Learning the Rules

Learning the Rules

by Stephanie Perry Moore, Derrick C. Moore

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Overview

The Alec London Series is a series written for boys, 8 – 10 years old.  Alec London is introduced in Stephanie Perry Moore's previously released series, The Morgan Love Series.  In this new series, readers get a glimpse of Alec's life up close and personal. The series provides moral lessons that will aid in character development, teaching boys how to effectively deal with the various issues they face at this stage of life. The series will also help boys develop their english and math skills as they read through the stories and complete the entertaining and educational exercises provided at the end of each chapter and in the back of the book.

Alec's mom has decided to stay in L.A. permanently to focus on her acting career.  In addition to being angre, Alec is confused, why would mom leave them for a dumb job so far away.  To add to the confusion in his life, Alec is getting into trouble and being bullied, both at home and at school.

At school he and his brother Antoine get into it when Alec tells the Coach that it was Antoine and not him who knocked down their teammate. Later Alec ends up in his dad's office, after attempting to keep, Gilmer, the new kids in school from getting beat up by Tyrod and his gang.  Alec gets mad with Gilmer when he does not say thank you for trying to help him or speak up for him when in his father's office.

On the home front, Alec is further frustrated by his mom's decision about her acting career and her new friends.  And, he is being pick on by his jerk brother Antoine.  His biggest challenge however is Little P, his second cousin who grandma brings to stay with them when she returns.  Little P is a seventh grader and a bully.  Along with Antoine, they rough up Alec at home, making things even harder for him.

As Alec struggles though trying to do well in school, stay out of trouble and handle things going on at home, he needs help.  When he goes to church on Easter Sunday, Alec hears a message that helps him look at his life a bit differently.  He learns that the right way to deal with all that is going on in his life is to let his parents handle their situation, pray and trust God to him show him how and help him be his best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802478535
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Series: Alec London Series , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

STEPHANIE PERRY MOORE is the author of many Young Adult Christian fiction titles, including the Payton Skky series, the Laurel Shadrach series, the Perry Skky Jr. series, the Faith Thomas Novelzine series, the Carmen Browne series, and the Beta Gamma Pi series. She is also the co-editor for the impactful BibleZine, REAL. Mrs. Moore speaks with young people across the country, showing them how they can live life fully and do it God's way. Stephanie currently lives in the greater Atlanta area with her husband, Derrick, a former NFL player and author, and their three children. Visit her website at www.stephanieperrymoore.com.

DERRICK MOORE is a former NFL athlete who played for the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and Arizona Cardinals following his successful college football career. Since his retirement from the NFL in 1998 he has been in demand as a motivational speaker for professional teams, civic groups, churches, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is on staff with FCA, serving as the chaplain of the football program at Georgia Tech. Derrick is the author of The Great Adventure and the general editor for the Strength and Honor Bible. He and his wife, Stephanie, a Christian fiction novelist, live in greater Atlanta area with their two daughters.
STEPHANIE PERRY MOORE is the author of many Young Adult Christian fiction titles, including the Payton Skky series, the Laurel Shadrach series, the Perry Skky Jr. series, the Faith Thomas Novelzine series, the Carmen Browne series, and the Beta Gamma Pi series. She is also the co-editor for the impactful BibleZine, REAL. Mrs. Moore speaks with young people across the country, showing them how they can live life fully and do it God's way. Stephanie currently lives in the greater Atlanta area with her husband, Derrick, a former NFL player and author, and their three children. Visit her website at www.stephanieperrymoore.com.
DERRICK MOORE is a former NFL athlete who played for the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and Arizona Cardinals following his successful college football career. Since his retirement from the NFL in 1998 he has been in demand as a motivational speaker for professional teams, civic groups, churches, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is on staff with FCA, serving as the chaplain of the football program at Georgia Tech. Derrick is the author of The Great Adventure and the general editor for the Strength and Honor Bible. He and his wife, Stephanie, a Christian fiction novelist, live in greater Atlanta area with their two daughters.

Read an Excerpt

LEARNING THE RULES

Alec London Series Book 2
By Stephanie Perry Moore Derrick Moore

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2011 Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0410-7


Chapter One

MISTER strong

"You're going back. You're not staying?"! said to my mom, trying to sound like the big, ten-year-old that I am. There's no way I could ever admit that I felt like a two-year-old on the inside.

