As far as Angel was concerned, room Eel-Twelve was the best place at sea school.
Ms. Harbor, Angel’s teacher, always made school paw-some.
Every lesson since the first day had been filled with as much fun as facts. Each morning, Angel couldn’t
wait to get to class, because every day felt like it would be the best day ever.
“You’re swimming too fast!” said a white purrmaid on Angel’s left. “My hair is getting messed up!”
“Yeah, Angel,” panted an orange kitten on Angel’s right. “Please slow down!”
Angel smiled. The complaining purrmaids were Angel’s two best friends in the entire ocean. Shelly was the one with white silky fur. She was very picky about the way she looked and never wanted a single strand of fur out of place. Coral was the kitten with the orange fur. She was the smallest one in their group, and she didn’t like having to swim twice as fast just to keep up.
Coral and Shelly were Angel’s favorite things about Eel-Twelve.
They were in the same class. That meant that Angel got to spend the entire school day with her best
friends. What could be more purr-fect?
“I thought you both liked to be early for school,” Angel teased.
“We can be early without swimming like a shark is chasing us!” Coral yelped.
“All right!” Angel laughed. She slowed down to let her friends catch up. “But we do need to hurry,” she said. “I want to stop at the school library before we go to Eel-Twelve.”
“Why?” Shelly asked.
“I have to get my book renewed,” Angel replied. She pointed to a thick blue book in her bag. It was called Legendary Creatures of the Purrmaid World, and it was Angel’s favorite book. “I want to read it again.”
“Why didn’t you just tell us you wanted to go to the library?” Coral joked. She loved reading. “That’s a great reason to hurry!”
“We’re almost there,” Shelly said. The girls swam straight to the library and hovered in front of the door. It was locked, and the school librarian, Mr. Shippley, wasn’t there. Angel stretched her neck to look through the window into Mr. Shippley’s office. But all she saw was an empty room and the reflection of her black-and-white fur in the glass. “Where is he?” she asked.
Both Shelly and Coral shrugged. Angel scowled. She needed the librarian to renew her book.
“The bell is about to ring,” Coral said. “We have to get to class.”
“Just put the book in the return slot for now,” Shelly suggested. “We’ll stop by after school so you can check it out again.” Angel didn’t like that idea. But then Coral said, “Come on, Angel. I don’t want to be late!”
Coral always followed the rules, and that meant getting to Eel-Twelve on time.
Angel sighed and dropped the book through the slot in the library door. Then she followed her friends to their classroom. The girls arrived just in time for Ms. Harbor’s announcement.
“Good morning, class,” Ms. Harbor said. “Please get settled quickly. There are a few things we need to do before we go to the school library.”
Angel’s frown turned upside down. She didn’t even have to wait until the end of the school day to check out her favorite book again!
Copyright © 2018 by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.