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Authors: Jordan Sonnenblick

Dodger for President

BOOK: Dodger for President
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Dodger and Me

A Book Sense Selection


“A magical tale of affection, family, and a boy's imaginative (‘imaginary' doesn't do it justice) friendship with an inspired, demented blue chimpanzee . . .”

—Kirkus Reviews


“The humor will draw kids, including Dodger's off-the-wall dialogue and the outlandish predicaments that result when he decides to ‘help.' ”



Visit the author on








To my beloved big sister, Lissa.

Thanks for secretly being my fan all along.






An Imprint of Macmillan


. Copyright © 2009 by Jordan Sonnenblick.

All rights reserved. For information, address Feiwel and Friends, 175 Fifth Avenue,
New York, N.Y. 10010.


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Available


ISBN: 978-0-312-37794-6


Book design by Barbara Grzeslo
Feiwel and Friends logo designed by Filomena Tuosto


First Edition: 2009


Printed in May 2009 in the United States of America
by RR Donnelley, Harrisonburg, Virginia


10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1








, if I'm going to tell you
that happened with Lizzie and me and the fifth-grade election, you have to promise
you won't tell
. And you won't laugh—even at the parts that are really, really
. And you won't mention any of this to my parents or my little sister, Amy.

Not that I care
what they think.

Anyway, I guess I'll have to trust you on this, right? Plus, I'm busting to tell somebody about it.
So here goes
. . .





The Big Surprise



as he jumped into my arms.

“Oww!” I yelped as we tumbled together to the floor of my room. This happened pretty often, because I was a wimpy, 80-pound fifth grader and Dodger was a really strong, 125-pound chimp. With blue fur. And bright orange-and-white surfer shorts. Plus an eye patch.

Oh, and he's invisible to everyone except me and this girl named Lizzie.

It's a really long story.

But the point is, Dodger knocked me over and
landed right on top of me. It's amazing how pointy a chimpanzee's elbows are. So as I was lying there, gasping for air, Dodger started talking a mile a minute. The conversation went like this:


: Dude, you missed so much while you were in Cleveland with your dad!


Gasp . . .


: Lizzie took me to school, just like we planned. And there was just one little problem.


Gasp . . .


: Like, there was this science quiz. It was totally hard. There were all these, um, questions and stuff. And you had to fill in these little bubbles with letters next to them, but I really didn't see what the letters had to do with the questions. The question would be all
What type of rock is made when a volcano erupts and then the lava cools?
But the answers would be all like
Or even
. Dude, I don't know a whole lot about rocks, but even a chimp knows there's no kind of rock called
“A Rock.” 'Cause that would be just completely confusing. Somebody would ask you, “What do you call that cool rock you're holding?” And you'd go, “This? It's called ‘A Rock.' ” And they'd go, “Yeah, I know it's a rock. But what kind of rock is it?” Then you'd be all, “Buddy, the
of this rock is ‘A Rock.' ” And they'd be all, “Why do you have to be such a wise guy? All I did was ask the name of a rock.” So you'd go, “Exactly!” And then they'd probably hit you or something.

But, you know, I did my best for you.


: What do you mean, you . . .
. . . did your “best” for me?


: Well, I didn't want you to get all behind in your work, right? So I just wrote your name on top of a quiz and tried really hard to fill in all the bubbles.


: Okay, so you took a test in my name, on a day when I wasn't even in school. I guess that was the problem.


: Uh, no, that wasn't the problem. I mean, I made this really great sentence out of all the letters. Do you want to hear it?


puts head in hands
. . . sure.


: Okay, here it is: “CAB! A CAB! DAD, A CAB! A . . . A . . . BAD CAB!” See, it's like this little story about you and your dad. Get it? You, like, see this taxicab, right? So you yell to your dad, and you try to get the driver to stop. But the cab just keeps going. Genius, huh?


. . .


: I still don't get the part about the rocks, though. Well, maybe we'll get a lot of points for creativity.


You couldn't leave this chimp alone for a minute. So apparently a whole weekend plus a school day were completely out of the question. I got up off the floor, checked myself for broken ribs, and dusted off. Meanwhile Dodger started to tell me about the rest of his day at school. It was hard to believe there was more, but I hadn't even heard about the problem yet.

“So then in social studies, they're learning about how all these explorer guys discovered North America and discovered South America and, like, discovered Africa. I totally wanted to set the record straight, but I didn't.”

Well, that was a relief. “Uh, Dodger, what did you want to set the record straight about, exactly?”

“I wanted to tell them about how chimpanzees had already totally conquered all those places, thousands and thousands of years ago. Like before you called it South America, we called it Banana World. And before you had Europe, we had No-Monkeys-Land.”

I always get drawn in when he does this. I don't know why, but it happens every stupid time. So I said, “What about Asia?”

He smirked. “Chimptopia, of course.”


“Land O'Mammals.”

“New Jersey?”

Dodger made a horrified face. “Dude, who would want to conquer New Jersey? Anyway, you
would have been proud of me, Willie. I didn't say a single word. Well, okay, I kind of laughed when the cake fell on James Beeks.”

“Wait a minute, a cake fell on James Beeks? Was
the problem?”

“ ‘Problem'? It was awesome. I mean, there was this huge, brown-and-orange volcano cake on the ledge over the chalkboard. And, you know, Beeks is the coolest kid in the school, right? And he always calls you Wimpy and says you're a total dork, right? So I just thought it was funny when he got . . .”

“What do you mean, a total dork?” I blurted.

Dodger looked sheepish for a moment. “Well, you know, not a dork, exactly. It's not your fault about your little dressing-funny problem, since your mom picks out all your clothes, right? Plus, who can blame you for not having any guy friends since Tim moved away? It's hard to hang out with the guys if you're not good at—oh, never mind.”

I was insulted, but I forced myself to take a deep breath. The madder I got, the more off topic Dodger got, and I had a feeling I would really need to know what the mysterious problem was. “Whatever.
So how did the cake fall on James Beeks anyway?”

“Okay, you know how I was trying not to say anything about the whole social studies thing? That was totally hard for me, right? So I was just kind of hopping up and down in my seat next to Lizzie. I guess that made the ledge over the chalkboard vibrate. And the cake just slid off the ledge. Then Mrs. Starsky tried to make a jumping catch. It was pretty awesome, but she fumbled the cake. So it bounced off her hands onto James's head, upside down.”

I could just tell there had to be more to this story, so I waited. Sure enough, Dodger continued, “I don't know why he got so mad. I only laughed a little. And it's not like my laugh really sounds like Lizzie's anyway. But he thought Lizzie was laughing at him—I guess he couldn't hear that well through all the cake around his ears. So he got all mad, and Mrs. Starsky yelled at Lizzie.”

BOOK: Dodger for President
11.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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