A magic crystal, p.1
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       A Magic Crystal?, p.1

         Part #8 of Marvin Redpost series by Louis Sachar
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A Magic Crystal?

  “Do you know why you came to my house

  today?” Casey asked.

  “Um … no,” said Marvin. He didn’t want her to think he liked her.

  “Because of this!” said Casey. She pulled something out of her pocket. “It’s a magic crystal. It makes all your wishes come true.” She showed it to Marvin.

  Marvin took it from her and examined it. It was almost transparent, with flecks of green and gold.

  “It used to be just a normal rock,” Casey explained. “Then, last night, it got struck by lightning! And it turned into a magic crystal.”

  The Marvin Redpost series by Louis Sachar

  Marvin Redpost #1 Kidnapped at Birth?

  Marvin Redpost #2 Why Pick on Me?

  Marvin Redpost #3 Is He a Girl?

  Marvin Redpost #4 Alone in His Teacher’s House

  Marvin Redpost #5 Class President

  Marvin Redpost #6 A Flying Birthday Cake?

  Marvin Redpost #7 Super Fast, Out of Control!

  Marvin Redpost #8 A Magic Crystal?

  More books by Louis Sachar!

  The Boy Who Lost His Face

  Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes


  Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake

  There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

  Text copyright © 2000 by Louis Sachar.

  Illustrations copyright © 2000 by Amy Wummer.

  All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

  Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.


  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Sachar, Louis. A magic crystal / by Louis Sachar ; illustrated by Amy Wummer.

  p. cm. A stepping stone book.

  SUMMARY: When Marvin Redpost’s new friend Casey shares with him her magic crystal that can make wishes come true, things get out of control.

  eISBN: 978-0-307-80575-1

  [1. Wishes—Fiction. 2. Magic—Fiction. 3. Friendship—Fiction.]

  I. Wummer, Amy, ill. II. Title.

  PZ7.S1185Mag 2000 [Fic]—dc21 00-037300

  Random House, Inc. New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland

  RANDOM HOUSE and colophon are registered trademarks and A STEPPING STONE BOOK and colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.


  To Sherre, Lucky, and Tippy



  Other Books by This Author

  Title Page



  1. “Fight!”

  2. The Old Fire Station

  3. The Magic Crystal

  4. The Wish

  5. Two Wishes

  6. Silence

  7. A Conversation?

  8. Last Chance

  9. Her Sweet Voice

  About the Author



  School was over, but Marvin Redpost stayed in class. He needed to ask Mrs. North a question.

  She was going through some papers. Marvin walked to her desk, then stared at her until she noticed him.

  She turned to him and smiled. “Yes, Marvin?”

  “Excuse me, Mrs. North,” said Marvin. “When’s the book report due?”

  “I told you Tuesday,” said Mrs. North.

  Marvin nodded.

  Mrs. North returned to her papers.

  He still didn’t know when the report was due. Did Mrs. North mean that it was due Tuesday? Or did she mean that she told him on Tuesday when it was due?

  Mrs. North looked at Marvin again. She seemed surprised he was still there. “Do you have another question?” she asked.

  He shook his head. He didn’t have another question. He had the same question. He took his book and walked out of the classroom, then out of the building.

  There was a great commotion out on the playground. A large group of kids had gathered near the swing set. Marvin could hear a lot of yelling. He heard someone shout, “Fight!”

  He ran to see what was happening. When he reached the crowd, he could see two boys fighting on the sand, next to the swings. One of the fighters was Stuart Albright.

  Stuart was Marvin’s best friend.

  Marvin pushed his way through the crowd to get a better look. The other fighter was Nick Tuffle.

  Nick was also Marvin’s best friend.

  Marvin had two best friends. And they were rolling around on the ground, clawing and hitting each other.

  “Get’m, Nick!” shouted Clarence.

  “Kill him, Stuart!” yelled Travis.

  “Rip his guts out!” screamed Heather.

  “Tear his head off!” cried Gina.

  Suddenly everyone stopped shouting as Mr. McCabe made his way through the crowd. Mr. McCabe was the principal.

  Mr. McCabe didn’t have to say anything. Nick and Stuart stopped fighting. They untangled themselves from each other and stood up.

  “I’m surprised at you, Stuart,” said Mr. McCabe. “You too, Nick.”

  “Stuart started it!” said Nick. His face was red with anger.

  “I did not,” said Stuart. “You did!” The pocket on Stuart’s shirt was torn. His glasses hung crooked on his face.

  “You said I liked Casey Happleton!” said Nick.

  Everybody laughed.

  Except for Casey Happleton.

  “That’s because you said I liked Casey Happleton!” Stuart replied.

  Everybody, except Casey, laughed again.

  “You do!” said Nick.

  “I do not!” said Stuart. “You do!”

  “I hate her,” said Nick.

  “I hate her more than you!” said Stuart.

  “No way!” said Nick.

  “That’s enough,” said Mr. McCabe. “Now I want both of you to tell Casey you’re sorry.”

  “What for?” asked Nick.

  Mr. McCabe stared at him.

