Magical Kids II: The Smallest Girl Ever and the Boy Who Could Fly, page 1
Table of Contents
The Boy Who Could Fly
The Smallest Girl Ever
DIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
A division of Penguin Young Readers Group • Published by The Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A. • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa • Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
The Smallest Girl Ever / The Boy Who Could Fly • First published in the United States 2008 by Dial Books for Young Readers
The Smallest Girl Ever • Published in Great Britain in 2000 by Dolphin Paperbacks An imprint of Orion Children’s Books • A division of the Orion Publishing Group Ltd 5 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9EA, England • Copyright © 2000 by Sally Gardner
The Boy Who Could Fly • Published in Great Britain in 2001 by Dolphin Paperbacks An imprint of Orion Children’s Books • A division of the Orion Publishing Group Ltd 5 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9EA, England • Copyright © 2001 by Sally Gardner
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
[Smallest girl ever]
Magical kids : The smallest girl ever ; The boy who could fly / written and illustrated by Sally Gardner.
The smallest girl ever was published in 2000 and The boy who could fly was published in 2001 in Great Britain by Dolphin Paperbacks.
Summary: Two stories about children who, after enduring difficulties in life, develop magical powers that improve their lives immeasurably.
eISBN : 978-1-440-65269-1
[1. Magic—Fiction.] I. Gardner, Sally. Boy who could fly. II. Title.
The Boy Who Could Fly
with all my love
Mrs. Top opened her front door one gray Wednesday afternoon to find a Fat Fairy standing there.
“Is this 6 Valance Road, and are you Thomas Top’s mother?” asked the Fat Fairy.
Mrs. Top looked a little taken aback.
“Yes,” she said, “but I think there must be some mistake. The birthday party has had to be postponed.”
The Fat Fairy adjusted her glasses and huffed.
- “Well. I have it written down here that I am booked for today, the fourth of May, at three o’clock for Thomas Top’s ninth birthday,” said the Fat Fairy firmly. “And I never get it wrong.”
“I don’t understand. I didn’t book anyone for Thomas’s party. I mean, we always have Mr. Spoons the magician. I never asked for a fairy,” said Mrs. Top.
“No one ever does, dear,” said the Fat Fairy. “We are supposed to be a surprise.”
Mrs. Top was beginning to feel quite flustered.
“You see, the party isn’t happening today because Thomas is sick,” she said. “We had to postpone it. He’s going to have it on the same day as his dad’s birthday now.”
“Well, that is nothing to do with me,” said the Fat Fairy. “I am here just to wish him a happy birthday. It says nothing about entertainment or parties.”
“Oh I see,” said Mrs. Top, feeling relieved, “you are some sort of singing telegram. I can’t think who sent you.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it,” said the Fat Fairy, smiling.
Thomas was propped up in bed. He felt terrible, with a sore throat and aching bones. A virus, the doctor had told his mom. He was to stay in bed until he felt better, and today was his birthday and he felt worse.
So far he had been given a book on fishing for beginners from his dad, a pen from his mom, a brown sweater from his aunt Maud, a set of colored markers from his friend Spud, and a quarter stuck with masses of tape to an old Christmas card from his uncle Alfie. Things were not looking good when suddenly his mom entered the room, with the fattest fairy he had ever seen.
She had bright pink hair and was wearing a tutu two sizes too small. Her wings were lopsided and it looked as if she had sat on her tiara. If Thomas hadn’t been feeling so unwell he would have burst out laughing.
“It’s a surprise,” said his mom anxiously.
The Fat Fairy looked around the room and huffed, then went and sat on the end of Thomas’s bed.
“I wouldn’t get too close to him,” said Mom. “He could be contagious.”
The Fat Fairy took no notice and said in a mournful voice, “Love a cup of tea, dear.”
Mrs. Top went downstairs, saying she wouldn’t be a minute.
“Not much of a birthday,” said the Fat Fairy, looking around Thomas’s room and at his presents.
“Why are you here?” said Thomas.
“To give you a birthday wish,” said the Fat Fairy.
“You’re kidding, right?” said Thomas.
“No,” said the Fat Fairy. “Come on, just tell me what your wish is, and then I can be on my way.”
“I don’t know,” said Thomas. He wasn’t sure what to make of her. “This is just a game, isn’t it?”
