Taking the Lead

Taking the Lead

by Stephanie Perry Moore, Derrick C. Moore

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Overview

The Alec London Series is a series written for boys, 8 – 12 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 is excited about being the fastest runner in school and being voted 5th grade class president.  Tyrod, on the other hand is not excited about this at all because he used to be the fastest runner in school.  To regain the title he challenges Alec to a rematch.  The PE teacher has a better idea.  He invites both Alec and Tyrod to be a part of the school track team.  Determined to not let Tyrod stop him from having fun, Alec joins the team.

Just when he starts to have fun after learning how to ignore Tyrod, Alec finds out that his grandmother is getting sicker from the cancer.  Alec has a hard time accepting this news about his grandmother and things start to fall apart.  He stops hanging out with his friends, including his close buds, Morgan and Trey. He lets the class meetings get out of order.  

It's not until Alec starts volunteering with a Special Olympics team that he starts to be himself again. As he works with the team he realizes that if kids who are physically limited can give their all...so can he.  Alec gets excited all over again and kicks thing into gear.  He brings the 5th grade class back together to work on the end-of-the-yearactivities.  He works hard making things right with Tyrod and becoming friends with him.  He does his part on the track relay team and helps them win the county title. In the midst of all of these great things happening, Alec loses his grandmother.  As he deal with his sadness, he is able to hold on to a spark of hope as he thinks about how proud his grandmother would be of him for taking the lead and using the skills God gave him to help others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802478719
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 01/20/2012
Series: Alec London Series , #5
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 4 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

TAKING THE LEAD

Alec London Series Book 5
By Stephanie Perry Moore Derrick Moore

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0413-8


Chapter One

True Winner

Standing in front of the class with a wide grin on her face, we could feel Dr. Richardson's excitement when she asked the big question, "Okay, class, who is going to be the next fifth-grade class president?"

Morgan was smiling from ear to ear. Trey was beaming as if he could see himself in the White House. Even Tyrod was excited, thinking maybe he had a chance. They could have it. I had no interest in running for any kind of office.

"First, we're going to lunch and then out for recess. Later, when we come back, we'll take a vote. Remember, only one person from our class can put his or her name on the ballot with the nominees from the other classes. So really think hard about who you want to elect to represent the entire fifth-grade class."

During lunch, I was eating my cheeseburger when I noticed all my friends looking over at me. They were sitting across the table, smiling and whispering like they had some kind of plan.

It wasn't just Morgan and Trey, but Zarick was sitting with us. To have Zarick in on something with my buddies was very interesting because the two of us had just become friends.

You see, he had been picking on me since school started, following his buddy Tyrod's direction. Then, after we found out Tyrod was stirring up trouble on purpose, Zarick and I actually got to know each other. Tyrod wasn't happy about it because he didn't want the two of us to be friends.

Anyway, I was really glad to see Zarick in school. Last weekend, he called and told me there was trouble at his home. As it turned out, his mother's boyfriend was being abusive. I told my father what was going on and Dad called the police. Thankfully, the police and fire department got there just in time.

Seeing Zarick with a smile on his face made me jump right into a conversation with him about how things were going.

"So everything's good?"

I didn't want to be fake or phony, but I had to take the lead in this conversation. It was important for me to make sure my friend was okay. Ever since we became friends, Zarick had made me promise not to tell anyone about his situation. But when I found out how bad the problem was, I couldn't keep that promise. Once it was all over, he told me it was all right that I told my dad.

I was super glad that I did too, because when we got to his house, it was in flames. My heart stopped for a minute when I saw that scene, but thankfully his family was okay. Still, that didn't necessarily mean everything was all right with him.

When Zarick was taking too long to give me an answer, I said, "So talk to me! Tell me, what's up?"

He leaned in and said in a low voice, "Everything's good, thanks to you, Alec. I'm really glad you said something. My mom told me that I can always talk to her, but I wasn't saying anything because I thought she was happy with that guy. She said that I should come to her from now on with my concerns. My mom definitely wants to know if someone is mistreating me or my sister."

It all sounded good to me. Then Zarick hesitated a second and added, "BUT ... we may have to move."

"Huh?" I said, hearing what I didn't want to hear.

"She's not sure yet. We might go and live with my grandmother."

"Where is that?"

"In Macon, Georgia," Zarick replied. I could tell he wasn't too happy about it either. "It's an hour from here," he added.

Just when I made a new friend, I might lose that new friend. Not cool. But I guess it was a fair trade-off if Zarick, his mom, and little sister were going to be safe.

"So enough about all that," Zarick said to me, smiling again. "What are you gonna do?"

"I'm gonna finish eatin'," I responded. But I wasn't really clear on exactly what he meant.

"Oh, so now you got jokes?" Zarick said, giving me a smirk. "You should be the nominee from our class tomorrow. You'd make a great fifth-grade class president."

"Huh?" I replied. He might as well have been speaking a foreign language. "Why would you say that?"

