The Burning Pendulum (Fortune Teller's Club Series)

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9780738704357: The Burning Pendulum (Fortune Teller's Club Series)

Juniper had no idea that donating her favorite books-a series about psychic teenagers solving mysteries-to the school library would result in a heated protest that pits her unyielding mother against irate parents determined to ban the so-called "wicked" literature. Desperate to escape scathing embarrassment and possible expulsion, Juniper is ready to give up the fight-especially when Anne, her own best friend and fellow member of the Fortune Teller's Club, won't defend Juniper in front of her new boyfriend. But Juniper realizes she is not alone in this battle and with help from a special divination pendulum, she finds the strength to defend her beloved books and what they stand for.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Dotti Enderle is the author of the childrens mystery series, Fortune Tellers Club, and the educational series, Storytime Discoveries. She began her publishing career in 1995, writing for popular childrens magazines. Her work has been included in Babybug, Ladybug, Childrens Playmate, Nature Friend, Turtle and many more.

As a professional storyteller, Dotti has entertained at numerous schools, libraries, museums and festivals since 1993. She takes pride in her vast collection of original stories and folktales, and specializes in participation stories, allowing the audience to join in the fun.

Dotti is a member of The Society of Childrens Book Writers & Illustrator and the Texas Reading Association.
A native Texan, Dotti lived throughout Texas as a small child, but Houston has been her home since the age of eight. She lives with her husband, two teenage daughters, and a lazy cat named Oliver.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1
The Assignment

Juniper waited, nervously flicking the pages of
the paperback book she held. When that didn’t
calm her, she fidgeted with the circular pendulum
that had come with it. She wanted to ease her jitters
but they kept building, stronger and stronger,
until she thought she might spontaneously combust.
She closed her eyes, thinking of her nerves
as computer data, even trying to envision a delete
button, but that didn’t work. Her anxiety simply
multiplied like email spam.

Regan Wells was finishing her oral book report,
and Juniper was next. "So that’s why it’s important
that I donate Buffalo Soldiers to our new
school library―as a tribute to my great-greatgreat-
grandfather. He served as a buffalo soldier
in the Civil War and I donate this book in his
name."

Mrs. Blum’s clapping aroused the drowsy class,
and a few kids joined in the applause. "Well done,
Regan." She consulted a list on her desk, scanning
it through her reading glasses. "Juniper. You’re
next."

Juniper clamored to the front, holding the
book and pendulum like a wad of tissues. She
wished she could dance the report instead of
speak it. She never got nervous during her dance
recitals. Slowly, she held up the book for the
class to see. Her mouth was completely dry, like
she’d been chewing on her pillow.

"When we were asked to donate our favorite
book for the new library, I sort of had a problem
picking just one. See, my favorite books are in a
series." The classroom snickering made her pause.

That’s when she noticed the book was upside
down. Flipping it around, she continued. "This is
Grave Dangers, the third book in the Psychic Circle
series. The third one is really the best of the series,
I think."

She looked around at the moon-faced kids
staring up at her. Some were nodding, obviously
familiar with the Psychic Circle. Others had eyes
glazed over from hearing too many oral reports
in one hour. They’d obviously shut out all new
incoming information for the day.

"The Psychic Circle is a group of teenagers
who each have different psychic abilities. Using
E.S.P. and other forms of mind-reading, they
solve mysteries. In Grave Dangers, they solve the
mystery of who’s really buried in a creepy old
grave marked ‘Glover Handlestein.’" More nods
from the kids who were actually listening.
"They also have lots of supernatural stuff.
Like in this book, they see zombies coming up
from the family cemetery. It’s so cool. I really get
caught up in this series. I think that J. D. Devers
is the best author ever."

"You know there is no J. D. Devers," Nicole
Hoffman spouted. "That’s just a made-up name.
They hire different writers to write those books."

"That’s called ‘ghost writing,’" Mrs. Blum
added.

"I knew that," Juniper said, clutching the book
with white knuckles. But she hadn’t really known.
Her heart sank like a yo-yo. She’d always imagined
J. D. Devers as an old-looking Mark Twain
fellow, writing on an ancient typewriter and surrounded
by candles, E.S.P. cards, and pictures of
astrological symbols covered in milky cobwebs.
And it was especially painful to learn the truth
from one of the Snotty Twins.

"Anyway, here’s the best part." She dangled
the pendulum in front of her. It was nothing
more than a jade-colored plastic ring attached
to a length of waxed purple string, but its presence
caused the kids to sit up at their desks. The
droopy fog had cleared, giving the air a perky
feel. Juniper had them.

"Each book comes with a special device that
lets you play along and guess the outcome.

Grave Dangers comes with a pendulum." She
opened the book and thumbed through to a
particular page. "Here’s how it works. At the
end of each chapter there is a set of clues. In
some of the books, the clues are written. In this
one, there are pictures. You hold the pendulum
over the page and concentrate."

She closed her eyes, letting the pendulum
hang limp over the page of clues. She didn’t concentrate
because she already knew the answer. It
would be easy. She’d read this particular book
three times. But for some reason, her arm tingled,
just as it did when she was doing real psychic
work. She cleared her mind, focusing on the
pendulum. In just a matter of seconds it started
to swing, slightly at first, then in large sweeping
motions. A few Ooooooos rose up from the class.

"The pendulum will swing toward a clue,"
Juniper continued. "That’s how you try to solve
the mystery along with the Psychic Circle." But
it didn’t swing toward the clue. Instead it heated
up, the string circling wide and counterclockwise.
Odd. Was the pendulum trying to tell her
something?

She stopped the swinging pendulum and laid
it down on the book. What was that all about? She
blocked the confusion and continued her report.
"I’m pretty good at it, myself. I’ve never missed
yet on solving a case before the end of the book."

She decided not to tell them about the tingling
sensation she has when she works with different
forms of divination. Or that it had happened
right then! Most of the kids already knew it was
her passion anyway, and a few even knew about
the Fortune Tellers Club.

"So . . . I’m going to donate Grave Dangers, and
three other Psychic Circle books, to Mrs. Thompson
for the new library."

Juniper quickly scooted back to her desk. She
was so glad the book report was over and that
hers was the last one for today. Her throat felt
like the Sahara, and she desperately needed a
drink of water―make that a gallon.

"Can I see that?"

Juniper turned in her desk and handed the
book to Caitlin Greeley, sitting kitty-corner
across the aisle. She watched Caitlin skim the
book with interest, pausing to read a sentence or
two. "Thanks," she told Juniper, handing it back.
"I’d loan it to you, but it’s for the library,"
Juniper said.

"That’s okay."

The bell rang, causing the usual hurried scuffling
and loud voices. Juniper gathered her things
for the next class. She was sure she’d done well
with the report, but still, something didn’t seem
right. She clutched the pendulum, then instantly
loosened her grip. Still hot . . . too hot. Why doesn’t
it melt the plastic? She glanced out the window
on her way to the door. Sunny and beautiful
out. Hmmm . . . why did she feel like a storm was
brewing? Something was definitely up. She could
smell it in the air.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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