Fish Finelli Book 1: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles

BOOK: Fish Finelli Book 1: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles
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For Niko –E.S.F.

Special thanks to Craig Virden, Fish's first fan;

CNP, who told me about seagulls and pickles;

Steve T for lit crit; Debbie, a fab cheerleader;

JRS, my dad, and everyone at the East Hampton Library—Dennis, Lisa, Alex, Jane, Lisa K, Sheila, Gina, Chelsea; and Steve B for maps.

For my explorers: Fabiola and Mirabelle –J.B.

First paperback edition published in 2014 by Chronicle Books LLC.
Originally published in hardcover in 2013 by Chronicle Books LLC.

Text copyright © 2013 by E.S. Farber.
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Jason Beene.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in
any form without written permission from the publisher.

ISBN 978-1-4521-2853-5 (epub, mobi)

The Library of Congress has cataloged the original edition as follows:
Farber, Erica.
Seagulls don't eat pickles / by Erica Farber ; illustrated by Jason Beene.
p. cm. — (Fish Finelli ; bk. 1)
Summary: Fish Finelli and his friends set out to find Captain Kidd's treasure, rumored to be buried on nearby Lyons Island, but it seems like the local library director is looking for it as well—and finding the treasure may be the key to saving the island from developers.
ISBN 978-1-4521-0820-9 (alk. paper)
1. Kidd, William, d. 1701—Juvenile fiction. 2. Treasure troves—Juvenile fiction.
3. Librarians—Juvenile fiction. 4. Historic sites—Conservation and restoration—Juvenile fiction. [1. Kidd, William, d. 1701—Fiction. 2. Buried treasure—Fiction. 3. Librarians—
Fiction. 4. Historic sites—Fiction. 5. Mystery and detective stories.] I. Beene, Jason, ill. II. Title. III. Title: Seagulls do not eat pickles.
PZ7.F22275Sds 2013

Design by Amy Achaibou and Lauren Michelle Smith.
Cover design by Lauren Michelle Smith.
Typeset in Century Schoolbook.
The illustrations in this book were rendered digitally.

Chronicle Books LLC, 680 Second Street, San Francisco, California 94107

Chronicle Books—we see things differently. Become part of our
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seagulls don't eat pickles
by E.S. Farber • illustrated by Jason Beene

Code Orange

It all started the morning I broke into my lobster piggy bank. I had chosen a basin wrench for the job. It’s a good tool for a delicate operation. I know this because my dad is a plumber and taught me lots of stuff about tools.

CLINK! CLINK! I shook the lobster a few times.

It sure sounded like there was a lot of money in there. I hoped it was at least $54.53. That was exactly how much I needed to buy the Seagull. In case you’re wondering, the seagull I’m talking about isn’t the aquatic bird. It’s one of the finest motor boat engines ever made. And I had to get it soon. See, I’ve been fixing up this boat with my best friends, Roger and T. J. We want to race it in the Captain Kidd Classic, the biggest boat race of the summer.

I held the lobster bank with my fingers over the part on the shell that read
Lobster-Palooza—Where Lobsters Rock!
The Lobster-Palooza festival happens every summer in our town of Whooping Hollow. I won the lobster bank for bringing in a blue lobster I caught with my Uncle Norman. Only one in about three million lobsters is blue, by the way.

I put the gripper end of the wrench into the Lobster-Palooza lobster’s pincer claw. I pulled gently. Nothing happened, so I pulled a little harder.

CRACK! The pincer claw snapped off. Money flew in the air.

PLOP! Dimes and pennies landed in the fishbowl. Nikola Tesla, my goldfish, started swimming around like
crazy. As I was fishing the coins out of Nikola Tesla’s bowl, I heard a scream. “Help! Ugly-Buggly!”

“Fish!” my mom called up the stairs. “Help your sister, please. I’m baking!”

My real name is Norman, by the way, but I’ve been called Fish ever since I can remember. Uncle Norman, who I’m named after, said it was my first word. I was on his boat when an angry bluefish took a chomp out of his finger. I laughed and said “Fish.”

“Aaahhh!” my four-year-old sister, Feenie, shrieked again.

I took off down the hall.

“It’s in there!” said Feenie, moving her arms so her fairy wings flapped up and down like she was trying to fly. “And it’s the biggest one ever!”


Developed during World War II for military communi-cations via air waves, it was both a transmitter and a receiver that weighed about 35 pounds and was carried like a back-pack. Today it has a half-duplex channel so only one radio can transmit at a time, although many can listen.

The Ugly-Buggly jumped out from behind the toilet. It was huge. Bigger than a praying mantis, with long brown tentacles and legs as fat as noodles. I didn’t want to tell Feenie, but she was right. It was the biggest one I’d ever seen. I definitely needed help.

I raced back to my room. Dude, our old black cat, was sleeping on my bottom bunk. “I’m on a mission, Dude, so scram!” Dude gave me a look, but he hopped off the bed. I reached under the mattress and pulled out my walkie-talkie. I pressed the PTT (Push To Talk) button.

“Roger,” the walkie-talkie crackled to life.

I peered out my bedroom window, which looked right into Roger’s bedroom window. We’ve been next door neighbors for almost ten years, ever since we were born.

“This is Roger!” came Roger’s staticky, walkie-talkie voice. “Do you read me?”

“Read and copy!” I said.

“Whale Creek in fifteen?”

“Sure, but Roger—”

“Roger, ten-four, over and out,” said Roger’s staticky voice.

“Roger, no,” I said. “Roger, it’s—”

“Roger that!” said Roger. “Over and—”

“No, Roger, I mean you, Roger, not roger,” I said.

“Oh,” said Roger. “Roger.”

“Will you stop rogering me, Roger?” I said.

“Wilco,” said Roger.

“We’ve got a situation!”

“What level?” asked Roger.

“Code Orange!”

“I’m there,” said Roger. “Secure the prisoner. You know, I got your back, dude.”

“Speaking of backs, don’t forget the Bug Patrol Emergency Backpack!”

“Roger, over and out!” said Roger.


When I got back to the bathroom, Feenie was waving her magic wand up and down in front of the shower curtain.

“What are you doing with that wand?” I asked. “Trying to make the bug disappear?”

“As if,” said Feenie. “I’m only a FAPIT, you know.”

“What’s a FAPIT?” I shouldn’t have asked.

“Fairy Princess in Training,” said Feenie. “See, to
something you need to be a FUFAP, you know, a Full Fairy Princess.”

is not a word, Fee.”

“Is so,” said Feenie, nodding her head up and down so hard her pigtails flew up beside her ears. “It’s a magic word.”

“What does it mean then?”

“You have to be a FAPIT to understand,” said Feenie.

“Oh, brother,” I said.

The back door slammed and Roger appeared at the top of the stairs. He was lugging an orange backpack with a big sticker of a tooth on it that read KEEP YOUR SMILE IN STYLE. He got it the last time he went to the dentist and had ten cavities.

“We need a Number Three,” I said.

BOOK: Fish Finelli Book 1: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles
4.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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