Authors: Louis Sachar
He knew in his bones it was true. He could feel his royal blood swirling around inside him.
“I was kidnapped the day I was born,” he said. “I was just a baby but I can remember now. The kidnappers hid me in a hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Redpost took me home from the hospital by mistake.”
“You remember this?” asked Mrs. North. “From when you were one day old?”
“It’s kind of a haze,” Marvin admitted. “I don’t remember exactly what the kidnappers looked like. One of them had a big black mustache.”
The Marvin Redpost series by Louis Sachar
Marvin Redpost #1
Kidnapped at Birth?
Marvin Redpost #2
Why Pick on Me?
Marvin Redpost #3
Is He a Girl?
Marvin Redpost #4
Alone in His Teacher’s House
Marvin Redpost #5
Marvin Redpost #6
A Flying Birthday Cake?
Marvin Redpost #7
Super Fast, Out of Control!
Marvin Redpost #8
A Magic Crystal?
More books by Louis Sachar!
The Boy Who Lost His Face
Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes
Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom
Text copyright © 1992 by Louis Sachar.
Illustrations copyright © 1992 by Neal Hughes.
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of
Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House
of Canada Limited, Toronto.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Sachar, Louis. Marvin Redpost : kidnapped at birth? / by Louis Sachar;
illustrated by Neal Hughes.
p cm. A stepping stone book.
: Red-haired Marvin is convinced that the reason he looks different from the rest of his family is that he is really the lost prince of Shampoon.
[1. Redheads—Fiction. 2. Princes—Fiction. 3. Family life—Fiction.
4. Humorous stories.]
I. Hughes, Neal, ill. II. Title.
PZ7.S1185Ki 1992 [Fic]—dc20 91-51105
Random House, Inc. New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland
and colophon are registered trademarks and
A STEPPING STONE BOOK
and colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Dedicated to Rebecca and Sam
with special thanks to their parents
put down his pencil. He was the first one done.
He took his report to Mrs. North.
Mrs. North looked at it. “I can’t read this,” she said.
He had to copy it over. “Neater this time, Marvin,” said Mrs. North.
He was in the third grade. His class had been learning cursive writing.
“It’s because I’m left-handed,” Marvin complained. “It’s impossible to write neatly when you’re left-handed. Everything is backwards.”
“I’m left-handed,” said Mrs. North.
“Oh,” said Marvin.
“We’re lucky to be left-handed,” said Mrs. North. “It means we have royal blood.”
She smiled at him.
“You’d write neater if you slowed down,” she said. “It isn’t a race.”
He returned to his seat.
He picked up his pencil and wrote as fast as he could.
He had to write twice as fast this time, just to catch up with everyone else.
He had to write a report on something he read in
Current Events. Current Events
was a newspaper for children.
This is what Marvin wrote.
The King of Shampoon is looking for his lost son. The son’s name is Prince Robert. Prince Robert was kidnapped the day he was born. That was nine years ago.
Prince Robert is nine years old. He has red hair and blue eyes. Unless he’s dead.
The King is going all around the world looking for his lost son. He hopes he isn’t dead. So do I. This week the King is in Washington, D.C.
Marvin finished writing just as the bell rang for recess. He gave his report to Mrs.
North, then ran outside to play wall-ball.
Marvin was nine years old. He had red hair. He had blue eyes.
He lived in a small town, not too far from Washington, D.C.
Marvin had two best friends, Stuart Albright and Nick Tuffle.
After school they all went to Stuart’s house.
“Put your dog outside,” said Nick.
Nick was brave. He once rode his bike full speed down Suicide Hill. But he was afraid of Fluffy, Stuart’s little white dog.
Marvin petted Fluffy.
“Careful, he’s going to bite you,” said Nick.
Fluffy growled at Nick.
“He’s a good dog,” said Marvin.
Fluffy licked Marvin’s fingers.
Stuart put Fluffy outside.
“Where’d you get that stupid dog?” asked Nick.
“Fluffy’s not stupid,” said Stuart.
“He is too,” said Nick. “He looks like a rat that ran through a cotton candy machine.”
“We got him at the pound,” said Stuart. “I picked him out myself.”
“Well, you picked the wrong dog,” said Nick.
“I did not!”
Marvin was afraid they’d get into a fight. Nick and Stuart were always getting into fights.
“I think my parents picked the wrong baby,” Marvin said.
“Huh?” asked Nick.
“What?” said Stuart.
“At the hospital,” said Marvin. “They took the wrong baby home. They’re not really my parents.”
He had been thinking about this all day. He didn’t really believe it. He just wanted to keep his best friends from fighting.
“I was kidnapped the day I was born,” said Marvin.
“You’re Prince Robert!” exclaimed Stuart.
Stuart was smart. It sometimes amazed Marvin how quickly he caught on to things.
“Say what?” asked Nick.
“Marvin’s parents are really the King and Queen of Shampoon,” Stuart explained.
“Wait a second,” said Nick. “Mr. and Mrs. Redpost? No way!”
“No,” said Stuart. “Don’t you remember what we read in
? The Prince was kidnapped at birth.”
“So?” said Nick.
“So Marvin is really Prince Robert,” said Stuart.
“Say what?” said Nick.
“I have red hair and blue eyes,” said Marvin. “Everyone else in my family has brown hair and brown eyes. And I’m left-handed. That means I have royal blood.”
“Wait a second,” said Nick. “If your parents are the King and Queen of Shampoon, then how did you end up in the hospital here?”
Marvin thought a moment. He hadn’t figured that part out.
“Simple!” said Stuart. “The kidnappers had to hide the baby somewhere. Well, what better place to hide a baby than with a bunch of other babies in a hospital?”
“That’s right!” said Marvin.
“Or,” said Stuart, “maybe your parents didn’t get you at the hospital. Maybe you’re adopted. They just haven’t told you.”
“I bet you that’s it!” said Nick. “The kidnappers left you in a garbage bin. Then a policeman found you and took you to an orphanage. And then Mr. and Mrs. Redpost adopted you.”
“Or else,” Stuart whispered, “Mr. and Mrs. Redpost might be the kidnappers.”