. He flew at least forty miles an hour. He caught up to the car, fast.
Drake lands on the hood, crushing the engine. He, for no reason at all, roars really loud. The windshield shatters.
“You can go the easy way or the hard way,” Drake tells the man. I always wanted to say that, Drake thought.
The man pulls out a gun and opens fire. Drake covers his head by instinct. The bullets just bounce off him. One hits the man in the head and he thumps to the floor.
Drake grabs the keys and unlocks the trunk when WHAM!!! He got kicked in the snout. The girl faints.
“Ow,” goes Drake, and as he slumps into the trunk he changes back into a human.
Cryst shakes Drake and the girl awake. Drake unties the girl and ungags her.
“You saved me!” she says, ”but where did the dragon guy go?”
“You’re lookin’ at him. That’s why my nose is bloody. You kicked me,” Drake tells her. “What’s your name? I’m Drake.”
“I’m Aleea. I remember kicking a dragon and then fainted. I’m sorry. I thought you were the guy that shoved me into this trunk. By the way, can I get out now?”
Drake feels his face getting hot. “Sorry. Why did you believe me right away?” he asks.
“You don’t look like a person that lies very much.” Aleea replies.
Drake turns even redder and Cryst snickers.
“But he doesn’t,” Aleea adds.
Cryst turns red.
Topaz flies over to Aleea and, of all things, shakes her hand and says, “Topaz.”
“Hi Topaz! I’m Aleea.”
“Hi Aleea!” Topaz replies.
“I’ve never seen anything cuter. Is she your pet Drake?”
“Yep. You’re the first person she went out of her way to talk to.”
“Cool. I just moved here. I was just checking out the area when that guy shoved me into the trunk. What happened to him anyway?”
“I’m bullet proof. The bullets just ricochet off. One hit him in the head,” Drake tells her. “Want me to show you all the other kids’ houses?”
“I’d better get home,” Cryst says, smiling.
It took about an hour for Drake to show Aleea the neighborhood.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow,” says Drake.
“Yeah. See you tomorrow,” replies Aleea.
“Well, see ya.”
She goes in her house and Drake and Topaz go home.
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Drake woke up with his clothes in rags. Topaz was poking and prodding at him. When she saw him wake up she let out a squeal of delight.
Drake changed, wondering why his clothes were in rags, deciding he’d rather not know. He put Topaz in his pocket and went downstairs. He poured a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, grabbed a slab of hamburger for Topaz, and turned on the news to see a very strange broadcast.
“A strange humanoid ‘dragon’ has appeared in the Parkfront neighborhood.”
“What neighborhood did they say?!” Drake’s mom asks, frightened.
“Parkfront. PARKFRONT!!” Drake said, finally figuring it out that the sighting was in the area they lived in.
“If you see this beast, call this number.” They then list the number.
“Drake! The bus is here!” Zoey shouts.
“’Bye Mom! Come on Topaz!” Drake says. Topaz flies over to his hand and he puts her into his pocket and runs out the door.
He plops down next to Cryst on the bus.
“I got my pet!” Drake tells Cryst.
“Really? Can I see it?” Cryst asked. Drake shows Topaz to Cryst.
“Does that thing-“
“Does she have wings?”
“Yep. Fly Topaz.”
Topaz starts flying around the bus.
“Whoa!” the whole bus says.
“Come here, Topaz,” Drake calls. The whole bus watches Topaz fly to Drake and they go silent. “Er-,” goes Drake. Then the whole bus explodes into questions for Drake.
He was crowded by people as soon as he got off the bus. Topaz couldn’t handle the sound any longer so she hopped on Drake’s head and started to breathe fire at all the kids.
“AAAAH!” all the kids yelled and they sprinted inside.
“Now why did you have to go and do that?” Drake asked Topaz.
“I admit they were pretty loud.”
“Let’s go inside.”
Drake Peterson was always lonely. His school actually let students bring small pocket size pets. He was one of the few kids that didn’t have one. He was determined to make his mom see he deserved a pet. He did as many chores as he could. He took out the trash, did the dishes, vacuumed, and many other chores. When he was about to give up, his mom finally said yes. He was as happy as he could be.
Most kids have small mammals, including his best friend Cryst. Drake wanted something few kids would choose, a lizard.
So Drake went to every nearby pet store with lizards, but Drake couldn’t find one he wanted. He couldn’t believe his rotten luck.
He decided to go for a walk. He was on the brink of choosing a gerbil when he heard a weird sound. Brrup! Drake walks over to the sound. Brrup! He hears it again. He finally sees what makes the noise. “Whaaa…” says Drake.
Right in front of him was a golden winged dragon. Brrup! It gazes at him with twinkling green eyes. It was so tiny Drake couldn’t help saying, “Now aren’t you the cutest little thing!” Brrup! “I’m going to name you…” he pauses, ”Topaz.” Yerp! Yerp! Yerp! “You must really like your name.” Yerp! “Let’s go home.”
“Mom I’m home! I got my pet!” yells Drake as he shuts the door.
“Can I see it? Can I! Can I!” squeals his little sister Zoey.
“Sure, Why not,” says Drake. He shows it to her.
“Sweet! Is it a boy or a girl?” asks Zoey.
“Let me check…it’s a girl.”
“What’s her name?”
Yerp! Yerp! Terpaz! Terpaz!
“Whoa, holy cow!” exclaims Drake, not believing what just happened.
“What’s all the hubbub about?” Drake’s mother asks them.
Drake and Zoey look at each other, and then at Topaz.
“Yes I know, your name’s Topaz,” says Zoey.
“Did that weird thing just talk?!” their mom asked, bewildered.
“She’s not weird,” defends Drake,”she’s my friend!”
Drake storms up the stairwell, and ran to his room. He had forgotten to put his laundry away that morning. He heard a growling and knew Topaz wasn’t mad. He goes back downstairs and grabs an apple and a small bowl of water, and heads right back up. Drake returns to his room to see Topaz eating his only pair of socks that didn’t have a hole in them.
“AAAAAAHHH!” Drake’s bed just started on fire! He dumps the water on the bed and the fire turns to smoke. “You should’ve told me you could breathe fire!”
That time nothing started on fire.
“Here, eat this instead of my socks.” He hands Topaz the apple. She just stares at it for a few seconds, and then starts eating the socks again. “Ah, come on!”
He goes downstairs and grabs a slab of raw hamburger and puts it on a plate and jogs back upstairs.
Topaz was waiting at his door.
“Oh, so this is what you like!” Drake says.
“Well I’m glad.”
Drake started on his homework and left Topaz in peace. “Okay, done,” Drake exclaims. “Wanna go outside Topaz?” He grabs a ping pong ball and heads outside into the twilight with Topaz.
“Let’s go to the park,” Drake tells Topaz as he puts her in his pocket. He tosses the ball a couple tosses then starts to feel a little strange. It was starting to get dark out. The strange feeling went to tingly, and then it started to hurt. Then it everything went black.
Hours & Location
240 East Wisconsin Avenue
Neenah, WI 54956
920.886.6315 - Main
920.886.6335 - Youth
920.886.6324 - Fax
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