Lyn Miller-Lachmann - Author

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ISBN 9781101596739 | 240 pages | 16 May 2013 | Nancy Paulsen Books | 10 - AND UP years
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Summary of Rogue Summary of Rogue Reviews for Rogue An Excerpt from Rogue
Kiara has Asperger’s syndrome, and it’s hard for her to make friends. So whenever her world doesn’t make sense—which is often—she relies on Mr. Internet for answers. But there are some questions he can’t answer, like why she always gets into trouble, and how do kids with Asperger’s syndrome make friends? Kiara has a difficult time with other kids. They taunt her and she fights back. Now she’s been kicked out of school. She wishes she could be like her hero Rogue—a misunderstood X-Men mutant who used to hurt anyone she touched until she learned how to control her special power.

When Chad moves in across the street, Kiara hopes that, for once, she’ll be able to make friendship stick. When she learns his secret, she’s so determined to keep Chad as a friend that she agrees not to tell. But being a true friend is more complicated than Mr. Internet could ever explain, and it might be just the thing that leads Kiara to find her own special power.

In Rogue, author Lyn Miller-Lachmann celebrates everyone’s ability to discover and use whatever it is that makes them different.

Chapter 1

It usually took the New Kids two weeks to dump me, three weeks at the most. Melanie Prince-Parker was the quickest. She moved from West Hartford to Willingham when we started eighth grade. I couldn’t make her sit across from me for more than five minutes of lunch, and at the end of the first week I spotted her in the middle of the popular girls’ table.

I wanted to know how she did it.

I wanted to be Melanie Prince-Parker.

I used to watch her at lunchtime, first sitting at a table on the same side of the cafeteria, then moving closer and closer until one March day I set my tray at a corner of the table where the popular girls always sat.

The girls instantly stopped talking. Melanie scraped her chair back and stood. I lowered my gaze but could feel her glare on my face.

Without a word, Melanie pushed my tray from the table.

I jumped backward. The clatter of plastic on tile broke the silence. The tip of the apple pie stuck out from an edge of overturned plate. Oily tomato sauce spread from a pile of sloppy joe toward the bun that rolled away. Wilted lettuce curled up next to the pale green tray.

Kids surrounded me, shouting. Voices rose from the cho­rus.

Ooh, snap!

What was she thinking?

You don’t do that, sit anywhere you want.

That’s retarded.

So weird.

Look, she’s crying again. Crybaby Kiara!

Crybaby Kiara!

Through blurry eyes, I stared at my trembling hands. A clear droplet splashed on my wrist, but I hadn’t heard my­self crying with all the noise, the kids laughing.

Anger surged from the pit of my empty stomach. My ears burned. I had a right to sit where I wanted. This wasn’t kin­dergarten where they assigned seats in the lunchroom.

I picked up the tray.

For a moment, I caught Melanie’s eyes. Scary eyes. Deep brown irises. My mind flashed to my mother’s eyes, what they looked like whenever I made Mami mad. Melanie wore black eyeliner like Mami too.

I hadn’t seen those eyes since Mami left last month.

I raised the tray above me, a batter waiting for the pitch.

Melanie placed her hands on her hips and opened her mouth. Her soprano harmonized with the chorus around me.

“Don’t be stupid, Kiara. Put the tray down.”

I swung.

I swung at the light brown face that contained those evil eyes. The tray slammed into her face. Shock waves vibrated in my arms and spread to the rest of my body. I let go of the tray. It bounced on my foot before hitting the tile with a thud.

Laughter turned to screams. Melanie’s nose spurted blood. Past her lips, down her chin, onto her pink sweater.

Then somebody’s huge arms locked around me and car­ried me away.

Away from the cafeteria—and out of that school.

“The depth of Kiara’s loneliness, her capacity for empathy (though she’s unsure of when and how to express it), and her persistence in her quest for true friendship make the book a substantive addition to the emerging body of youth literature about Asperger’s.” — The Horn Book

“The author does a nice job of relaying the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of a teenager with Asperger’s. The characters are realistic, while the text flows easily and leads the reader on a roller coaster ride.” — Library Media Connection

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