Welcome to the Great Library! I’m so pleased to be starting book three of The Wingfeather Saga with you fine folks. For this first week of The Monster in the Hollows we read chapters 1-6. Here’s my favorite passage from the reading. I love it because if I put myself in Janner’s place, I would be thrilled if this happened to me. Podo’s scratchy face makes it even better. It’s good to have grownups you can trust and who trust you as you grow up.
Podo strode to the rail and squinted at the horizon, making a sound between a snarl and a laugh. He shook his fist in the air, threw a fiery curse across the waves, whirled around, and stomped back to the helm.
“Come here, lads!” he barked.
Janner and Kalmar exchanged a glance and dashed to the wheel.
Podo grabbed Janner’s hands and placed them on the handles. “Hold here, and here.” Podo knelt, put his scratchy face beside Janner’s, and pointed. “See that little hump in the distance?”
Janner did. A thin, dark shape on the eastern horizon. “Yes sir.”
“That’s where we’re headed. That’s the Green Hollows. It’s farther away than it looks. Now keep her nose pointed just to the left of that spot and she’ll sail straight for it. Kalmar, yer job is to keep Janner company and to fetch me if the wind changes. Clear?”
“Yes sir,” Kalmar said.
“But where are you going?” Janner asked, hating how frightened he sounded.
“I forgot me pipe. If this is my last voyage, I aim to enjoy it.”
Podo marched away, humming a happy tune as he disappeared into the captain’s quarters, leaving Janner feeling very small at the helm of a very big ship. The wheel tugged back and forth with a will of its own. It was harder to hold steady than he expected. He felt the slow rise and fall of the sea beneath him, and the thrilling tension of wind and water, and the way sail and keel and rudder harnessed that power to drive the Enramere through the waves.
Janner took a deep breath, squinted one eye, and aimed the ship as Podo had instructed. He was conscious of the crew watching him, but he tried to focus all his attention on the hump of land and did his terrified best not to look anywhere else.
After a while, he realized he was smiling so wide his cheeks hurt. For the first time in his life, he was sailing.
Discussion: What was your favorite passage from this week?
What song would you want to hear to know that the singer is friendly?
What else in these chapters do you want to discuss? Post it in the book 3 forum. I might pull out a few readers’ questions when I assemble the book club kit this fall. 🙂