The League of Extraordinary Grade-Schoolers

Chapter 1: Nancy’s Power

When eight-year-old Nancy Clancy stepped out the door to visit a neighbor on a Friday afternoon, she wasn’t expecting to be attacked by a giant robot.

Nancy had just come home from third grade, but after dropping off her schoolbooks on the dining room table, she headed out the door again to see Mrs. DeVine, who had invited her for tea. Mrs. DeVine was a severe-looking but kindly old matron who lived in the fanciest house in the neighborhood: she had a front gate of cast iron entwined with roses, and a yard full of flowers. Her house brimmed with the most interesting things—brocaded drapes that hung to the floor, cushions of silk, divans nestled in bay windows, cabinets loaded with eggshell china, paintings of dignified but mysterious gentlemen, and elegant porcelain dolls too delicate to touch.

Many children might be afraid of a house so full of breakables, or intimidated by Mrs. DeVine herself, who stood tall and straight, with a down-turned mouth and a head piled high with white hair. For as long as she could remember, however, Nancy had been taken with Mrs. DeVine and fascinated with her ornate and treasure-filled home. The other houses up and down the street were all white and boxy and nearly indistinguishable, and all had neatly trimmed but unadorned yards. Only Mrs. DeVine’s house stood out, beautiful and old-fashioned, and Nancy loved it. She loved everything fancy. She always had, and she was determined that she always would. Continue reading “The League of Extraordinary Grade-Schoolers”