Eric A. Kimmel

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0823424154

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Omar wants a snake more than anything, but his mom is unenthusiastic to say the least. However, the family manages to strike a compromise: Omar can get a corn snake; but the pet, which he names Arrow, must stay inside Omar's room, where his mom will not have to set eyes on it. So when Arrow escapes, Omar has got to keep his family from finding out. But with an inquisitive little sister, and parents mindful of odd behavior, Omar is having a time of it. When Arrow makes a surprise appearance, it couldn't be at the worst moment--yet the incident becomes a catalyst for Omar to gain a new understanding of his mother and her childhood in war-torn Lebanon.

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beneath his backpack. Samkatt skated alongside on his board. “Let’s go over to your house,” Samkatt said. “I want to see your snake.” “There’s nothing to see,” Omar said for what must have been the twelfth time that day. “He’s in his hide. He won’t come out and we’re not supposed to disturb him.” “I won’t disturb him,” Samkatt insisted. “He can stay in his hide. I don’t want to touch him. I just want to see him.” “But there’s nothing to see!” Omar said again. “I’ll see whatever there is to see,”

was in his habitat, Omar was adrift like that sailor, still lost at sea. On the other hand, dinner wasn’t a complete failure. Omar 107 finally felt like eating, and a tuna casserole, while not exactly a ­double-­cheese and pepperoni pizza, wasn’t all bad. Omar’s mom took Zara upstairs to the studio for some ­mom-­daughter quality art time. Omar’s heart was in his throat the whole while, as he wondered if they’d run into a snake on the stairs or in the hallway. Or worse—­coiled up on top of his

second thought, better not to even ask. 5. Somewhere to Hide This was important. Omar underlined it, too. Snakes don’t like to be out in the open, especially after they’ve eaten or when they’re preparing to shed their skin. They need a place to hide when they don’t feel secure. One article showed a water dish with a space underneath where a snake could hide. An empty toilet paper roll would also work. So would an empty cereal box with holes cut in it. Omar decided to start with a toilet paper

but he couldn’t hear a sound. Her eyes went wide. Her mouth flew open. But nothing came out. It was as if he were watching a slasher DVD and somebody hit the Mute button. Then she pushed herself up and away from the table. It seemed as if she were launching herself into space. Her chair tipped backward. Omar saw her falling, falling. Her hands reached out to catch the table, but they caught only the tablecloth. Plates and cups and everything on them went flying as Mom hit the wall behind her.

hit the Fast Forward button on the remote. Omar saw himself running to the front door. The next thing he knew, the kitchen and living room were full of firefighters and paramedics. Dad picked up Zara and handed her to Omar. “Take her upstairs. She’s just in the way,” Dad said. Omar felt Zara go limp in his arms. She kept moaning, “Mommy . . . ​Mommy . . .” “Mom’s gonna be okay,” Omar heard himself saying as he started to carry Zara upstairs. He didn’t know why he was saying that. He didn’t know

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