  Nick looked down at the ground. “I’m sorry I hate you, Casey,” he muttered.

  “I don’t care,” said Casey. She had a ponytail that stuck out of the side of her head.

  “I’m sorry I hate you, too,” said Stuart.

  “Whatever,” said Casey.

  Judy Jasper whispered something to Casey. Then the two girls laughed.

  Mr. McCabe took Nick and Stuart to his office. Everyone else started to leave, too.

  Marvin didn’t know what to do. He was supposed to go to Stuart’s house after school today. But he knew Stuart wouldn’t be going home for a very long time.

  Someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around.

  It was Casey Happleton.

  “Do you want to come to my house, Marvin?” asked Casey.



  The Old Fire Station

  Marvin and Casey walked to the parking lot, where Casey’s father was waiting for her. Marvin had never been to Casey’s house before. He didn’t know what to expect.

  “I hope you like cats,” said Casey.

  “Oh, sure,” said Marvin.

  “You’re not allergic?” Casey asked.

  “I don’t think so,” said Marvin.

  “That’s good,” said Casey.

  “Do you have a lot of cats?” Marvin asked.

  “No, I’m allergic,” said Casey.

  Casey’s father waved to her from inside his car.

  “This is Marvin Redpost,” Casey told him. “He wants to come home with me.”

  “You do?” asked Casey’s father.

  Marvin blushed. “Well, she asked me,” he said.

  Casey got in the back seat and slid over to make room for Marvin. He sat down next to her.

  Casey’s father turned around and looked at Marvin. “So you’re Marvin Redpost,” he said. “Casey has told me a lot about you.”

  “I have not!” Casey insisted.

  “Aren’t you really a prince, who was kidnapped at birth?” asked her father.

  “Yes, I mean no. I’m not really sure.”

  “He really likes cats a lot,” said Casey.

  “That’s good,” said Casey’s father.

  “But you don’t have any cats,” said Marvin, a little unsure.

  “No, I hate the furry little things,” said Casey’s father.

  Casey’s sideways ponytail stuck out toward Marvin. It bounced up and down as the car drove over the speed bumps in the school parking lot.

  “Do you know when the book report is due?” Marvin asked her.

  “Yes,” said Casey. “Mrs. North told us Tuesday.”

  Marvin nodded. He still didn’t know what that meant.

  “I’m going to have to call my mom when we get to your house,” he said. “She thinks I’m at Stuart’s.”

  “Do you know your phone number?” asked Casey.

  “Of course,” said Marvin. “Don’t you?”

  “No,” said Casey.

  That surprised Marvin. He’d known his phone number since kindergarten. “You should,” he said.

  “Why should I?” asked Casey.

  “I don’t know it either,” said Casey’s father from the front seat.

  That really surprised Marvin. “Did you just move or something?” he asked.

  “No,” said Mr. Happleton.

  They reached Casey’s house. The house was four stories high. It had a very long driveway and a huge garage.

  “I didn’t know you lived in a mansion,” Marvin said slowly.

  “This house used to be a fire station,” Mr. Happleton told him. “That was before Casey was born. The garage was even bigger than it is now. We remodeled. What’s now the living room used to be part of the garage.”

  “Cool,” said Marvin.

  Mr. Happleton parked the car in the driveway. Marvin climbed out of the car.

  “Don’t forget your book,” Casey reminded him.

  Marvin’s book lay on the back seat. He picked it up, then followed Casey into the house.

  It looked pretty much like a normal house, except there was a pole right in the middle of the living room.

  “That’s the fire pole,” said Casey. “The firemen used to slide down it when there was a fire.”

  “Cool,” Marvin said as he walked over to it.

  Marvin looked up. There was a round hole in the ceiling, and he could see another hole in the ceiling above that, and the one above that, too. The pole went all the way up to the fourth floor.

  “Are you allowed to slide down it?” he asked.

  “Sure,” said Casey. “I do my homework at the very top. It’s the library. Then, when my dad calls me to dinner, I slide down the pole.”

  “That is so cool,” said Marvin.

  “Here’s the phone,” said Casey’s father, handing it to him.

  Marvin set his book down on a table and took the phone. He called home. His mother seemed quite surprised when he told her he was at Casey Happleton’s house.

  “Can you give me their phone number?” she asked.

  “No one knows it,” said Marvin.

  “What do you mean, no one knows it?”

  Marvin put his hand next to his mouth and whispered into the phone. He didn’t want to embarrass Casey and her father. “They don’t know their own phone number.”

  “How could they not know their phone number?”

  “I don’t know.”

  “Let me speak to Casey’s mother.”

  “Well, she might know it,” said Marvin. “But she’s not here. You can talk to her dad.”

  He handed the phone to Mr. Happleton. “My mom wants to talk to you.”

  To Marvin’s surprise, he heard Mr. Happleton recite a phone number.

  Marvin turned to Casey. “I thought your dad just said he didn’t know your phone number.”

  “Are you crazy?” asked Casey. “Of course he knows our phone number!”

  “Well, you don’t,” said Marvin.

  “I do, too,” said Casey. “I’ve known it since preschool.”

