The Case of the Rock 'n' Roll Dog

BOOK: The Case of the Rock 'n' Roll Dog
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THE CASE OF THE
ROCK 'N'
ROLL
DOG

MARTHA FREEMAN

Text copyright © 2010 by Martha Freeman
Music to “Rock 'n' Roll Dog” and “Read a Book” copyright © 2010
by Charles Heim, used by permission
Lyrics to “Rock 'n' Roll Dog” and “Read a Book” copyright © 2010 by Martha Freeman
All Rights Reserved
HOLIDAY HOUSE is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
www.holidayhouse.com

ISBN 978-0-8234-2885-4 (ebook)w
ISBN 978-0-8234-2886-1 (ebook)r

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Freeman, Martha, 1956-
The case of the rock 'n' roll dog / Martha Freeman. — 1st ed.
p. cm.
Summary: Seven-year-old Tessa and ten-year-old Cameron, daughters of the first female president—and owners of a very rambunctious dog—play detective when a baton belonging to the director of the Marine Band goes missing at the White House.
ISBN 978-0-8234-2267-8 (hardcover)
1. White House (Washington, D.C.)—Juvenile fiction.
 [1. White House (Washington, D.C.)—Fiction. 2. Presidents—Family—Fiction. 3. Sisters—Fiction. 4. Dogs—Fiction. 5. Mystery and detective stories.]
I. Title. II. Title: Case of the rock and roll dog.
PZ7.F87496Cas 2010

[Fic]—dc22
2010011600

ISBN 978-0-8234-2549-5 (paperback)

For my own first kids,
Sylvie, Rosa and
Ethan

CHAPTER ONE

SOMETIMES I wish Mom had lost the election and I had never been forced to leave my real life.

Monday was like that.

At school, my friend Kyle said Mom's hair looked frizzy when he saw her on CNN. And Andrea said since my mom's the president, can't she make a law so dogs don't chase cats? Then it was my teacher Ms. Nicols' turn. She said teachers should make more money, and she was looking at me when she said it.

So far so bad . . . and then we got our spelling tests back.

Spelling is not my best subject.

I mean, isn't it weird the way you spell
w-e-i-r-d
?

And who put that extra
a
in
b-r-e-a-k-f-a-s-t?

After school, the van picked us up to take us home to the White House. As usual, there was Nate, me and Tessa. That day Courtney came along, too.

Nate is my cousin who lives with us. Tessa is my little sister. And Courtney is my friend. She and I
and Nate are all in fifth grade. We were going home together to work on reports.

When your mom's the president, you can't ride the school bus or walk or drive with a relative the way other kids do. You have to go in a special Secret Service van. Usually, either my aunt or my grandmother comes along. Today it was Aunt Jen's turn. Aunt Jen is my mom's sister and also Nate's mom.

“I have some news I think you're going to like,” Aunt Jen said when our seat belts were buckled. “The Song Boys are coming to the White House.”

Tessa, Courtney and I squealed.

Nate snorted. “The Song Boys are total bubblegum.”

Tessa crossed her arms over her chest. “Like there's something bad about bubblegum?”

I laughed. Nate always acts
so superior
, but for once it wasn't worth it to be annoyed. I was too happy.

The Song Boys, in case you don't know, are the best boy band in America. They used to be three ordinary brothers—Jacob, Paul, and Matthew Song—who sang in the kids' choir at their church. Then a few years ago, their pastor put up on the Web a video of them singing “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore,” and it got like a billion hits because at the end Matthew sticks his pinky finger up his nose.

That video still cracks me up.

Anyway, after that The Song Boys took music lessons and got the right clothes and their own TV
show. I have every one of their songs and so do all my friends. At lunch we argue about which Song Boy is best.

In my opinion, Jacob and Matthew are fine, but Paul is better. He's the serious one. I have never met him, but if he called and asked me to marry him, I would say yes—as long as he waits for me to finish law school.

Since January when my mom became president, I have met a prince, the prime minister of England, two movie stars, and an opera singer. But if I get to meet Paul Song, I will probably faint.

“When are The Song Boys coming?” Tessa wanted to know. “Do I get to get dressed up?”

Aunt Jen said, “Saturday. And yes, you do, Tessa. It was all arranged in a hurry. The Song Boys had a concert date cancel.”

“Uh . . . could I maybe be invited?” Courtney asked.

“We'll see,” Aunt Jen said. “It's in the East Room so space will be limited. And the purpose is to promote literacy, so a lot of the guests will be librarians and teachers.”

Courtney frowned, and I knew why. She thinks that Aunt Jen doesn't like her on account of her father, Alan Lozana. He used to be a TV reporter. Now he has this blog about politics. Usually what he writes about Mom isn't nice.

Both Aunt Jen and my dad get annoyed with Alan Lozana.

But Mom says: “If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

That means you better not be president if you mind what people say.

“What's ‘promote literacy'?” Tessa asked.

“Getting people to read more,” Aunt Jen explained.

My little sister can be a drama queen. Now she waved both hands the way she does. “
So why not just say that?!

The van always enters the White House grounds at the West Gate, and the driver stops to let the officer take a look inside and say hello. Then we pull up to the South Portico, get out, and go in through the Diplomatic Reception Room, called the Dip Room, which is on the ground floor. From there, we cross the hallway and either go up a spiral staircase or take the presidential elevator to the second floor.

That day Granny met us in the Dip Room, Aunt Jen went back to her office, and we took the elevator.

“Hi, Mr. Bryant,” Nate said when the doors opened. The presidential elevator isn't automatic like other ones. It needs somebody inside to work it. That's Mr. Bryant. He is bald with a fringe of white hair. He says he has worked in the same elevator since Washington was president.

I know that's only a joke, though.

George Washington never even lived in the White House.

Mr. Bryant counted his passengers, “One, two,
three, four . . . five?” He squinted at Courtney through his glasses. “I don't believe I've had the pleasure.”

Courtney held out her hand. “I've been here before, sir,” she said.

Mr. Bryant shook his head. “My apologies, dear. The old peepers aren't what they used to be.”

“What's a peeper?” Tessa asked.

“Eyes,
duh!”
Nate said.

“Duh yourself,” Tessa said, and she probably would have said more, but Granny was right there.

“Going up,” Mr. Bryant said, and the doors closed.

“Do you have new pictures?” Tessa asked.

Mr. Bryant pulled out his wallet. Inside were photos of two fluffy puppies. Mr. Bryant loves dogs.

Tessa said, “They're growing!”

Mr. Bryant said, “They should be. They eat like nobody's business.”

“Did you know The Song Boys are coming?” Tessa asked him.

“I had heard something about that, yes,” Mr. Bryant said. “Will the music be awfully loud, do you think?”

“I hope so!” Tessa said.

Mr. Bryant cringed, then said, “Second floor.” He opened the doors for us. Hooligan must have heard the elevator coming because he was right there waiting.


Puppy
!” Tessa fell all over him with hugs.

“Not exactly a puppy, Tessa,” Granny said. “More of a teenager—which explains a lot.”

Hooligan is big and skinny with too-long legs and a too-long tail. He also has too much energy, which is why—even though he really tries to be good—he gets into so much trouble. In fact, he's a lot like the dog in “Rock'n'Roll Dog,” which just happens to be his very favorite Song Boys song.

Now he trotted along with us to the family kitchen for our after-school snack: cookies, milk and something healthy. The cookies come from a special small kitchen between the first and second floors of the White House. When we moved here in the winter, we ate cookies all the time. Then Mom decided so many aren't good for us. And now we're only allowed one each after school.

BOOK: The Case of the Rock 'n' Roll Dog
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