"Because you care about others, you're smart, and you're cool. If I do get to stay here, I want the fifth-grade activities at the end of this year to be really slammin'. Last year's class didn't do anything, and everybody said it was because they didn't have good planning. I don't want that to be the case for us. We've waited a long time to be in the fifth grade. Now that we're here, we should have a big celebration."

Morgan and Trey kept on eating and didn't say a word. I guess they thought Zarick was doing a pretty good job of trying to convince me.

Actually, he was fight. I remember two years ago when my brother, Antoine, was in the fifth grade, they did a lot of stuff. They had a whole week of celebration, and it ended with them going to Six Flags. Antoine wasn't the class president, but he bragged a lot about the people who helped put it all together.

But me? Running for office? No way. I wasn't interested and that's exactly what I told Zarick.

"If I didn't think I might have to move, I would do it," Zarick said, looking at me. I could tell he was still trying to challenge me.

Because I wanted him to stick around, I responded, "Oh, man, that's a good idea! Maybe you should talk to your mom about it. That way, if you get the position, you won't have to move."

"Boy, please, like me bein' fifth-grade class president is gonna keep food on our table. Just run already, Alec."

About twenty minutes later, we were outside on the playground. Morgan and Trey still had sly looks on their faces. When they approached me, it was about the very same thing.

"I still don't understand why you won't run, Alec," Trey said, after I repeated the same answer I gave Zarick.

"Like I've been sayin', I don't want to," I added, with as much emphasis as I could gather. Then I asked bluntly, "Why don't you run?"

Looking me square in the eyes, Trey said, "Because I won't win. You're the one who can get the support of all the fifth-grade classes. We're askin' you to do it. If you're the leader, we can get behind you and help make this year great."

Not being able to come up with another excuse, I turned to my other friend and said, "Morgan, all the classes would support you too."

"No, there are some girls in those other classes who roll their eyes at me every day. Even though I don't care about that, it won't get me many votes. Maybe you could put some things in place for all the classes to get along. If somebody else wins, they're only gonna care about their own class. Please, Alec, why won't you do it for us?"

"Okay, sure, whatever," I said, just wanting them to leave me alone. However, that didn't keep me from hoping that someone else in our class might want to run.

Later, when we got back to our classroom, my plan was to get everybody to support someone else and this would all be over. It was a great idea and probably would have worked, until I saw Tyrod raise his hand to nominate himself. So when Morgan nominated me, I accepted—and it was on.

I had no other choice. There was no way I could let a guy who liked to make people feel small win class president. Even though the representative from our class had to run against people from the other three classrooms, I didn't want Tyrod to have a chance.

It was just the two of us running against each other. No speeches were necessary. Everyone wrote the name of their candidate of choice on slips of paper and passed them to our teacher. After twenty minutes, Dr. Richardson announced the winner. Tyrod jumped out of his chair when she said, "Alec London."

The class roared with cheers. But, of course, Tyrod made it known that he wasn't happy. My take was, if he wanted people to like him and vote for him, maybe next year in middle school he'd think about how he treats people. Too late for now, though, because I won!

* * *

"Pass those greens, that potato salad, and the yams," Grandma said, as she licked her lips. Looking at the delicious spread, who could blame her?

We were all smiling and happy. I was especially glad when Grandma came out of her room. It was good to see her so cheerful and acting like she had a ton of energy.

"Why y'all lookin' at me like I don't have nothin' to be thankful for? The Lord allowed me to see another Thanksgiving. I'm with my son, his beautiful wife, and my grand boys." Looking at Antoine and me, she smiled and said, "And, y'all aren't babies anymore." Grandma was beaming like the sun when she added, "Yes, thank the Lord ... being with my family is like heaven on Earth. I feel fine!"

"Oh, Mom, we love you too," my mother said, as she got up from her seat to give Grandma a great big hug.

After they hugged for a second, Grandma held on to Mom's hand and said, "It's just good to have you home, Lisa. I've been tryin' to take good care of your men, but I can't do it like you. And me being a little sick and all hasn't helped. Now, pass the turkey, son."

"Antoine, how are your grades?" Dad asked, as he passed the platter to Grandma. He noticed how quickly Antoine was gobbling up his food so that he could be excused.

I know my brother. Whenever he tried to eat really fast, it was because he didn't want anyone to ask him any questions—particularly about school. Dad understood that fact too and gave Antoine a tough glare, as he waited for an answer.

"Mhhh umm. Ummm hum ummm hmmm," Antoine moaned with food stuffed in his mouth.

"Boy, you'd better hurry up and chew that food. Don't play with me. Your mother told me that she went on the I-Parent website and checked on your progress. Your grades are below average at best."

"Honey, we can talk about that later," Mom spoke up, as she leaned in closer to Dad.

"No, no, we can talk about this right now. You know your son is trying to avoid answering questions about school. Antoine's eating his food too fast; he's acting like he'll get a gold medal if he finishes before anyone else."