  Casey’s father hung up the phone. He told Marvin his mother would come pick him up around five o’clock.

  Marvin put up his hands. “Wait a minute. Didn’t you both just tell me you didn’t know your phone number?”

  They looked at him strangely.

  Marvin wondered if he was going crazy. “You asked me if I knew my phone number. I said I did, and then you both said you didn’t.”

  “That’s right,” said Casey’s father. “Why would I know your phone number? I just met you.”

  Marvin’s book lay on the table. It was called A Thousand Cats.


  The Magic Crystal

  “Do you want to know a secret?” asked Casey.

  Marvin shrugged.

  “Follow me,” she said. “I’ll tell you in the library.” She started up the stairs.

  Marvin followed. He was glad to be going to the library. Maybe he’d get to slide down the fire pole.

  By the time he reached the fourth floor, his legs were sore and he was out of breath. He was not used to climbing so many stairs.

  “In here,” said Casey.

  She opened the door to the library. The room was shaped like an octagon. Every wall was covered with bookshelves. The fire pole came up through the middle of the room. There was a railing around it, so somebody wouldn’t accidentally fall through the hole.

  “Do you know why you came to my house today?” Casey asked him.

  “Um … no,” said Marvin. He didn’t want her to think he liked her.

  “Because of this!” said Casey. She pulled something out of her pocket. “It’s a magic crystal. It makes all your wishes come true.” She showed it to Marvin.

  Marvin took it from her and examined it. It was almost transparent, with flecks of green and gold.

  “It used to be just a normal rock,” Casey explained. “Then, last night, it got struck by lightning! And it turned into a magic crystal.”

  Marvin remembered that it had stormed last night. The lightning and thunder had scared his little sister, Linzy. But how would Casey know that the lightning had struck this rock?

  “I wished that you’d come to my house today,” said Casey. “And here you are.”

  Marvin knew that had nothing to do with the rock. The only reason he was here was because Stuart and Nick had gotten into a fight. “What other wishes have you made?” he asked.

  “Just two other wishes so far,” said Casey. “You have to be real careful with wishes. First I wished that Judy and I would be friends forever.”

  That doesn’t prove anything, Marvin thought.

  “And then,” said Casey, “remember when Clarence was bragging about how he can stick a needle through his finger?”

  Marvin remembered. Clarence was grossing out everybody in class.

  “I wished he’d be quiet,” said Casey. “And he was!”

  “Mrs. North told him to be quiet,” Marvin pointed out.

  “I wished it right before Mrs. North told him,” said Casey.

  Marvin didn’t think that proved anything either.

  “You try,” said Casey.

  Marvin looked at the rock.

  “You have to close your eyes and squeeze the crystal as hard as you can, so that it hurts. Then make a wish,” said Casey.

  Marvin tried to think of something to wish for. He felt silly. He closed his eyes and squeezed the rock so hard it hurt the palm of his hand. “I wish I knew when the book report was due.”

  “That doesn’t count,” said Casey. “I already told you it was due Tuesday. You have to make a real wish.”

bsp; “Okay,” Marvin said, glad that he finally knew when the report was due. He closed his eyes and squeezed the rock again. “I wish I had an ice cream sundae.”

  He opened his eyes.

  No ice cream sundae.

  Casey leaned over the railing and screamed down into the hole. “Dad! Marvin wants an ice cream sundae!”

  Marvin leaned over the railing as well. He saw Casey’s father way down at the bottom of the pole. It was a long way down. Marvin wasn’t so sure he wanted to slide down it anymore. He felt a little dizzy.

  “How many scoops?” Casey’s father called up.

  “How many scoops do you want, Marvin?” Casey asked him.

  “Uh, two.”

  “We both want two scoops!” Casey shouted.

  She turned back to Marvin. “My dad makes the best ice cream sundaes.”

  “Well, that doesn’t count,” said Marvin. “If your dad makes it.”

  “Why not?” asked Casey. “You wished for an ice cream sundae. And now you’re going to get one.”

  Still, it seemed to Marvin he would have gotten the sundae even without the magic crystal. But now that he thought about it, he did wonder why he’d agreed to come to Casey’s house.

  “When did you wish for me to come over?” he asked her. “Before or after Stuart and Nick got in a fight?”

  “Before,” said Casey.

  “That’s weird,” said Marvin. “I was supposed to go to Stuart’s house today. The only reason I didn’t was because he had to stay after school for fighting.”

  Casey bit her finger.

  The door to the library opened and a teenage girl came in.

  “We’re busy,” said Casey.

  “Oh, sorry,” said the girl. “I didn’t know you were in here.” She looked at Marvin. “Is he your boyfriend?”

  “No way!” Casey exclaimed. “He’s just Marvin.”

  The girl looked at Marvin. “Marvin Redpost?” she asked.

  Marvin wondered how she knew his last name.

  The girl stared at Marvin. “Aren’t you the boy who turned into a girl?”

  “Uh … no,” said Marvin. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

  “Oh,” said the girl. “It must have been a different Marvin Redpost.” She laughed, then turned and left the library.

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