Study Guide

Tangerine Part 1, Chapter 16

By Edward Bloor

Part 1, Chapter 16

Monday, September 11

  • It's a rainy Monday morning at school, when Paul and his friends get called into Mr. Murrow's office. It turns out Mrs. Gates got a call from the sheriff's department, saying that the freak show exhibit at the carnival had been vandalized by some soccer players.
  • Hm. It wasn't them, so it must have been … the kids from Tangerine Middle.
  • Mr. Murrow agrees to call Betty Bright, the soccer coach at Tangerine Middle, and ask her to straighten things out.
  • As they head back into the rain to the portables, Paul tells Joey that he feels bad ratting those guys out. Joey can't understand why.
  • Paul asks him if Kerri's going out with Adam, the guy she was with at the fair. Joey doesn't think so, and starts ragging on Paul.
  • Buckle your seatbelts, Shmoopers, because things are about to get crazy:
  • There's a loud whooshing sound, and all the rainwater under the portables is sucked towards the back of the field.
  • Next, the wooden boards of the walkways start cracking, and the mud underneath starts sliding away in the same direction as the water.
  • Teachers start looking out of their portables, and then begin evacuating their students.
  • Panic breaks out: the walkways start splintering and portables start moving.
  • What's up? Oh, nothing, just a GIANT SINKHOLE opening up under the field.
  • Paul realizes his math class is being sucked underground, so without regard for his own safety, he runs to help.
  • He and Joey, along with some 8th graders, form a line to help pull each kid out of the hole—while it's still growing.
  • With portables crashing all around them, they save the last kids, and then all rush inside.
  • Paul tries to clean his mud-caked glasses, but Gino grabs them and does it for him, telling him he's the best goalie in the county, and that they should have bent the rules for him.
  • Awww, feeling the love, sinkhole-style!
  • The school dispatches the buses early to send everyone home, and kids with broken arms and legs are sent to the office. And then hopefully the hospital.
  • Paul gets home, freezing and muddy, and tells his mom about what happened.

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