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Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare
The Wickware Sagas
by Penny Estelle
Genre: Time Travel Historical Adventure for Middle Grade
Tags: William Tell, Time travel, adventure, fantasy, humor, history, legends, 14th century, boys
Release: June 2012
Editor: Lea Schizas
Line Editor: Nancy Bell
Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek
Billy Cooper's seventh grade class has been given a last minute, weekend assignment. They must draw a piece of paper out of a box and prepare an oral book report on the person or event they select. Billy draws the name, William Tell, whoever that is. He has a full weekend planned, but figures he'll do a ten minute search and then be able to skate right through the assignment, having plenty of time for his busy weekend.
His outlook changes when he finds himself in the fourteenth century, standing in front of William Tell's house. Billy's modern day style and lingo has William Tell thinking the lad is a bit unbalanced, but asks if he would like to go along with him and his son to the town of Altdorf. It is here Billy learns just who William Tell is and why he is a legend.
“William! William, is that you?” A small woman rushed out of the house, running toward him. Light brown hair was pulled back in a bun at the nape of her neck and a long brown dress dragged on the ground as she hurried forward. She hugged him tight. She framed his face with her hands. “We haven’t seen you for so long.” She smiled.
Billy stood stiff as a board. His mouth moved, but no words came out.
“William, are you ailing? You haven’t forgotten us have you?”
What could he say? “Uhm…no, ma’am.”
“Ma’am?” She laughed again. “There will be no ma’ams around here. I know it has been a long time, but it will be Auntie, just as always!” She took him by the hand and led him to the house. “Your Uncle William is so anxious to see you, and you have never met your cousins, Walter and Willi.”
“So William Tell lives in this house.” It was a statement more than a question.
“William, are you sure you are not ailing?” Aunt Hedwig asked, looking alarmed at his strange behavior.
“Awesome,” Billy replied sarcastically. “I’m good to go!”
“Go?” his aunt asked. “You just got here.”
“Never mind…uhm…Auntie.” The sooner Billy got the scoop on this William Tell guy, the sooner he would wake up and get to baseball practice.
She took his arm through hers and opened the door.
Once inside, two young boys ran to him. “Greeting, William. I am Walter and this is Willi.” Walter was an eight-year old boy with unruly blond curls, while his ten-year old brother, Willi, had his mother’s straight brown hair. Billy held his palm up to give them a “high five” but their confused looks had him turning it into a quick wave.
“Hey,” Billy replied, tipping his head back. “Uh….I mean….greetings…back.”
“William,” said a male booming voice from behind him, “my namesake!” A slap on the back practically took him to his knees. The sensation alarmed him…is it possible to feel pain in dreams?
Billy turned to face the subject of his book report. He was a mountain of a man with red, curly hair and a neatly trimmed beard.
“Dude, you’re huge!” Billy gasped without thinking.
“My name is William, not Dude.” The man laughed. “I have been called many things but I will accept huge with honor.” He picked up his crossbow and said, “Walter and I are going to Altdorf to see Hedwig’s mother and father. Would you like to accompany us, William?”
“Yea, I’m in,” Billy said.
“In what, William?’ asked his aunt.
“Well, that means cool, sounds good to me.” He was already tired of these confused looks. Maybe this was the way of the people in Uri. He opened the front door. “Let us be on our way and walk to the town.”
Billy was so pleased with himself; he smothered a laugh when he heard William whisper into his wife’s ear, “I am relieved young William is coming with us. I would be concerned leaving you and Willi alone with one who may be unbalanced.”
About the Author
My name is Penny Estelle and I was a school secretary for 21 years. I heard every excuse and story in the book when kids were sent to see the principal. I promised myself when I retired I would write stories about kids in this age group.
I retired with my wonderful husband and we live on a fifty-four acre ranch in NW Arizona. Finding it would cost over $100,000 to bring in electricity we made the decision to go green. We live on solar and wind. I am the greenest person I know, even if I don't want to be.
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Customer Reviews:HM Prévost (Tuesday, 26 June 2012)
MarvaD (Sunday, 17 June 2012)
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