"Well, there's no need to ruin Thanksgiving dinner, talking about the tough stuff. Can we just enjoy each other for a while?"

"Yeah, you mean before you're gone again?" Dad blurted out.

"Oooohhhh! Please pass that cranberry sauce and those string beans," Grandma jumped in, picking up on the tension in the air between my parents.

Even Antoine noticed things were getting a little hot. So he tried to bring them back to his poor school performance. He figured that would be better than hearing our parents argue over their personal problems. With Mom being gone most of the time, there's been too much distance between my parents.

Antoine started, "Dad, I know I gotta work on my grades. Right now, they're not so good, but I've got exams comin' up and I'm gonna study real hard. Besides, I'm gonna do a really good job on a couple of papers that are due soon. My grades are gonna get better, Dad, you'll see."

At that point, our father wasn't showing any interest in what Antoine had to say. His attention was on Mom with a real serious look on his face. I don't know if she was using her acting skills or what. Mom kept eating her food slowly and coolly. You could almost see steam shooting out of Dad's ears, but she wasn't letting it get to her. She was ignoring him, and it was making him more furious.

"See, why are you going to do this? Why are you going to mess up a perfectly delightful dinner?" said Dad.

"Are you kidding? You're the one all hot under the collar, raising your voice and bringing up things that aren't pleasant. If anyone's ruining Thanksgiving, it's you. Don't blame me!"

"Now, just calm down, you two," Grandma said to my parents.

"No, he wants me home so badly. But when I'm here, this is what he does."

"Yeah, because you didn't come to stay! When are you leaving? You haven't even told us that."

Mom said, "Andre, you know I have to go back and shoot the last episode."

"No, you don't have to do that. That's a choice you're making. You used to have an excuse. We were behind in some bills. I wasn't working. Okay, there was more pressure on us then."

"Oh, and that's gone now?" Mom said sarcastically. "Maybe my coming home was a bad idea."

She got up from the table and put down her napkin. When she dashed away, Antoine looked at Dad like he had broken his heart. I didn't know how to feel, but I do agree with Dad. Mom was making a choice to be away from us by being an actress in Los Angeles. We needed her here.

However, after I visited her in California, I knew it was her dream. It just didn't seem right to ask her to give it up. I love them both, and I love my family being together. There had to be a way all this could work out. "God, please help us," I prayed silently.

"May I be excused?" I asked, as I started to get up.

Dad said firmly, "No! Just sit down and finish eating. She's not going to ruin this Thanksgiving for us."

"Oh, let the boy go on and talk to his mama!" said Grandma.

Dad mumbled something and told me that I could leave. Having his permission, I got up from the table and went to knock on their bedroom door. While waiting for her to answer, I listened for a minute and could hear her crying.

"Mom, it's me. Alec. Please let me in. Please let me talk to you. Please open up. I care about you, Mom."

"Not right now, Alec. I don't ... I don't want to talk fight now. Okay? I'm sorry, baby."

It was really hard to accept that she was hurting so uch. Even so, I couldn't blame Dad, because he was really going through a lot too. I could only imagine what he was thinking. He could lose both Grandma and his wife for good.

Thinking about the turkey and dressing on my plate, I went back to the dining room table. Everyone was looking at me like, "that was quick," so I said, "She wants to be alone."

"Urgh!" Dad grumbled, as he got up and left the table.

Mom told me that she wanted to be alone, but she was his wife. So Dad figured he should try and talk to her. Hopefully, they were going to work things out. Forgetting about the food in front of me, I held my head down and prayed, "Lord, we need you."

Sensing what I was doing, Grandma said, "Good! That's right, baby. Give it to the Lord."

"What good is that gonna do?" Antoine spoke up.

Grandma said, "Chile, God can fix it ... and don't you forget it."

"Alec's been prayin' for God to fix it for a long time. Our parents still can't get along. Don't y'all see that? They hardly like each other, much less love each other."

"Oh, that's not true, Antoine," Grandma said. "You're makin' it sound worse than it really is. They do love each other, or they wouldn't be tryin' to work through all of this."

In her own way, Grandma then tried to explain something to us. "You boys are gettin' older now. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna be around, but one day I do know y'all are gonna be somebody's husbands ..."

"Ewwwwww," Antoine said.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from TAKING THE LEAD by Stephanie Perry Moore Derrick Moore Copyright © 2012 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

Contents

Chapter 1: True Winner....................9
Chapter 2: Personal Pride....................29
Chapter 3: Tough Spot....................47
Chapter 4: Feel Better....................67
Chapter 5: Real Challenge....................85
Chapter 6: Strong Willpower....................103
Chapter 7: Great Day....................117
Discussion Questions....................133
Literary Terms Worksheet....................135
Math Worksheet....................137
Teach Me, Coach: Track & Field....................138
Word Search Solutions....................141
Answer Keys....................148
Acknowledgments....................149

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