“It’s no game,” said the Fat Fairy. “Come on, let’s get this finished before your mom comes back with tea and cupcakes.”
“I wish I was—” said Thomas.
“No good,” interrupted the Fat Fairy. “You can’t wish for all the money in the world or to turn Aunt Maud into a sheep. It just won’t work like that. You have to wish for something like having the most beautiful hair o
Thomas looked at her again. “Mom doesn’t have any cupcakes,” he said.
The fairy shrugged her wings. “Come on, come on,” she said. “Concentrate. It’s not every day you get a wish granted.”
“All right. I wish that—” said Thomas.
“No good,” the fairy interrupted. “You can’t wish for your father to be fun. It has to do with you, Thomas,” she said gently. “After all, today is your ninth birthday.”
Thomas looked surprised. “How did you know I was going to wish for that?” he asked.
“Quick,” said the Fat Fairy as Mom’s footsteps were heard coming up the stairs.
Thomas said the first thing that came into his head. “I wish I could fly.” Why he said that, he had no idea.
“Nice one,” said the Fat Fairy, standing up just as Mom entered the room with two cups of tea and a plate of cupcakes.
“I’m all done and dusted, dear,” said the Fat Fairy, giving a loud belch. “All this wishing plays havoc with my insides,” she went on, gulping down the tea and putting three cupcakes in her handbag. “Well, I can’t stay here all day enjoying myself.”
And without so much as a good-bye, she made her way down the stairs. Mom followed, saying, “Wait a minute, I was wondering which company sent you,” but by the time she had made it to the front door, the Fat Fairy had vanished.
Thomas went back to school the following Monday.
Monday was his worst day. There was gym, and Thomas hated gym. “Could I have a note saying that I’ve been sick?” he asked his mom.
“No,” said his dad firmly. “If you are well enough to go back to school, young man, you are well enough to play games.”
“I think, Alan, that’s a bit hard,” said his mom. “He hasn’t been feeling very well.”
“I am not having that boy babied anymore,” said Dad. “We have had quite enough interruption to our routine.”
So Thomas endured the torture that was gym. Miss Peach took no nonsense from her class. She had all the equipment out: the balance beam, the trampoline, the mats, even the dreaded jumping horse.
Everyone lined up, ready to jump over the horse. It usually went with a good rhythm, that is until it was Thomas’s turn. Today would be no different, he thought miserably.
Thomas closed his eyes and started his run, waiting for the bump as he hit the horse, the shout that would be Miss Peach telling him he wasn’t trying hard enough, and the laughter that would be his classmates.
Except that he didn’t hit the horse, and all he heard was a loud gasp. When he opened his eyes he was amazed to find that he was about six feet off the ground.
Thomas landed in a heap on the other side of the horse.
“Thomas Top, what do you think you’re doing?” said a shocked Miss Peach.
“Nothing, Miss Peach,” said Thomas. “Just jumping.”
The class was silent. Children can jump high, but six feet off the ground was unbelievable! Miss Peach decided she was seeing things. Yes, that was it. She clapped her hands. “Now everyone, settle down and let’s do it one more time. Well done, Thomas, for getting over the horse.”
But it happened again. This time Thomas found himself about eight feet off the ground and heading for the other side of the gym. He landed with a loud thump.
“That’s it, Thomas Top. I will not have this kind of showing off in my class,” said Miss Peach. “You will go and sit outside until you calm down.”
Thomas sat outside in the drafty corridor in his flimsy white T-shirt and brown shorts.
“What are you doing out here, Thomas Top?” said Mr. March, the headmaster.
“I got sent out for showing off,” said Thomas apologetically.
Mr. March laughed. “That’s not like you, Thomas. You’re always such a quiet guy. Come on, let’s see what this is all about.”
The class was now on the trampoline.
“Sorry to interrupt, Miss Peach, but this little fellow tells me he’s been sent outside for showing off. Is that right?”
“Yes,” said Miss Peach flatly. “He was jumping too high.”
Mr. March looked puzzled. “Jumping too high? Well, I never would have thought he had it in him.”
“Neither would I,” said Miss Peach, who did not appreciate the headmaster’s interruption one little bit.
“Well,” said Mr. March, “I’m sure Thomas will behave himself now, and perhaps he can join in on the trampoline.”
Thomas had always hated the trampoline. He was no good at coordination; jumping up and down terrified the socks off him. He climbed up gingerly, his face pale.
