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Brownstone Faces

When a favorite old building in the neighborhood is threatened with destruction, Alice and her friend, Hannah, resort to unusual tactics to save it.
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Alice has enough problems in her fifth grade class without having to shepherd around Hannah, the new kid in class. However, after Hannah introduces Alice to some brownstone carvings, which, according to Hannah, are alive, Alice begins to receive visits during the wee hours of the night when the stone figures seem to come alive and walk and talk. Together, Alice, Hannah and the brownstone figures engage in adventures that begin as mischievous but soon turn serious as a building is threatened that holds in its walls one of the group’s oldest carvings.

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Title Brownstone Faces
Series An Alice and Friends Book: 2
Authors Anne Rothman-Hicks & Kenneth Hicks
Genre Middle Grade Fantasy
Release January 24, 2017
Designer Charlotte Volnek
Length 46 pages
P-ISBN 978-1-77127-939-0
E-ISBN 978-1-77127-901-7
Price $2.99 E-book $9.99 Paperback
Tags Divorce, New York City, historic preservation, dreams, stone carvings, old buildings, friendship, peer pressure, imagination


Mrs. Gallagher had assigned Hannah to a vacant desk in the third from the last row. Johnny was directly behind Hannah and I was to his left.

Those pigtails seemed to fascinate Johnny. He reached forward and yanked, first on the right one, and second on the left one. Then on both at once.

Third time’s the charm.

Hannah gave Johnny the same sort of exhausted, vacant look that she had given me earlier. However, for Johnny she added a touch of disdain. Nice.

“Please stop pulling my hair,” she said.

Personally, I would have punched him or at least called him a jerk. But her technique had its benefits.

“Johnny Riggs?” Mrs. Gallagher said. “You can help me clean up after school today.”

Johnny scowled, with an especially nasty glimmer in his eyes for me because I was smiling. Several girls also scowled at me to show support for Johnny. No doubt the GUARDIANS would be lowering me still further on the Cool Kids scale. I smiled at them too.

Hannah didn’t seem to notice. She just pushed her glasses into place and turned around.

Things went okay for most of the afternoon, until we began reading aloud from The Secret Garden. Mrs. Gallagher walked up and down the aisles while we all took turns.As Mrs. Gallagher passed my desk the second time on her way toward the front, out of the corner of my eye I saw Johnny stretch a rubber band as far as it would go and let it fly into the back of Hannah’s head. It connected with the soft skin right between her pigtails.

“Yeow!” Hannah’s yell caused everyone in front of her to turn around. Meanwhile the rubber band had rebounded off its target and landed in the middle of my copy of The Secret Garden. As Mrs. Gallagher whirled to see what was causing the commotion, I immediately slapped the book shut with a loud whap.

Bad move.

“What have you got there, Alice?” Mrs. Gallagher asked.

I opened the book. The rubber band rested there like a skinny wrinkled worm.

“Is that your rubber band, Alice?” she asked.

“No, ma’am,” I said.

“Do know whose it is?”

Of course I knew, and she knew I knew. But I’m not a snitch.

“No, ma’am,” I said.

“Well until you remember who owns the rubber band, I will have to assume that it is yours. And you know the rules about rubber bands, Alice,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“By tomorrow morning, I want you to write a one page essay listing five reasons why we don’t allow rubber bands in class,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.







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