"Oh, Alec. I wish you could understand," my mom said, coming over to me and placing her arms around my shoulders.

But I just kept huffing and puffing, until I couldn't hold back the tears any longer. I was thinking, This isn't right. This isn't cool. This isn't fair. She cannot go back to California! She's home now, and this is where she needs to stay!

Finally, I thought, That's it! I simply refuse to let her go. So, I stood up and said, "No! We need you here, Mom. Didn't you already do the pilot show? It was only supposed to be for a little while. Remember?"

Antoine couldn't even look at Mom. His back was turned to her, and his arms were folded. As much as I knew how badly he wanted to be tough, this had to be tough for him on the inside too.

We just had the best Thanksgiving ever when we were all together having dinner at my friend Morgan's house. Mom had come home and surprised us at the last minute. She'd been gone for a couple of months. Now, only a day later, she was leaving again.

Mom was a TV star when she was a child. But her dream time was over. Now she needed to be a mother to Antoine and me, and a wife to Dad. If no one else would fight for her to stay, then I was gonna be the one to stand up to her.

So I tried again. "I cannot let you go back, Mom. I'm sorry. No," I told her with all the strength I could pull together.

"Andre! Talk to him," Mom said to Dad, as if he was on her side.

She couldn't have been thinking that her leaving was gonna be okay. She had no idea of how it felt to have all of us crying every night for two months while she was away. There was no way Dad could let her do this to us again.

I watched Mom whisper something in his ear. He tugged away from her, and said, "Lisa, seriously. I have to deal with these boys when you're not here. Yeah, we're excited that you came home, but all of a sudden you're ready to leave again. What did you expect to happen? What are you thinking?"

"We start shooting again tomorrow. The show got picked up, and we're getting ready to make eight episodes. There's no guarantee how long it will last, but for now we're going to be on a local network right here in Atlanta. So, who knows? Maybe I won't be in California for a long time. I just need you guys to understand."

What was there to understand? We were in shock and hurting bad. It was a feeling worse than waking up on Christmas morning and finding no presents under the tree. Our mom was chasing her dreams and our dreams were turning into nightmares.

I walked over to Dad and said, "You have to stop her. You've gotta tell her we need her. Don't let her walk out the door, Dad. Please!"

Antoine couldn't take it any longer. He turned around and said to me, "Quit bein' a baby. If she has to leave, then let her. We can't force her to stay."

"Antoine!" Mom called his name as if she was shocked at what he just said.

Antoine just looked at her sadly.

"Antoine," Mom repeated again, this time with her head hanging low.

"You know what? Go to your room, son," Dad stepped in between them and told him. He didn't want Antoine to hurt her feelings even more.

Mom's eyes were filled with tears, just like mine. I wanted to wipe her tears away. I didn't want her to hurt, but she was definitely hurting us. All we wanted was for her to stay with us. But she wasn't trying to do or hear that. She was ready to go.

"Alec, honey," she said, touching my face and bending down to kiss me on my cheek. "'I love you guys so much. I'm sorry if this seems really hard, but that is not my intent. I'm already helping so much more with the extra money that's coming in. If the show becomes a hit-"

"What? You can be a big star? Without a family, what does that matter, Mom?" I asked her.

I was sounding harsh, and I didn't like it. I was acting more like Antoine, knowing I shouldn't have been talking to Mom like that. Even so, I wanted to be honest because I know that holding things in isn't good either. There were so many nights that I just wanted to tell her how I felt so she could feel the same hurt.

"Do I need to take you to the airport?" Dad spoke up and asked her.

"Dad!"

"Son, let me do this. Okay? Your mom is set on going."

My father has a strong voice. Even though he was willing to help Mom leave us again, Dad wanted her to stay just as much as we did. He was putting on a huge front just like Antoine. Like father, like son, I guess.

"I'm sorry," Mom whispered to him.

"If you were sorry, you would realize what you're doing to all of us," Dad told her.

"Don't go there with me, Andre. I finally have my chance. I can't turn my back on this opportunity. You remember all those shows I auditioned for? Well finally I get a big part, and our show is getting picked up to air on cable TV. I told you how much I really love my character. Besides, we all know this won't last forever."