“Don’t forget to bend your knees,” said Miss Peach sternly.
Thomas bent his knees and straightened up again, feeling very wobbly on his feet.
“He’s not really trying, miss,” said Suzi Morris.
“He didn’t jump,” said Joe Corry, another boy in his class. “He just bent his knees.”
“He did jump. I saw him,” said Thomas’s loyal friend Spud.
“Now come on,” said Mr. March. “I’m sure you can do better than that. Let’s see you jump nice and high.”
What happened next gave Thomas the biggest shock of his life. He found himself going up and up toward the ceiling of the gym, his legs and arms flailing until he finally grabbed ahold of a beam and hung there.
Thomas was scared of heights. They made him feel sick. He was now higher than he had ever been in his life, and he didn’t know how it had happened.
“Help! Please!” cried Thomas.
“Oh my word!” cried Mr.
March. “Get a ladder, quick! Hold on, Thomas. We’ll get you down.”
But it was too late. Thomas felt his fingers getting weak. There was no way he was going to survive this. He was going to fall, break both his legs, his arms, his collar-bone—everything. He let out a small scream, which was echoed by a much louder one from everyone below.
Thomas was falling like a stone.
He put out his arms to break his fall—but that just made him go up again! This couldn’t be happening. He felt like he was on a roller coaster. Perhaps it was all a bad dream.
He would wake up in a minute and find himself safely back in bed with a nice safe sore throat.
Instead he found himself sitting on a beam high up in the rafters, looking down at his class and teacher, who were all staring up at him, openmouthed. He hung on for dear life while Mr. March quickly ushered all the kids out of the gym.
“That’s all fine and good,” said Miss Peach to herself, “but the question is, how are we going to get him down?”
Mrs. Top arrived at the school in a terrible state. “What kind of incident? Why have I been called here?” she said. “I have already had to take a week off of work with Thomas being sick.”
Mr. March looked quite embarrassed.
Thomas felt miserable. It had taken over an hour to get him down. In the end Miss Peach had fetched a ladder, climbed up, and with a lot of gentle talking, which didn’t come easy to her, she had managed to persuade a very shaky Thomas to make his way to the floor.
“Well,” said Mr. March, clearing his throat, “Thomas jumped.”
“Isn’t he supposed to jump? Isn’t that what they do in gym, jump?” said Mrs. Top.
“Yes,” said Mr. March. “Not quite this kind of jumping, though.”
“I’m sorry. You’ve lost me,” said Mrs. Top, looking even more baffled.
The headmaster coughed. “Please sit down.”
Mrs. Top perched on the edge of her chair while the headmaster told her, using a lot of pauses and ums, what had happened in the school gym. He had to admit that it sounded rather far-fetched.
When Mrs. Top had heard what the headmaster had to say, she stood up. “You have brought me all the way to school because Thomas jumped,” she said. “I am sorry, but I don’t understand what you are talking a
“Thomas,” said Mr. March, “will you please jump?”
Thomas looked at his mom.
“Do I have to?” he asked her.
“Yes, let’s get this over with,” said Mom wearily. “Then I can get back to work.”
Thomas bent his knees and pretended to jump, keeping his feet fixed on the floor.
“There,” said Mrs. Top. “There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s never been all that good at sports.”
“Thomas,” said the headmaster firmly. “I would like you to do a proper jump, not a pretend one.”
Thomas looked from his mom’s face to Mr. March and knew there was no way out. He closed his eyes and jumped.
He hit his head so hard on the ceiling that a chunk of plaster fell onto the carpet below. Thomas landed with a thud just as Mrs. Top fainted. She recovered to find the school nurse holding her hand and Mr. March pouring a cup of water. Mrs. Top felt flustered by all the attention and stood up, feeling weak.
“I think you should sit down until you get over the shock,” said the nurse kindly.
“There is nothing to get over,” said Mom, adjusting her coat. “We are just ordinary people and jumping very high doesn’t run in the family.”
“Quite so, Mrs. Top,” said the headmaster. “All the same, perhaps Thomas should spend a few more days at home until he gets better.”
There was no way Mrs. Top would be going back to work today. She took Thomas’s hand and they left the school and walked home. She looked pale and worried.
“We won’t have to tell Dad, will we?” said Thomas nervously.
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