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Middle Grade – Historical Fiction
I could’ve finished raising Gracie and Jack myself – if I’d been given the chance. Mama always said I was the responsible one of the family, looking out after her and the babies when Pop up and died on us. It was Pop who said men had no business raising babies; said it was woman’s work. But Pop didn’t know Mama would die so soon and leave us orphaned. I might have been only twelve but I was the oldest son and reckoned it was my duty to take up where Mama left off.
My plans changed though when old widow woman McGuire, with her thick rimmed glasses and teeth that bounced when she talked, stuck her nose all up in our business. She alerted authorities we were three kids alone. Sheriff said he had no choice but to notify our next of kin after she squealed on us like she did. I tried hard – and for a mighty long time – not to hate her for that.
Our next of kin was Grandma of course, or Gam as we’d always called her. Once she knew, I figured she’d be blowing in on the next stiff wind, leastwise a short time after we laid Mama down. Sure enough I was right.
She hadn’t been around us younguns in a heap of moons. Matter of fact, she hadn’t seen Gracie, who was nine, in six years and never had laid eyes on Jack. So none of us were quite sure what to expect out of Gam. Most I remembered about her was things I’d heard Mama and Pop saying late at night after we were in bed. Best I could recall, most of it wasn’t too good. Gracie I’m sure, remembered less than I did about her.
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