Margaret Haddix: Sabotaged

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Margaret Haddix Sabotaged
  • Название:
    Sabotaged
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    Английский
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Sabotaged: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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After helping Chip and Alex survive 15th century London, Jonah and Katherine are summoned to help another missing child, Andrea, face her fate. Andrea is really Virginia Dare, from the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jonah and Katherine are confident in their ability to help Andrea fix history, but when their journey goes dangerously awry, they realize that they may be in over their head. They've landed in the wrong time period. Andrea doesn't seem that interested in leaving the past. And even worse, it appears that someone has deliberately sabotaged their mission…

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Margaret Peterson Haddix


Sabotaged

The third book in the Missing series, 2010

For the Westdorps


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

With thanks to Joy, Eric, Faith, Ethan, Meredith, and Connor for accompanying me during my research, and for listening to all my wild theories. Sorry about the sand!

1

Jonah fidgeted in his seat, and his chair fidgeted right along with him. In another mood, Jonah would have been fascinated by this-how was the chair programmed? Did it have a computer chip making it squirm? But right now Jonah was too distracted. He was sitting in a sterile, nearly empty room, waiting to travel back in time to an unknown era and unknown dangers. So all he could do was fidget.

You’d think, with time travel, there wouldn’t have to be any waiting, he thought grumpily.

Beside him, his eleven-year-old sister, Katherine, bounced in her chair-making the chair bounce too-and chattered away to Andrea, the third kid who would be going to the past with them. Indeed, Andrea was the most important time traveler that day. She was the reason they were all going.

“Don’t worry,” Katherine told Andrea. “You don’t have to hold your breath or anything to travel through time. It’s easy.”

“That’s good,” Andrea said softly. She sat perfectly still, and so did her chair. She had her eyes focused on the blank wall across from her and barely seemed to be paying attention to Katherine. Normally Jonah would have approved of that-he tried to ignore his younger sister as much as possible too. But unlike Katherine and Jonah, Andrea had never traveled to the past before. She didn’t know what time period she was going to, or what she’d have to do there. Shouldn’t she be asking questions? Shouldn’t she at least act like she cared?

“Only, if you get time sick, that’s no fun,” Katherine rambled on, flipping her blond ponytail over her shoulder. “When we went back to 1483 with Chip and Alex, I thought I was going to throw up for sure. And I felt really dizzy, and-”

“Katherine!” Jonah interrupted, because he could put up with Katherine’s babbling for only so long. “Andrea won’t get time sick like you did. Remember? She’s going back to her proper time. Where she belongs. So she’ll feel good.”

At that, Andrea’s whole face brightened.

Wow, Jonah thought. She’s really pretty. He honestly hadn’t noticed before. Of course, he barely knew Andrea. The first time he’d met her, there’d been thirty-four other kids around, and four grown-ups fighting about what was going to happen to the kids, and people being Tasered and tied up and zapped back in time… Jonah had had a good excuse for not looking closely. All he remembered from that first meeting was that Andrea had worn her long brown hair in two braids, and she hadn’t screamed and panicked like a lot of the other kids. And he guessed he knew that-like him and the other kids the grown-ups were fighting over-Andrea was thirteen years old, and she was a missing child from history, one who had been stolen from her proper time and place by baby smugglers. One who had to go back, to save history.

Suddenly Jonah really wanted to remind Andrea that he and Katherine had already proved that they could save history and save missing kids, all at once, even when the time experts thought it was impossible. They’d managed to save Chip and Alex from the 1480s, hadn’t they? Jonah started to smile back at Andrea and was working up what he wanted to say to her: something suave but casual and not too conceited-sounding… Did, Don’t be scared. I’ll take care of you sound stupid?

Katherine began talking again before Jonah had a chance to say anything.

“Andrea can too get time sick,” Katherine argued. “Not the kind from being in the wrong time period, but the kind just from traveling through time. Remember JB thought I had both kinds? And that’s why I felt so awful? And…”

Katherine broke off because the door opened just then and JB, the very person she’d been talking about, stepped through.

JB was a time traveler from the future, and the main person who was trying to fix time by returning all the stolen kids to history. Tall, with gleaming chestnut-brown hair, JB was so good-looking that Katherine had nicknamed him cute janitor boy before any of them had found out what he really did for a living. For some reason, JB’s appearance really annoyed Jonah right now. Depending on how you looked at it, Jonah had known JB for only a few weeks-or for more than five hundred years. (Or, actually, more than a thousand, if you counted the fact that Jonah, Katherine, Chip, and Alex had traveled between the fifteenth and twenty-first centuries in both directions.) Regardless, it had taken Jonah a while to figure out whether to trust JB or not. JB had helped Jonah and Katherine and their friends, but Jonah still wasn’t sure: If JB had to choose between saving kids and saving history, which would he pick?

I have to make sure that isn’t the choice, Jonah told himself grimly. He gazed over at Andrea again, with her clear pale skin and her gray eyes that somehow looked sad again-haunted, even. I will protect you, he thought, even though he figured he’d really sound foolish if he said that now. He kicked his foot against the ground, and his chair kicked too.

“Careful,” JB warned. “Those are calibrated to a very sensitive level.” He seemed to notice Katherine’s bouncing for the first time. “They’re not really meant for kids.”

Katherine stopped mid-bounce. Her chair rose up and caught her.

“Sorry,” Katherine said. “Can we go now? There’s no chance that we’ll hurt your precious chairs if you just send us to the past.”

She sounded offended. Jonah wondered if he should warn JB that it wasn’t a good idea to offend Katherine.

“Not yet,” JB said. “You need to be debriefed first.”

Katherine leaned forward in her chair, and her chair leaned with her.

“Really?” she breathed, seeming to forget any hurt feelings. “You’ll tell us where we’re going this time-before we get there?”

JB laughed.

“You didn’t give me much of a chance the last time,” he reminded her.

“That wasn’t our fault,” Jonah argued hotly. “If you hadn’t sent Chip and Alex back without telling them anything, and if you hadn’t cheated when I gave you the Elucidator, and if-”

JB held up his hand, cutting Jonah off.

“Hey, hey,” JB said. “Calm down. I’m sorry, okay? That’s over and done with. Water under the bridge. Haven’t you ever heard the expression, ‘No need to relive the past’?”

Katherine and Jonah both stared at him blankly.

“Um, isn’t it kind of, uh, contradictory, for a time traveler to say that?” Katherine asked.

“Yep.” JB beamed at them. “You caught the irony. Time-traveler humor-gotta love it.”

He turned toward Andrea, who was still sitting quietly, unaffected.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re all on the same team this time around,” JB said. “From the very beginning. No keeping secrets unnecessarily. Deal?” He held out his hand to Andrea.

“Of course,” Andrea said calmly. She shook JB’s hand, before he moved on to shake Jonah’s and Katherine’s in turn. Maybe if Jonah hadn’t been paying such close attention to Andrea now, he wouldn’t have noticed that Andrea hesitated slightly before speaking, before taking JB’s hand.

She is scared, Jonah thought. She really does need me to take care of her.

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