Authors: Dan Gutman
The Talent Show
Also by Dan Gutman
The Homework Machine
Nightmare at the Book Fair
Return of the Homework Machine
Race for the Sky
Back in Time with Thomas Edison
Back in Time with Benjamin Franklin
The Secret Life of Dr. Demented
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This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events,
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Copyright Â© 2010 by Dan Gutman
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Book design by Krista Vossen
The text for this book is set in Edlund.
Permission to use “Stacy's Mom“
Lyrics by Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood
Copyright Â© 2003 Monkey Demon Music/Vaguely Familiar Music
Manufactured in the United States of America
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The talent show / Dan Gutmanâ1st ed.
Summary: After a devastating tornado destroys much of Cape Bluff,
Kansas, residents come together as a community to put on a talent show as a fund-raiser.
ISBN 978-1-4169-9003-1 (hardcover)
[1. Talent showsâFiction. 2. TornadoesâFiction. 3. Community
lifeâFiction. 4. KansasâFiction.] I. Title.
ISBN 978-1-4391-5827-2 (eBook)
To all the folks at Simon & Schuster
Thanks to Wendy and Jason Blau, Yonca and Jean Gerlach, Beth and Eric Levin, Meg Gallwitz, Mike Wilson, Kathleen Delaney, Nina Wallace, Donna Tambussi, and Caroll Stoner.
When the Tornado Hit â¦
in Cape Bluff, Kansas, stopped what they were doing when the tornado alarm sounded.
Cars Were Flying
Around Like Frisbees
The animals were the first to realize something was wrong. They always are. At 3:48 p.m. that Tuesday afternoon, the birds in Cape Bluff suddenly stopped singing. Cows huddled close together in the field. Dogs began running around erratically.
Animals have a sixth sense about these things. Maybe it's infrasoundâlow frequency rumbles that are below the threshold of human hearing.
Anyway, the animals knew before the people. They just knew.
To anyone's eyes in Cape Bluff, at first it looked like a whopper of a thunderstorm was approaching. The cumuliform clouds that dotted the sky all morning had, without anyone noticing, joined
into one gigantic darker cloud mass covering the sky and blocking out the sun.
But there was something different this day. The sky took on a sickly yellow/greenish hue. At the local weather station a few miles down the road, a meteorologist jotted down the time in his logbook.
The rains came down for a while, not too heavy. There was even some hail. Then there was an eerie quiet.
Richard Ackoon, the young rapper sitting on his porch, looked up. There had been a sudden change in pressure. The air felt heavy, and hot, like it was too close to his face. He found it hard to breathe.
The enormous cloud was moving fast, and then, suddenly, the wind stopped. It was peaceful. The leaves in the trees tilted up gently, as if they were looking at the sky.
No funnel cloud was visible. Not yet. There was a subtle swirling mist, but nobody could see it. The tube of air was horizontal at first, but gradually the rising air pushed it vertically, until it resembled a spinning top.
Elke Villa, the girl who had been singing in the shower, suddenly stopped when she heard a tornado siren go off in the distance.
Cape Bluff is in the heart of Tornado Alley, a vast area that stretches from parts of Texas to Minnesota. Everyone who lives within that region knows what to do when the tornado siren blares. In school they had tornado drills once a month.