Sample Chapter – Lost in the Museum

Lost in the
Charlie Chameleon walked around his bedroom. I’m supposed to do something. I can’t remember what it is. “Oh, I remember I now. I have to find my permission slip for our school trip. It’s due today! My teacher, Mrs. Grey, won’t let me go if I don’t bring it with me to school.”
Charlie’s pet fish, Frankie, waved a piece of paper above his aquarium. Charlie looked under the bed. “Where is it, where is it?”
Frankie waved the paper even higher for Charlie to see.

“Ouch! That hurts,” cried Charlie as he bumped his head under the bed. Charlie looked up, rubbed his head, and saw Frankie waving the paper held in his fin. The paper drooped with water spots.
“Oh, thanks, Frankie. You found my permission slip. You’re the best fish ever!” Charlie was happy he didn’t have to miss the field trip.
He ran down the hall with the paper in his hand. CRASH!
“Charlie! Be more careful. No running in the house,” cried Mama Chameleon.
“Sorry, Mom.” Charlie slowed down to a walk. “Mama, can you sign my permission slip, please?”
“Yes,” said Mama. “Hurry and put your lunch into your backpack. Papa is waiting for you. You’re going to be late for school!”
“I know,” Charlie shouted as he ran out the doorway. “Oh no, I almost forgot Frankie. Mrs. Grey said he could come, too, if he stays in my backpack tank.”
Charlie ran down the hallway and crashed into a table.
“Charlie! Please walk. You’re going to hurt yourself running in the house.” Mama shook her head.
“Okay, Mama.” Charlie tried to scoop Frankie out of his aquarium.
“Wait! You need to put some water in my portable tank first. You know I can’t breathe air.”
Charlie poured water into the smaller tank and scooped Frankie into it. Then, he carefully put Frankie’s portable tank into the backpack. “Are you ready to go, Frankie?” he asked.
“Yes. I’m ready!”
Charlie walked into his classroom just before the school bell rang. The students had lined up, holding their lunches, and were waiting to leave for the museum.
Mrs. Grey collected all the permission slips from her students and said, “It’s time to walk to the bus. Please use your inside voices. The other classes are busy working.”
The students bounced up and down on their bus seats. “Please sit down, two on each seat,” tweeted Mrs. Grey. “Mr. Bailey, our bus driver, will not drive until you are quiet and seated.”
“Yes, Mrs. Grey,” yelled everyone at once.
I’m so excited! Charlie thought as he sat down next to his friend, Gary Gecko.
“Listen, everyone,” Mrs. Grey shouted over the happy classmates.
“Who’s doing that?” Gary whispered to Charlie. “Who’s kicking the bottom of our bus seat?”

Charlie checked Frankie in the backpack. Frankie looked scared. Then, Charlie turned to look at the seat behind him. Charlie’s eyes widened when he saw Boris Bunny glaring back at him.
“Heh, heh,” laughed Boris as he kicked the bottom of Charlie and Gary’s seat one more time.
“Stop it, Boris! That’s mean,” hissed Charlie.
“If you do that again, I’m going to tell Mrs. Grey. She’ll make you sit next to her for the whole trip,” said Gary, feeling brave.
Boris sat back in his seat and looked away when he saw Mrs. Grey walk past him. Mrs. Grey’s feathers made Boris sneeze when she was really close.
“Good, everyone is quiet and seated. We’re ready, Mr. Bailey,” chirped Mrs. Grey.
Mr. Bailey barked into the bus microphone, “Let’s go.”
They were quiet as possible on the bus ride. Mr. Bailey told the students if they were very good, he would get them to the museum on time. If they made a lot of noise, he would stop the bus until they were quiet again. Everyone wanted to get to the museum as soon as possible.

The bus pulled up to the Museum of Natural History. Charlie, Gary, and Frankie looked up in surprise. The museum was huge. “It’s so big!” said Gary.
“It’s so cool!” said Frankie, swimming in circles in his tank.
“Whatever, it’s boring,” yawned Boris.
Charlie ignored Boris. He was excited about his field trip and was not going to let Boris ruin it.

“Gather around! Stay together!” Mrs. Grey chirped to the class in a happy voice. “Everyone find a partner to be your buddy. Don’t get lost!”
Charlie and Gary nodded and grinned to each other as they listened. They were going to be buddies for this field trip.
This place has so many cool things to see. Charlie thought to himself as he looked around.
Gary whispered, “Wow. I wonder how many visitors can fit inside the museum?”
The classmates stayed together from room to room, looking at all the old and interesting things everywhere.
“Dinosaurs, cavemen, and mummies. Oh my!” Charlie said, as he looked at all the ancient things in the museum.
Charlie heard Frankie splashing around inside his backpack.
“Gary, will you see if Frankie is okay?” Charlie asked his friend. “Gary?”
Charlie turned around.
“Oh no! Where’s Gary?” Charlie panicked. He lifted his backpack off his shoulders and turned the pack around to see Frankie, who pointed a fin in the other direction. Charlie didn’t know what to do.
“Mrs. Grey told us to stay with the class, but she also said to stay with our partners,” he whispered to Frankie. “I can find Gary and bring him back to our class. How hard can it be?” he said as Frankie cheered him on.
Charlie and Frankie set off to find Gary. “Last time I saw Gary, he was going into the mummy exhibit. He said something about a mummy princess he wanted to see. I don’t know why Gary likes mummies!”

