Chapter One: Gone
My dad says there are good years and bad years for wine. I think there are good years and bad years for kids, too. My fifth-grade year in particular.
I'll admit I started out as sort of a grump, first because my brother celebrated his eighteenth birthday and asked for lemon cake, which I hate.
"Why don't you really go for it, Lester, and ask for prune cake?" I said. "Crab apple cake with grapefruit frosting?"
"Nobody's making you eat it, Al," he told me. My full name is Alice Kathleen McKinley, but Dad and Lester call me Al.
The second thing that made me grumpy was that I ripped a pocket on my...