I am twelve years old but look like I’m about fourteen because I’m five foot seven. I absolutely loved your books!!!!! The off season well it made me cry. I was up until 11:30 reading practically praying that Brian and D.J. got back together I was practically jumping. Then when he called her on thanksgiving day I was about to wet myself! Then they didn’t get back together I cried so hard and I was so mad I had to sleep in my parents bed and I school I was crying and I would say it was because of a book and then people would ask me what happened and I would start to cry all over again. I was so mad and then I found out there was another one coming out! I was so happy I started crying for the millionth time today!!!!! I just can’t wait till it comes out and especially because it is supposed to come out on my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just wanted to thank u cause all day I was thinking about how things never happen the way there supposed to and that’s why I love books and movies because they just give me hopes. So thank u.


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Heaven is Paved with Oreos

Chapter 1.

[Sarah Zorn writes Heaven is Paved with Oreos in her journal. Here is the first journal entry.]

Darling Sarah!

This journal is for you—isn’t it glorious? I saw it & thought of you instantly! Now you can record all your thoughts & your genius & your experiences-to-come! (And are you going to have experiences!) Someday, when you’re a creaky sixty-three-year-old granny, you’ll read this & remember every one of your marvelous adventures. I am so excited! Have fun writing!

Peace forever — Z

Wednesday, June 12

Wow. My very own journal. What do you write in a journal? Because I don’t really have marvelous adventures — not like my grandmother Z. My grandmother Z could have an adventure just shopping for pencils. One time she left her apartment to buy milk and she didn’t make it home for seventy-one hours. That’s a marvelous adventure. My big adventure for today was making sure my best friend didn’t throw up.

Curtis Schwenk—he’s my best friend—is exceedingly shy. He does not like being the center of attention or even the perimeter of attention. In school he never talks at all. If he went out to buy pencils, he would be too shy even to ask where the pencils are located and he would go home empty-handed. A huge public thing like graduation is not a place he would ever happily be, even if he was one of the people graduating, which he is not because we have only finished eighth grade.

This year, though, Curtis’s older brother Win was the speaker at the Red Bend High School graduation ceremony. Curtis’s brother got intensely hurt playing football last year, and now he is recovering. Crowds of people came to hear him talk about overcoming the odds and being a fighter while Curtis sat next to him onstage in a necktie looking 100% queasy. I spent the whole speech sending Curtis morally supportive brain waves.

Then they gave out diplomas and graduation was over. Everyone said congratulations to everyone else even if there was nothing to congratulate them for. I myself got four congratulations just for standing there. The fourth time, I congratulated the fourth person right back and he did not even mind.

For a while I lost sight of Curtis, but then I found him again. Curtis is actually quite easy to find sight of because he is so tall. He saw me and smiled a huge relief-filled smile. “Hey,” he said, lifting up his hand. We Palm Saluted. A Palm Salute is where one person touches his or her left palm to the other person’s right palm. It is an amazingly fantastic gesture of greeting. Curtis and I invented it. We are, I think, the only people in the world who do it. Curtis’s hands are so big that my fingertips only reach his middle phalanx. (That is the scientific name for the middle set of bones in your fingers. I looked it up.)

“Hey,” I said, smiling at him. EHiPO ch 1very time we Palm Salute, I smile. “How’s Boris?”

“Okay, I think. I haven’t lifted the cover.”
“How bad’s the smell?”
Just then Emily Friend squeezed in next to Curtis.

Note that she appeared as Curtis and I were discussing odors. “Hey, Curtis!” she said with that voice she has. “You looked very cool up there.”

Curtis did not say anything. But he quickly took his eyes off me and instead stared at the ground. He would not even share an eye roll.

“Hey, Sarah.” Emily always says my name as though she is just remembering it, even though we have been in school together since kindergarten. “Did you tie Cur- tis’s necktie for him? My cousin taught me how to tie ties, and it’s very important, you know, knowing how to tie your boyfriend’s tie . . . If you ever need anyone to tie it for you, Curtis, I can do it. I know how.” Then she gave me a look and she left. A look that means, I don’t care what everyone says: I know the truth. I’m on to you.

Curtis kept staring at the ground. I tried to think of what I could have said back to Emily. For example: Curtis and I would rather hang out with a dead calf than with you. Or Your name is Emily Friend, but you’re re- ally Emily Enemy. But neither of these responses would work. No response works if you only think it up after the person has already left.

Finally I said, “So . . . Library? Tomorrow?”

Curtis nodded. “After practice.” He looked like he wanted to say something else, but I waited and he didn’t. Mom was talking to Curtis’s sister, D.J. — prob- ably saying congratulations because there weren’t any graduates nearby to say it to. Paul stood behind Mom looking dazed. My brother is a little obsessed with Cur- tis’s sister. He has articles about D.J. Schwenk playing boys’ football and girls’ basketball taped all over the in- side of his closet. He is 100% in awe of her.

Then Curtis went off with D.J., and I went off with Mom and Paul, and Mom said Emily seemed nice be- cause Mom = clueless. Dad was home from work by the time we got there. He asked about graduation. “In three more years,” Dad said to Paul, “that will be you.” He clinked his slice of pizza against Paul’s, like people in movies do with champagne. “And here’s to four more years for Sarah,” he added, and clinked his pizza with me. Four years! That’s how long it is un- til my very own high school graduation. I am worried about high school, but not too worried. Curtis will be there.

Z is coming for supper tomorrow night—that’s why I’m writing now. She will be immensely thrilled with my journaling. She will say that watching graduation is an adventure too. Good night!