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by Edward Bloor
Tangerine Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary
Monday, September 18 First day of school! Again! Mrs. Fisher doesn't like the look of some kids karate-kicking each other out in front of the school, but Paul tells her to chill. She also wants to come in with him, but he nips that in the bud real quick. Paul goes into the office to let them know he's transferring from Lake Windsor, and they assign him a guide, Theresa Cruz, for his first day—not because he can't see, but just to be nice. Theresa is kind of weird, and doesn't say much all morning. Paul notices that the classes at Tangerine middle are pretty much the same as the ones at his old school, but the kids are way tougher. Finally, at lunch, Theresa opens up when Paul asks her about the school soccer team. Her brother Tino is the star player, but he won't be at practice tomorrow. Because he got suspended, along with a bunch of other guys from the team. For vandalizing the freak show at the carnival. Ahhh, so we've met Tino before! Theresa goes on to explain that the goalie is a girl—and that there are a few other girls on the team, too. Paul is flabbergasted, and Theresa is finally getting warmed up, bragging about how great the team is. Turns out they were second in the county last year. After lunch, though, she goes back to her quiet self. Paul discovers that his language arts teacher is Mrs. Murrow—the Lake Windsor counselor's wife. He decides to be as unnoticeable as possible in that class, so she never mentions him to her husband. The last thing he wants is that IEP following him over here. After school, Theresa introduces Paul to Betty Bright, the soccer coach. She makes him the backup goalie, and he does a killer job during practice. Afterwards, he sees the same pick-up truck his mom had gotten mad about at the carnival. It's Theresa's big brother Luis, picking her up from school. Paul heads back into the school building, where he meets his mom… coming out of the office! Oh, man, Paul starts freaking. She did have to bring his file over from Lake Windsor, after all. There goes soccer. There goes his new start. Except…"There is no IEP in your file" (2.1.89) Huh? Is this a Jedi mind trick or something? No! Paul's mom tells him his IEP somehow "got lost" on the way to Tangerine Middle. Phew! Paul is so relieved that he comes up with another one of his nutty theories. Maybe an osprey took it, and used it to feather its nest. This time, his mom agrees with him. But, uh, we're thinking that she may be the one responsible.
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