Jack Strong Takes a Stand

Jack Strong Takes a Stand by Tommy Greenwald

Book: Jack Strong Takes a Stand by Tommy Greenwald Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tommy Greenwald
there on his bicycle.
    â€œDon’t worry, I’ll let myself in,” he said, coming in through the just-fixed screen door.
    â€œDude!” I pounded his back.
    â€œI’m heading to the store to get my mom a thing of milk,” Leo said. “Figured I’d stop here on the way and make sure you weren’t too exhausted from not doing anything all day.”
    â€œVery funny. You try sitting on a couch for nine days. It’s starting to kind of stink.”
    â€œDude, you’re famous. That doesn’t stink.” Then Leo went over to my computer. “But here’s the real reason I came over,” he said. “My brother showed this to me. Have you heard about this?”
    I looked at the screen, which he’d opened to Facebook. Someone had started a page called “The Sit-Downers.” It was for people who wanted to support me in the strike. And it had 1,374 likes!
    â€œHoly moly,” I said.
    â€œThat’s nothing,” Leo said, typing on the keyboard. “Check this out.”
    He clicked on a YouTube video called Lacey Takes a Stand.
    I pressed play.
    It was a video of a girl walking on a beach. She looked a little older than me. She stared into the camera and started talking.
    â€œMy name is Lacey Allen. I read about Jack Strong, and his life sounded exactly like my life. I was running from thing to thing, and never had any time to myself. I figured if he was brave enough to finally do something about it, so could I. Except, since I live in California, I figured I could have a couch with a view.”
    Then she walked up to a couch that was sitting right on the edge of the ocean and sat down. As the camera swung around to the other side, she blew it a kiss.
    â€œThank you, Jack Strong. I think you’re awesome. Bye!”
    Then a big frame came up that said “A Lacey Allen Production.”
    The whole thing was about thirty seconds long. And it had 7,375 views and 284 comments!
    â€œHoly double moly,” I said.
    â€œI know!” Leo said, pounding my back.
    Wow. This was at a whole new level. People all over the country were starting to do what I was doing. Kids were fighting back against their parents. They were following me .
    Then the weirdest thing happened. I started to cry. I have no idea why, and just a little, I swear.
    Leo stared at me. “Are you okay?”
    I wanted to tell him, yeah, I was okay. I was better than okay. I was awesome. I was the luckiest person in the world. I was Jack Strong, who used to be just another kid at Horace Henchell Middle School, but who was now being talked about by cute older girls in California. I was better than okay. I was freakin’ great!!
    But all I said was, “Yeah, I’m good.”

    S TRIKE —D AY 10
    The day of the show, I woke up ridiculously early and couldn’t get back to sleep. I checked my phone. There were good-luck texts from Cathy, Baxter, and Kevin Kessler. (All kids who barely knew my number a week ago, btw.)
    And three missed calls from Lucy Fleck.
    I tried to call her back, but it went to voicemail. No doubt she was doing her early morning studying.
    I was practicing downward dog on the couch when my mom came in and sat in my dad’s favorite chair. The one he used to sit in when he watched TV with my mom, before I took over the room.
    â€œYou’re getting so good at yoga,” she said.
    â€œUsually I do it with Nana, but she’s not back from the city yet.”
    My mom picked up a magazine and pretended to read. “Tonight’s the big night,” she said. I noticed how tired she looked and suddenly realized I hadn’t talked to her—I mean, REALLY talked to her—since the whole craziness began.
    She looked up. “Yes, honey?”
    â€œIs everything good with you and Dad?”
    â€œEverything’s just fine, honey.”
    â€œThat’s good.” I wanted to keep

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