A guide working at the museum information desk saw Charlie walking alone. “Shouldn’t you be with your class? Are you lost?”
“No, ma’am. I’m looking for my museum buddy. I turned around and he was gone. I think he went to see the mummy exhibit.”
“Okay, but if you don’t find your buddy there come right back and I’ll help you.” The guide smiled.
Charlie and Frankie continued their search for Gary.
“Look, there’s the mummy exhibit. Wow, they’re scary looking, Frankie. I think the little mummy of a cat over there looked like it moved.”
“Let’s get out of here! I don’t want to be mummy cat food,” Frankie cried, splashing water over the sides of the backpack tank.

Charlie ran to the dinosaur exhibit. He spotted Gary. “There you are. I’ve been looking all over the museum for you.”
Gary jumped at the sound of Charlie’s voice.
“I was so scared, Gary. I thought you were gone!”
“Sorry, Charlie. It’s just that I saw those dinosaurs and wondered if they were my family. They look just like me, you know.”
Charlie laughed. “Gary, you’re a gecko. These are dinosaurs!”
“Oh yeah . . . I guess you’re right, huh.”
“Come on, let’s go find our class . . . but how do we get out of here?”
Charlie and Gary walked from one exhibit to the next to find Mrs. Grey’s class.
“Frankie, what does the map say? How do we get to the gift shop?” Charlie asked as Frankie tried to read the map.
“Forward, ho!” Frankie piped as Charlie and Gary ran down the hall.
They stopped moving in a dark room. Their eyes widened when they saw creatures swimming all around them.
“Where are we?” Gary asked.
“This isn’t the gift shop!” Frankie whispered, scared at the size of the sea creatures.
Charlie grabbed the map from Frankie. “Frankie! The map was upside down! We went the wrong way. This is Creatures of the Deep Sea.”

“Well, don’t look at me! Who gives a fish a map anyway?” Frankie said, crossing his fins.
“Wow, Frankie,” Charlie said as he looked around. “This is your family. They’re all swimmers like you!”
“Oh yeah!” Frankie said, splashing water with his tail.
“Grandpa Chameleon told me about ancient creatures of the sea. He had some scary stories. I’ve never seen these creatures before . . .” Charlie’s voice trailed off.
Charlie and Gary heard a small, scared voice.

“Hey Charlie, did you hear that?” whispered Gary.
“Yeah, what was it?”
They looked around the exhibit. Boris was shivering in a corner. “Oh please, don’t eat me!” They heard him crying.
“Don’t worry, we won’t eat you,” Charlie said in a quiet voice. “Yikes!” Boris jumped. “Oh, I didn’t hear you guys.”
“What are you doing here, Boris?” Charlie asked, “Are you lost, too?”
“Oh no, I never get lost. I was just bored with the wild animal stuff. The coyotes were REALLY boring,” said Boris, trying to sound big and brave.
“Hey, Gary,” whispered Charlie. “Aren’t bunnies scared of coyotes?”
Gary nodded, giggling.
“Well, we’ve got to find the class before they get on the bus.” Charlie looked at his watch.
Boris crossed his arms and said, “I better go with you crybabies, so you don’t get lost again.” Boris wiped the tears from his eyes, pretending nothing was wrong.
As they walked off to find their class, Gary asked Charlie, “Do you think Boris was crying because he was scared of the wild animals?”
“Yeah,” Charlie answered, “but we won’t tell him we know.”
Charlie, Frankie, Gary, and Boris ran from room to room, searching for their school friends. The security guard was busy helping out at the information desk. The other adults in the museum yelled at them to slow down, but they kept running while they searched for their class. Finally, they found Mrs. Grey and the rest of the class in the gift shop.
Just in time! I hope Mrs. Grey didn’t notice we were gone, Charlie thought while his classmates looked at the toys and books.
“It’s time to line up with your partners. We’re going on the bus back to school. I hope you all enjoyed the museum and learned something new today.”
“We sure learned our lesson,” Gary whispered to Charlie. “I wonder if Boris did, too.”
Charlie looked back and saw Frankie trying to scare Boris with a coyote mask from the gift shop.

“Charlie, I’m gonna ask my mom and dad if I can come back here. Do you want to come, too?” asked Gary.
“Yeah. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to because there is so much cool stuff!”
“Come on,” said Frankie. “Let’s get on the bus so we can go home. I’m hungrier than the Monster of Mystery Lake. I need meatballs!
Activity: Find Frankie. He’s hiding in the museum