1 It All Starts with a Problemo
Question: Why was I, Kelly Quinn, jumping on the bed late at night, over and over again? Was it: Exercise? A relaxation technique? A way to digest my dinner?
Answer: None of the above.
There was a very special book—a Secret Recipe Book—that I kept hidden in the tiles above my bed. And the only way to access it was this jumping situation.
I jumped again and reached into the ceiling for the Secret Recipe Book like I had so many times before.
Except this time, it wasn’t there.
I texted my besties, Hannah Hernandez and Darbie O’Brien immediately.
Do either of you have it?
It? Darbie texted back, followed immediately after by, The pox?
Before I could reply, she added, Small Pox or Chicken Pox? I was almost ready to send my response when a third text came in from her: Doesn’t matter. I don’t have either.
Hannah wrote, The Book, Darb. You took it home with you last night.
Guilty, Darbie wrote. It’s right—
Right where? I wrote. At this point I was sweating. This was no ordinary book.
She didn’t respond for too many seconds. . . .
A few weeks ago, on the last day of summer vacation, Darbie and Hannah and I found the Secret Recipe Book hidden in my attic.
Who am I? Kelly Quinn, seventh grader, average/mediocre soccer player, and lover of all things cooking.
What’s the Secret Recipe Book? It’s a bunch of handwritten recipes taped within the pages of an old World Book Encyclopedia, Volume T. With the Book, we formed a secret cooking club and made the recipes, which called for some pretty unusual ingredients that we could only get from one local store: La Cocina.
Weird things happened to the people who ate the food (a.k.a. potions), and also to us. Seems that potioning someone comes with a price, like a payback. It’s called the Law of Returns. So any time we make a potion, the person
who adds the special ingredient gets a Return, which is bad luck.
Darbie? I wrote again.
She returned, Problemo.
Problemos with the Secret Recipe Book were not good.