TITLE: DARCY TOWERS
Genre: Middle Grade
Word Count: 40,300
Eleven year old Lauren Tatterman is stuck living with her much older brother in a college dorm for the summer. It was a rushed, last minute plan when her aunt sped off to England without her. And now all Lauren wants is peace – to cherish the memories of her recently deceased mother. Finding a secret passageway into the university library offers promises of just that: some much needed alone time.
But the solitude of the library at night proves to be just the opposite with campus rumors of a resident homeless man, an even bigger cover-up of a library heist and worst of all: secrets about her own family. Risking discovery by the campus police, or worse yet, “big brother bossy-pants” himself, Lauren sets out to unravel the mystery behind her own birth. But it isn’t until she stumbles upon hush-hush online chats and texts between her aunt and older brother that she realizes what little family she has left might be gone forever.
With the help of a roll of duct tape, a Tupperware of spaghetti and a mother cow from the campus research labs Lauren finally realizes what she wanted all along – and it was what she already had.
“College is stupid!” I yelled to Lorry. Most students go college right after high school, so they’re usually 18 or 19. Some smarty pants might graduate early and are 16 or 17 when they arrive on campus. I went to college one month after my 11th birthday.
That was last week.
He was in his office checking email. “I need your phone to text Aunt Carol.” He’d left it sitting on the coffee table and I snapped it up.
“Do you even know how to text?” Lorry was by my side instantly, taking his phone.
“You don’t have to be in college to know how to text,” I hissed, sticking out my leg in an attempt to trip him.
“I’m not shipping you to England. Get your water bottle. It’s time to go.” He knew what I wanted: to go to England to be with our Aunt Carol. I hated that I was here at Eastern State University, living with him in a freshman dorm.
He was standing there, holding my backpack open. “Where’s your bottle of water?”
At least we lived in the dorm manager’s apartment on the first floor and not in one of the freshman rooms with two beds, two desks, two closets and that was it. Technically Lorry’s title was Residence Hall Director, or RHD for short. I liked to call him the Freshman Babysitter, or Big Brother Bossy-Pants.
“You don’t have to be rude.” His dorm was hot and stuffy. I stuck my tongue out.