Gasp of the Ghoulish Guinea Pig #7 (Undead Pets)

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9780448490038: Gasp of the Ghoulish Guinea Pig #7 (Undead Pets)

Joe's latest visitor needs help fast—to save his litter mates from the ghoulish grave! Flash, a guinea pig, needs Joe to guard his family from an escaped snake! Will the Protector of Undead Pets prevail, or will Flash have company for his final crossing?

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About the Author:

Sam Hay grew up in Scotland. A former journalist, she has written several children's books. She lives with her husband, two children and several pets in a small house with a big garden.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One
 
“Here they come!” called Joe.
 
Toby, his little brother, gave a squeal of delight as a streak of brown-and-white fur shot out of a bendy green tube, closely followed by two more.
 
“Go, guinea pigs!” shouted Erin, a curly-haired girl the same age as Joe. She was sitting at the other end of the hall waving a bunch of parsley, while three guinea pigs raced through the obstacle course toward her, squeaking as they went.
 
It was Sunday afternoon, the start of winter break, and Joe and Toby and their parents were visiting the Crawfords. While the grown-ups chatted in the living room, the children were playing with the family’s three guinea pigs—Lightning, Flash, and Bolt. The obstacle course they’d built ran down the length of the Crawfords’ hallway.
 
“Oops!” George, Erin’s little brother, giggled as the guinea pigs decided not to jump over the small fence the kids had made and went around the side instead.
 
“They’re heading for the seesaw!” shrieked Toby.
 
“Come on!” called Erin, waving the parsley up and down. “Come and get the goodies!”
 
Flash—the biggest guinea pig—sniffed the air and let out a squeak, then shot through the cardboard archway and over the finish line, closely followed by Bolt and Lightning.
 
“Why does Flash always win?” groaned George.
 
“Because he’s awesome!” Erin gently scooped up Flash and rewarded him with a sprig of parsley. “That’s why I chose him.”
 
“Lightning and Bolt are cool, too,” said George, giving the other two their share of the parsley.
 
Joe crouched down next to Erin and stroked Flash’s small brown-and-white head. “When did you get them?”
 
“About four months ago. They’re still pretty young . . .”
 
“And very excitable!” added Erin’s mom, who had appeared in the hall carrying a tray of empty mugs. “All that squeaking!”
 
“Squeak! Squeak!” mimicked George in a funny guinea-pig voice.
 
Toby laughed and joined in. “Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!”
 
The guinea pigs stopped chewing their parsley and looked at the boys as though they were upset.
 
“I wish I had a guinea pig.” Toby sighed. “They’re so cool.”
 
“Want to hold Flash?” Erin nodded to the spot next to her. “Sit there and I’ll put him on your lap. Watch out—he’s a bit of a pooper!”
 
Toby and George giggled.
 
“Can I hold one, too?” Joe asked.
 
George put Bolt on Joe’s knee. The guinea pig began snuffling around the boy’s pockets looking for treats. Joe stroked his head and the guinea pig gave a small squeak.
 
“He likes you,” said Erin.
 
But just then Bolt wriggled off Joe’s lap and scuttled back to Lightning.
 
“They’re best friends,” George explained. “They like to stick together.”
 
“What about Flash?” asked Joe. The biggest guinea pig was still sitting happily on Toby’s knee.
 
“He’s a bit braver,” said Erin. “The other two follow him around. It’s a bit like me and George.” She giggled. “I’m Flash, and George is Bolt!”
 
“Joe, Toby—five minutes!” Mom called from the living room.
 
Toby groaned. “I don’t want to go home!”
 
“Quick,” Erin said. “Let’s do the course again!” She picked up Flash and Lightning, while George took Bolt. They carried them back to the beginning of the obstacle course.
 
As soon as Erin let Flash go, he took off through the first tunnel, squeaking excitedly.
 
“Hey!” said Erin, as Lightning wriggled in her arms. She put him down, and he chased after Flash. Bolt caught up, following the others.
 
George and Toby began squeaking again, copying the guinea pigs.
 
“We’ve got two new pets!” said Mrs. Crawford as the grown-ups appeared in the hall.
 
Joe’s dad grinned. “Should I put them in the hutch for you?”
 
Toby and George made silly guinea-pig faces and squeaked even louder.
 
“Come on, boys! Time to go,” said Mom, holding out Toby’s fleece.
 
Toby’s face fell. “But I want to stay.”
 
“You can come back another time,” said Mrs. Crawford. “What about Tuesday? It’s George’s birthday, and he’s having a monster party. He’d love if Joe and Toby could come.”
 
“Yes, please!” said Toby excitedly.
 
“Cool!” George added.
 
Joe was less excited. The idea of a five-year-old’s birthday party wasn’t so appealing to him.
 
“Well . . . ,” he began.
 
Mrs. Crawford smiled. “Maybe you’ve already got plans, Joe. But it would be nice if Toby could come.”
 
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” Mom asked Mrs. Crawford.
 
“Of course not! We’ve already got a houseful of kids coming—another one won’t matter.”
 
“Awesome!” said Toby and George. And they started squeaking again.
 
 
************
 
 
“Five more minutes, Joe, and then knock it off!” called Dad, poking his head through the living-room door.
 
It was a few hours later, and Joe was playing a racing video game.
 
“Did you hear me?” Joe’s dad asked.
 
Joe made a face. “Yeah, all right, Dad.”
 
Just one more lap, he thought as he steered his car through the flags.
 
Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!
 
“Get lost, Toby!” Joe grumbled, not bothering to turn around. “Dad says I’ve still got five minutes!”
 
Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!
 
“Go away!”
 
Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!
 
Why were little brothers so annoying! Joe grabbed a cushion, spun around, and lobbed it at Toby—but he wasn’t there.
 
Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!
 
Joe frowned. “Toby? Where are you?”
 
“Under here, Joe!” came a squeaky voice.
 
Joe looked under the coffee table and gasped. It was Flash!

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