"Yeah, I read the script. It's about a mom holding down her family. But, guess what? Have you thought about what's happening in your real life?" Dad asked her. Then, without giving her a chance to say anything, he said, "Never mind, you don't have to answer that. Lisa, you're gonna have to think about what you're doing to this family. I don't know if we can put up with this much longer."

Mom acted like she didn't know how to answer Dad. She just nodded and reached out to hug me again. My arms were so numb I couldn't even move. She squeezed me tight and let me go.

Dad looked at me and said, "Son, I'm taking your mom to the airport. Go on upstairs and let Antoine know that I'll be back as soon as I can."

A few minutes later, I heard the front door close. Just like that, Mom was gone again, and I was heartbroken again.

* * *

"Alec, wake up. I let you sleep late, but now it's time to get up," I heard Dad say.

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. Mom had been gone a whole twenty-four hours, and Grandma was still away visiting her sister. Since there were no ladies in the house, Dad, Antoine, and I kept to ourselves. We even fixed our own food and ate when we felt like it. We were sulking in our own way and just trying to deal with life.

Then Dad told us, "Your grandmother will be back soon, and we need to clean up this house."

I grunted, "Dad, I stayed in my room all day yesterday. If anybody messed up the house, it must have been Antoine."

"Nuh-uh, Dad. I didn't do it," Antoine told him, while pointing at me. "Alec was the one who messed it up."

He didn't give me a chance to say anything else. Before he walked away, Dad said, "I don't care who did it. We're all going to clean it up."

As soon as Dad couldn't see me, I stomped into the bathroom to wash my face. There was a pile of Antoine's clothes on the floor. Toothpaste from his tube was all over the sink. And I had to clean up after him? Ugh! I was so angry that I didn't even feel like arguing with Antoine about it. I just did it.

After I finished cleaning up that mess, I joined Dad and Antoine to straighten up the rest of the house. Suddenly, we heard a voice call out.

"Where's my grandbabies?"

Running to hug her first, I said, "I'm right here, Grandma. Boy, did I miss you."

I felt a squeeze in return, but when I looked up, I saw that I had hugged the wrong lady. For a minute, I was confused. The two ladies standing in front of me looked like twins.

My mouth hung open as I heard Grandma say, "Alec, I'm over here, baby. That's my sister, Dot."

I was still standing there, not sure what to say to either one of them. "I know, I know," Grandma said when she saw my face. "Everybody thinks we're the same person ... happens all the time ... and she's three years older than me," she said with a chuckle.

"Come here, boy. You can still give me a hug. I'm your Aunt Dot," she said, reaching for me.

"Antoine, where are you, boy?" Grandma called out.

"He's finishing up cleaning his room," I said.

"Antoine, get down here!" Dad called.

As soon as Antoine ran down the stairs, we were both looking at a boy who had just stepped through the door. With a basketball in his hands, I thought for a minute that he was an NBA player. Next to me and my brother, this guy looked like a giant.

"This is my grandson, Lil Pete," Aunt Dot said to Antoine, Dad, and me.

"Hello, son. It's good to meet you," Dad said right away, as he held out his hand. The boy ignored him and acted like he didn't know that Dad wanted to shake his hand.

"Young man, remember your manners. I expect you to show some respect," Dad said to Lil Pete.

"Sorry," Lil Pete grunted, as he stuck out his hand to Dad.

"Hi," Antoine and I both said at the same time.

"Hey, I'm Lil P.," the boy said with a lot of attitude. I guess he wanted us to know that he was the coolest kid around. Then, without any warning, he said, "Catch," as he tossed the basketball to Antoine.

I knew Dad wouldn't allow that, but before he could say a word, Grandma said, "Now, I won't have no tossin' balls in here. Y'all need to go outside with that."

When the grown-ups all headed toward the kitchen, there we were, alone with Lil P. Antoine and I both looked at each other like we didn't wanna play with this big kid.

Lil P. didn't waste any time before he came over to Antoine and put his head in a headlock. It wasn't real tight, but just enough to scare my brother and me. It was working too. When we got outside to play, Lil P. kept shoving me every time I got the ball. He wasn't playing by any rules.

"Y'all are some wimps! What? You can't handle me?" Lil P. said, as he darted between us.

"Man, you're like a high schooler out here tryin' to play with some kids," Antoine told him.

