Fault Lines ('Nama Beach High, Book 3)

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9780310251828: Fault Lines ('Nama Beach High, Book 3)
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Things are finally getting better for Laura Duffy. Kind of. Despite nursing a broken jaw, Laura is finding a good balance between God, friends, school, and family. But something is happening at Panama Beach High School that is going to rattle every part of Laura’s life. A group of new students has arrived whose olive skin and awkward accents draw unwelcome attention from the school’s angriest group of burnouts. No one is sure where the new kids came from, why they don’t seek friends, or why a bully named Wolf is making their lives so difficult. As tensions rise, Laura finds herself wanting to help, but is frustrated by God’s seeming silence. And just when it looks like the tides have turned, things get much, much worse. Join Laura as she struggles to figure out how to be friends with outsiders, extend grace to enemies, and make sense of events that can do far more damage than a broken jaw.

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About the Author:

Nancy Rue has written over 100 books for girls, is the editor of the Faithgirlz Bible, and is a popular speaker and radio guest with her expertise in tween and teen issues. She and husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now live in Tennessee.

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'Nama Beach High Book 3: Fault Lines Copyright © 2004 by Youth Specialties Youth Specialties Books, 300 South Pierce Street, El Cajon, CA 92020, are published by Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rue, Nancy N. Fault lines / by Nancy Rue. p. cm. -- ('Nama Beach High ; bk. 3) Summary: With her jaw still wired shut from the last time she stood up for what is right, Laura cannot help but get involved when local "rednecks" harrass and intimidate a group of Jewish students newly arrived from Israel. ISBN 0-310-25182-6 (softcover) [1. Toleration--Fiction. 2. Israelis--United States--Fiction. 3. Jews--United States--Fiction. 4. High schools--Fiction. 5. Schools--Fiction. 6. Christian life--Fiction.] I. Title. PZ7.R88515Fau 2004 [Fic]--dc22 2004008619 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version (North American Edition). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher. Web site addresses listed in this book were current at the time of publication. Please contact Youth Specialties via e-mail (YS@YouthSpecialties.com) to report URLs that are no longer operational and replacement URLs if available. Editorial and art direction by Rick Marschall Edited by Karyl Miller Proofread by Laura Gross and Joanne Heim Cover by Proxy Interior by Sarah Jongsma Printed in the United States of America 04 05 06 07 08 09 / DC / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 chapterone Duffy,” Celeste said to me in a whisper, “—could this possibly GET any more lame?” At least, it fit Celeste’s definition of a whisper, which meant everybody sitting within six feet of us heard it. That included our group—me (Laura Duffy), my girlfriends Stevie and Joy Beth, and Trent— plus four other kids, who had either dozed off or were so stupefied by boredom they couldn’t even nod in agreement. One guy actually had drool oozing from the corner of his mouth. “He’s trying,” Stevie whispered in my other ear. She nodded at the pastor perched on a stool in front of us—Pastor Ennis—who at the moment was clapping his hands into a clasp for about the five hundredth time. I was fairly certain his palms were going to slide off of each other the next time he did it. They had to be clammy by now. There were enough sweat beads sparkling on his high forehead to drown somebody. He was probably hoping at this point that it would be him. “So, come on, folks, “he said. “I know there are some hot issues ya’ll want to discuss.” “How about how to get ourselves out of here?” Celeste hissed to me. “Somebody over here?” Pastor Ennis said. He looked so hopefully in our direction I knew he hadn’t heard her exact words. But SOMEBODY had said SOMETHING, and he was grasping at it like the drowning man he was sure to be if he didn’t wipe that forehead pretty soon. Stevie raised her hand. He immediately grinned at her, which most people did the minute they laid eyes on her. If she hadn’t been one of my best friends, I probably would have wanted to smack her for being so perfect. She had a smile that lit up her whole latte-colored, Latinaflavored face, including eyes that made you think of pure chocolate. You’d swear her smile even made her hair glow, although the highlights there came from a bottle and shone in big, loose, carefree curls. She raked a hand through them now “Yes, ma’am!” Pastor said. “I’m sure we all have issues,” she said. She spread her smile over the eight teenagers in the room, actually waking up the kid with the drool problem. “But we don’t know each other well enough to just start baring our souls.” She gave him another smile that clearly indicated it wasn’t HIS fault that no one had spoken a word in the forty-five excruciating minutes since he’d called the “meeting” to order. Pastor Ennis nodded seriously at her, his very-high forehead wrinkling into furrows all the way up to the cropped-short honey brown hair that predicted he’d be bald before he was forty. Thank heaven he didn’t have a comb-over, or Celeste would have been beside herself. As it was, she was squirming like a little kid who had to go to the bathroom. The pastor was still nodding. Drool Boy had gone back to sleep. “So what you’re saying is that we need to just—fellowship—get to know each other?” “Right!” Stevie said. She made it sound like he’d just had a major break-through. “So—then—” He glanced at his watch. “What do you say we break for refreshments and ya’ll can mingle and get to know each other?” Stevie opened her mouth to say something, but he had already disappeared through the doorway that led down the hall to the church kitchen. Drool Boy opened his eyes and blinked. “Is it over?” he said. “Did it ever start?” Celeste said. Joy Beth grunted, and then exchanged glances with Trent. I knew what the grunt meant—it was Joy-Beth-ese for “You got that right.” But the look with Trent, that I hadn’t figured out yet. They’d only been an item for about a month, and I knew they were totally into each other because she grunted at him more than she ever did at anybody else, and he actually spoke whole paragraphs to her which were NOT about nuclear physics or differential calculus. Pastor Ennis reappeared carrying a cooler, and his cute pixie-haired wife followed with seven Domino’s Pizza boxes. Nine people couldn’t have eaten that much sausage and pepperoni if we’d been starved on a desert island. Make that eight people. Drool Boy had wandered out the door. “Ya’ll eat up and mingle and break the ice,” Reverend Ennis said. “We’re going to give you some space.” “I hope he takes a Valium,” Celeste said, her husky voice, thicker than usual with Brooklynese. “Dude’s a nervous wreck.” “I don’t think he’s ever tried to start a youth group before,” Stevie said. Joy Beth grunted. “What was your first clue?” “You better eat some of that pizza,” I said. I definitely couldn’t eat any. I still had my jaw wired shut from having it broken a month before. Nothing went into my mouth unless it entered through a plastic syringe that looked like it was designed for Big Bird’s vaccinations. I could talk, teeth clenched together, but between the wires and the orthodontia I was already equipped with, I was slowed down in the verbal department. Celeste had gotten pretty accustomed to talking FOR me. I put one hand on Celeste’s back and one on Stevie’s, and we went to the table where the three remaining kids pretty much had the extra-large “All the Meats” devoured. I was pretty sure they had stuffed their mouths so they wouldn’t have to talk. Laura the Responsible One kicked in. After all, I was the only one who knew their names because I was the one who went to church there at Cove Community. Celeste went with me sometimes. I had dragged Stevie and Joy Beth and Trent to this meeting with a promise of coffee at Books-A-Million—my treat—when it was over. If it ever WAS over. I tapped each of my friends with a finger. “Celeste Mancini, Joy Beth Barnes, Trent Newell, Stevie Martinez— meet Alex, Genevieve, and Vanessa.” I shrugged, rather ungracefully, and added, “Sorry I don’t know your last names.” “It’s not like there’s going to be a test,” Stevie said. She offered her hand to shake Vanessa’s and gave her the smile. Alex stuck his paw out and lifted his eyelids above half mast for the first time the whole evening. “How long do we have to stay without it looking like we’re ditching him?” he said to her. “How long can you stand it?” Celeste said.

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