Groundwood Books Ltd

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The Stray and the Strangers
Excerpt

All too soon the boy and the two boat strangers were climbing aboard a rumbling bus.
Kanella stood beside the bearded man, who was kneeling and gripping her by the ruff.
“You stay here with us, Kanella. This is your home, for now. He and his family will have to travel on and find one for themselves.”
With panicked eyes she watched the bus door close. Why was the bearded man allowing the boy to leave the camp?
The boy’s round face appeared in a square window, the woman’s face behind his. As she waved, she smiled, but the boy did not.
A frantic squeal burst out of Kanella’s chest. She wrenched herself free and sprinted after the bus as it pulled out onto the road.

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The Greats
Excerpt

The Guyana night breeze, fresh from the ocean and rich from the jungle, slips into the exhibit hall through the gaps in the plastic sheeting. It inches around — exploring, discovering new territory, taking up new space.
It winds its way around Gather’s tree-trunk legs, then swirls over her strong belly and shoulders. It breathes a thousand scents into her nostrils. A thousand tastes dance on her tongue.
It whispers in her ears, “Come out!”
Gather smells and tastes and hears.
And wakes up.
Jomon feels a flutter of hope in his chest. There is a way out, after all.
He looks around the cell for an escape route.
There is a place where the bars in the door meet the bars in the wall. A crossbar, a place to tie something. He has no rope, but his school uniform shirt might do, especially if he tears it and twists it so it is like a rope. He could also, maybe, use his trousers, but he doesn’t want to be found in just his underwear.
Jomon takes off his shirt. He bites into the threads that hold the hem together, then rips the shirt right up the back.
Now he has something he can use.
“It won’t be that easy,” says a voice.
Jomon is startled. He looks in the direction of the voice.
It is coming from a boy, about his age, sitting in the cell across the hall from him.

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