"Whatever. I'm just in the seventh grade," said Lil P.

I swallowed hard when I heard that. If this guy is only in the seventh grade, then I must be in kindergarten, I thought. He was huge.

Antoine stood up to him. "Why do you have to be so rough? Shovin' people and pushin' them down isn't cool, man. You gotta know the rules of basketball, so play the right way. If not, you can play by yourself."

My brother started to walk away, and I was right behind him.

"Wait. Come on back," Lil P. said with a laugh. "I'm only jokin'. Y'all live in your big old house. Your grandma cooks and cleans for you. But y'all need to loosen up some."

"You live with your grandma, too," I said to him.

"Yeah, but that don't make me a wimp."

I looked at Antoine, and Antoine looked at me. We both looked at him. Lil P. had muscles. He was right; he looked like a tough dude.

"On my block, we play street ball. If you wanna win, then you gotta have an edge. If you wanna be the man on the court, then basketball's gotta be physical."

"Well, you do have some smooth moves," Antoine said, as we watched Lil P. spin around, jump up in the air, and try to dunk.

He wasn't embarrassed by missing that shot. Lil P. acted real cool and said, "I'm workin' on that."

Hoping to put him in check, I had to say something. So I told him, "I'm not tryin' to play with people who wanna hurt other people."

"I ain't tryin' to hurt nobody. If you don't wanna play, then don't," Lil P. replied.

"Okay. You be the referee," Antoine jumped in and said. "I'm not scared of him. Let's go. I can get rough if I want to. Let's play, cuz."

I couldn't believe Lil P.'s big talk was working on Antoine. My brother could easily be pulled in by a challenge and didn't know when to back down. He was always trying to show people he wasn't scared.

I just prayed, "Lord, please don't let my brother get hurt. I know Lil P. is our cousin, but we don't know him. He looks so tough. Be with Antoine. Amen."

As I watched them play, Antoine seemed to be holding his own. When he got pushed, he pushed back. Antoine didn't know how to dunk yet, but he was shooting 3s and Lil P. was getting mad. When my brother beat him in a game of 21, it pushed Lil P. over the edge. He really wanted to show us that he was in charge.

"All right, all right," my cousin said to Antoine. "That's how you play. Don't let nobody push you around. Hold your ground and play hard!"

Lil P. got so sure of himself that he started to put on a big show. It was clear to me that he couldn't rap or dance, but no one could tell him that he wasn't jammin'. He was offbeat and wasn't even rhyming, but he kept acting like he was a star. Then it got really bad when Lil P. started using bad words and Antoine followed him. I couldn't believe my brother was going right along with him.

My cousin had better watch out, because if Dad heard what Lil P. was saying, then he wouldn't be allowed at our house anymore. Lil R didn't have to worry; I wasn't gonna tell on him. But I wasn't gonna follow a guy that I knew was wrong either.

* * *

"Look at that new kid. Man, he's at the wrong school, ain't he?" Tyrod said, as he joked about the new boy. The rest of the class turned toward the door, as Mr. Wade walked in with a new student.

I had to admit. The kid did seem a little out of place. Not only was he white and everyone else in the class was black, he had red-orange hair and blue eyes. On top of that, he was wearing cowboy boots. Tyrod was having a field day teasing him.

He said to the boy, "Looks like you need to go back to the rodeo where you belong."

"Why don't you hush?" Morgan said. "Nobody wants to hear that."

"Then why don't you close your ears, Miss Goody-Two-Shoes? Nobody was talkin' to you anyway."

Mr. Wade brought the new student to the front of the class and introduced him. "Everyone, this is Gilmer Luck."

"Gilmer Luck. That's a weird name," Tyrod called out.

"Young man, that's enough," said Mr. Wade, frowning at Tyrod.

Mr. Wade went on to tell our class that Gilmer was from Tennessee. He and his mom had recently moved to Georgia. I watched Gilmer as he looked around the class. It didn't seem to bother him that we all looked different from him.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from LEARNING THE RULES by Stephanie Perry Moore Derrick Moore Copyright © 2011 by Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Mister Strong/November
Chapter 2: Toughen Up/December
Chapter 3: Failed Try/January
Chapter 4: No Order/February
Chapter 5: Broken Up/March
Chapter 6: Want To/April
Chapter 7: Right Way/May

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