By Dana Reinhardt

Drew's slightly a loner. She has a puppy rat, her lifeless dad's booklet of Lists, an encyclopedic wisdom of cheese from operating at her mom's cheese store, and a overwhelm on Nick, the surf bum who works at the back of the counter. it is the summer time earlier than 8th grade and Drew's days appear like company as ordinary, till one evening after remaining time, whilst she meets an odd boy within the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he's, why he is there, the place the reduce on his cheek got here from, and his bottomless wisdom of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they're drawn nearer jointly, and Drew enters into the 1st real friendship, and event, of her life.

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That I might need it later. That there might come a time when I would want to show her how she hadn’t always been honest with me. How everyone is capable of lies or mistakes or untruths or even clever games. I wasn’t exactly planning or plotting anything, I was merely filing. And I was collecting. A small piece of a puzzle. That night I went up to bed in a silent house, safe in my role of the girl who doesn’t break the rules, who doesn’t upset the natural order and demand explanations from the adults around her.

Or maybe that Mom was doing less yoga, eating more cheese, and still losing weight. I’d never bothered to think about the challenges of opening a new business. How stressful that might be. To me, the shop was all fun and adventure. It was a place to hang out. I’d been dreaming all year of escaping school: the narrow hallways, the smell of lead and chalk, the crushing weight of my own invisibility. All I wanted was to be with Nick, to watch him work the new pasta machine. He’d promised to teach me to make squid ink linguini, which came out black and left your hands ash-gray for days.

I was only three. And from the black hole of her grief Mom couldn’t let go of that name. She changed my name so she could hear herself say his, countless times a day. Eventually she did the paperwork and saw to it officially—and well after the fact of my birth—that despite being a girl, I be called after my father. So I became Drew Robin Solo. Sometimes Birdie. Except for Emmett Crane, who was the only person in my life, then or since, who chose to call me Robin. the book of lists I found it one day while looking for a shawl.

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