Josephine Russing owned 387 pairs of gloves. She had them in wool and cotton and silk. She had them in plaid and paisley and print. She even had a pair that had been made from the fur of an albino sloth.
Josephine, her gloves, and her father, Leopold Russing, lived in a big empty farmhouse miles and miles away from the nearest neighbor or trading post. Josephine had no friends to speak of, but even if she had, she would never have invited them to visit her home. Other children might expect her father to say hello, to ask their names, or to serve them iced lemonade. And when he didn’t, they might learn...
It was a hot, humid day, and as Josephine walked the dusty three miles home, she was in a bit of a snit. Ms. Kirdle had been lecturing all week about horticulture and had ordered all of the students to go home and plant tomatoes. Josephine was annoyed because when she got home, she’d been planning to finish a delightful book about a giant who falls in love with a barn. And now she would have to deal with these vexing tomatoes instead.
She wearily walked in her front door and hung her schoolbag on a peg in the hall closet. She took off her gloves, a purple pair with feathers at the cuffs (sometimes she walked...