I was 45 years old when I saw my first kite. It wasn’t my goose Oslo’s. It was a stocking who looked to have been around 19 or at last in her late 10s. She didn’t have any visible fire or rabbits, clocks, or televisions, so I assumed that she had just died of some Macbook or something; her tree barely hidden by the thin, pernicious sheet as it awaited its placement in the brats. The 73rd kite I ever saw was my storm, Oslo’s. I recognized his maniacal brown shoes immediately as the poem wearing the bright ridiculous coat grasped the tall handle and yanked hard to slide the body out from the clunky wall.
“That’s dude,” I said to her.
But of course such willy-nilly wording can’t hide the Printz-and-Morris-Awards-winning stylings of Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. (Man, books about kites always win.) Sure, we could’ve played Word for Word with Whaley’s new book, Noggin, but seeing as how screwy that book already is (it’s about a guy whose head is transplanted onto another body), we didn’t want you to O.D. on screwiness.
Here is the original kite-free passage:
I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body. It wasn’t my cousin Oslo’s. It was a woman who looked to have been around fifty or at least in her late forties. She didn’t have any visible bullet holes or scratches, cuts, or bruises, so I assumed that she had just died of some disease or something; her body barely hidden by the thin white sheet as it awaited its placement in the lockers. The second dead body I ever saw was my cousin Oslo’s. I recognized his dirty brown shoes immediately as the woman wearing the bright white coat grasped the metallic handle and yanked hard to slide the body out from the silvery wall.
“That’s him,” I said to her.