Maxine Hill is an inquisitive fourth grade student who loves to read, work crossword puzzles, visit her best friend, Amanda Grayson, and play with her cat, Amos. Maxine is also on a quest to find out why her neighbor, Mrs. Sullivan, is acting so weird. Mrs. Sullivan is always outside sitting on the front porch with her two rescue dogs or working in her flower bed. However, she seems to get very nervous when Maxine talks to her about everything. What is going on with this lady? Is she a robot spy? Is she an alien? Is she working for the CIA?
Follow Maxine Hill as she solves the case of the strange neighbor!
STATIONS FOR KIDS INTRODUCTION
STATIONS FOR KIDS is dedicated to early literacy and community service. The best way to ensure your child’s personal and career success is to begin the learning process as soon as possible. Academic success is always necessary, but your child also needs to see how he or she fits into the world community. A combination of community service and applicable educational concepts will give your child a balanced view of the world.
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EXCERPT: Maxine’s New Job by Lynda Jones-Mubarak
It was a warm, bright Sunday morning and a special time for the Hills. Once a month on Sundays, the Hill Family spent four hours at the Helping Hands Food Pantry. Max had asked her parents several important questions after watching a homeless family standing on a corner last year. That’s when Mr. and Mrs. Hill decided that Max needed to learn how community agencies serve people in need. The Hills contacted the pantry and made arrangements for the family to volunteer one day per month.
Maxine enjoyed the community service hours. Her job was filling each family meal box with a can of green beans and cereal. Mr. and Mrs. Hill worked in the pantry kitchen. “Max, when a person needs help, you do what you can for them with what you have or what you know. Never forget that,” said Mrs. Hill. “OK mom, I won’t forget,” said Maxine.
The Hills completed their four volunteer hours and shook hands with the families before leaving. Max thought, Wow, it feels great to help someone who is having a difficult time. Mom says we should continue to do this once each month and I think she’s right! The Hills stopped at an ice cream shop for a treat and returned home so that Max could prepare for the first day of school.
The first day at B. H. Obama Elementary School was awesome! Maxine listened as the new principal welcomed the students and the parents. She was happy to see her classmates from the past year and she saw some new faces. The lunchroom had been repainted and it looked completely different. Maxine also discovered that she would be in the new wing of the school because the student enrollment had increased. Wow, everything was new in this area from the desks to the lockers! And to make it even better, she didn’t have to share a locker this year.
At the end of the day, she had shared some summer memories and made new friends. Maxine also had several school papers to take home. One of the papers was a flier about open house in a few days. When the evening school bus stopped on the corner, Maxine and four neighborhood kids hopped off and began walking home. As Maxine walked, she smiled, looked down at her new sneakers, and thought about all the new changes at school. She was trying to decide whether she wanted to join the chess, robotics or Scrabble club. When she looked up, she was facing her house and Mrs. Sullivan was watering the flowers in her little red well next door. Hmm, the Sullivans may want to come to my school’s open house, so I’ll give the flier to Mrs. Sullivan, thought Maxine.
She ran over to Mrs. Sullivan, handed her the flier and began discussing the first day of school. Maxine talked very hurriedly about the first day of school and said good-bye quickly. She knew it was time to get home and take Amos outside. Mrs. Sullivan listened and nodded, but had a concerned look on her face as Maxine walked away.
Maxine thought about asking Mrs. Sullivan if she was feeling alright, but she thought about what her mom said last week, “Max, please try to be courteous. You ask so many questions. Maybe you should be a detective!” She thought for a minute, walked back into the house, ran up the stairs and called Amos. It was time for his afternoon walk and his favorite doggie treat. I’ll talk with Mrs. Sullivan later thought Maxine.
Amos ran out of the bedroom, rubbed his head against Maxine’s leg and ran downstairs to the front door. He was ready to take the afternoon walk around the block. After walking with Amos and waving at the neighbors, Maxine and Amos slowly walked back to the house. Mrs. Hill was busy preparing dinner. Today was Monday, so it was going to be chicken tacos, Maxine’s favorite. Maxine looked at the Sullivan house from the kitchen window and inquired, “Mom, have you ever noticed anything strange about Mrs. Sullivan?”
“Max, what may seem strange or unusual to you could be normal behavior for another person.” responded Mrs. Hill. “I know that Mom, but she seemed uncomfortable when I spoke to her about my first day at school. She looked very uneasy when I gave her the announcement about the school’s open house”, stated Maxine.
“Maybe she had something on her mind Max. People sometimes look at you when you are talking, but they are thinking about other important things. We all do it from time to time”, explained Mrs. Hill. I know Mom is right, thought Maxine but no one should look that weird if I’m discussing school or a piece of paper.
Maxine sat down at the kitchen table and enjoyed the tacos and ice tea with Mrs. Hill. Mr. Hill always worked late on Mondays so Maxine and Mrs. Hill had their special time to talk about all the new school developments. Amos was curled up in a furry ball under her chair. The first day of school had been great and she ended the day with her favorite meal!
Before Maxine went to bed she thought about Ms. Parker’s remark after math class ended today. “Max, if you are still thinking about becoming a detective, you should also consider a career as a forensic scientist. Both jobs require an interest in science, working with many pieces of information called clues, and solving mysteries”, explained Ms. Parker.
I think I need to go to the library tomorrow at school or the city library on Saturday morning to see what this forensic thing is all about! thought Maxine.
The next day Maxine decided to finish her lunch early and ask the lunch monitor for a pass to go to the school library. When Maxine entered the library, she walked over to a student computer and began her search for detectives and forensic scientists. Maxine was surprised to learn that uncovering mysteries was one of the oldest sciences in the world. Wow! So solving mysteries involves reviewing pieces of evidence or clues and building a story or opinion around the material piece by piece. This sounds like fun!
( Continued… )
© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Lynda Mubarak. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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Age Level: 6 – 10. | Length: 58 pages.
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About the Author
Dr. Lynda Mubarak is a retired special education teacher, facilitator, and adult ESL adjunct who read constantly as a child. Dr. Lynda is an advocate for early literacy. She loves to create stories for young children with an emphasis on community service, global empathy and human compassion.
She is a graduate of Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, Nova SE University and she is a veteran.
Dr. Lynda is a co-host of The Author’s Lounge Radio Show. She enjoys crossword puzzles, live theater, and traveling with her husband, Kairi, and their rescue dogs, Ebony Joyce and Shorty Junior. Dr. Lynda’s favorite charity is The Community Food Bank of Ft. Worth, TX.
Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak
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Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak
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