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The January Green and Gold Mystery

The January Green and Gold Mystery by Kakade Geeta
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The super-sleuth: Bethany Graham: Beth lives with her mother, Bridget Graham, a single parent. A computer whiz and a word collector, she loves reading. How could Mama arrange an after school Math tutor for Beth, without even discussing the matter with her first?
Awe-Struck Publishing; April 2000
76 pages; ISBN 9781928670803
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Title: The January Green and Gold Mystery
Author: Kakade Geeta
The next afternoon came around too soon. Lexi had a note from her mother so the bus driver let her off at our stop. Lexi wasn't in a good mood because I'd scored a B in the Math test and she'd gotten a C. Lexi hated anyone who did better than her at anything. She'd picked on my shoes and clothes during recess, asking me very pointedly where Mom and I shopped. Then she and Marge Conrad had looked at each other and snickered. It's a good thing I have a strong mind. If my life depended on Lexi's approval, I'd always be miserable. I wasn't in a very good mood though. Another two hours of Lexi would have me tied up in knots. We could see Mrs. Naidu walking up the drive as we headed for my house. My stomach plummeted. "Why is she coming over?" Lexi asked. The bored note in her voice made me say as calmly as I could. "She gets lonely, so she visits me and we talk." Lexi senses nervousness the way a shark senses blood. Her green eyes narrowed as she looked at me. "She's your baby sitter?" The high and mighty smile on her face made me say very quickly. "She's not. She's going to help me with Math."

"Is too." Lexi turned to face me, and kept walking backwards chanting, "Beth's got a baby-sitter. Beth's got a baby-sitter." Rage, black and hot, boiled up in me. The urge to push her over was so strong, my hands were clenched into fists. Any minute now Cody would join in and I wouldn't be able to recover lost ground. "She's not my baby-sitter," I yelled. "She comes over to talk." "Oh really? And what do you talk about?" Lexi sounded exactly like her mother. Snippy and cold. "Gandhi?" It was like being in a car on a steep downhill road. I had to step on the brakes really quick. "If you must know, Mrs. Naidu is tutoring me in Math. Besides that, we're working on solving a mystery." "What?" Lexi stopped dead in her tracks and stared at me.

I felt a squiggle of satisfaction squirt up through the red hot fear. "Mrs. Naidu lives in a palace in India and she has real tigers and lions and elephants as pets," Cody added. "Sez who?" Lexi demanded. "She helped the Maharajah find his ruby ring." Now Cody sounded smug. "Na.ah!" Lexi said, unable to believe I would be lucky enough to know someone who'd helped a Maharajah. "Ask her," Cody challenged as we stood there. "There she is." I closed my eyes as they rushed towards my house. Drowning in lies wasn't my idea of a good death. I touched the tip of my nose too. By my estimation, it should have grown a foot by now.

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